June is a big month at Disney Home Entertainment! Two of Disney’s most highly anticipated movies were released on Blu-ray this month: Peter Pan: Walt Disney Signature Collection and A Wrinkle in Time. At their heart, both of these movies celebrate imagination.
Read on to see our thoughts on these two new releases and scroll down to enter our giveaway for a copy of A Wrinkle in Time on Blu-ray!
Think happy thoughts! I know I can’t be the only child who wished with all her might for a little bit of pixie dust to fly away with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell on an adventure to Never Land. Peter Pan is a joyful celebration of make believe, the power of imagination, and the spirit of wild childhood.
Unfortunately, this movie just hasn’t aged that well in its 65 years. To be honest, I had forgotten most of the details before sitting down to watch this with my girls, but viewing it through adult eyes was uncomfortable in a lot of parts, starting with Peter Pan declaring, “Girls talk too much.” It seems like the girls/women in the movie (including mermaids) have little purpose other than to compete with each other over Peter.
But when we get to how Indigenous people are portrayed in Peter Pan, it’s downright cringe worthy. John warns the Lost Boys, “Now remember, the Indian is cunning but not intelligent.” The scene with the “Indians” in their village is full of stereotypes and racist caricatures. They speak in broken English, dance with tomahawks, let out war whoops, and literally have red faces (except for the pretty girls). The scene culminates in the problematic song, “What Makes a Red Man Red?” I ended up turning the movie off until my girls went to bed.
I think this one is better suited for an older audience that has an understanding of the time in which J.M. Barrie’s story was written and this movie was made, or at least when parents are available to discuss the history behind these stereotypes and provide some cultural education about how Indigenous peoples have been and still are treated in North America.
New Signature Collection Bonus Material:
- Stories from Walt’s Office: Walt & Flight – “Think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings”. One thing you’ll notice inside Walt Disney’s office are all of the models and pictures of airplanes. Walt loved planes and was an aficionado of flying. As a continuation of the “Stories from Walt’s Office” series, we’ll soar into the world of one of Walt’s favorite pastimes and look at the history behind the company airplane he used to scout Central Florida looking for the perfect place to build his second theme park.
- A “Darling” Conversation with Wendy & John: Kathryn Beaumont and Paul Collins – Join Disney Legend Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Wendy) and Paul Collins (the voice of John) as they reunite for the first time in many years to reminisce and discuss their experiences working on Peter Pan, meeting Walt Disney and learning to fly … literally.
- You Can Fly” – A new “Oke” rendition and graphic look of the classic Disney song, “You Can Fly,” with fun lyrics on screen and lots of your favorite “Peter Pan” characters.
- “Never Smile at a Crocodile” – A new “Oke” rendition and graphic look of the deleted song, “Never Smile at a Crocodile”, with fun lyrics on screen and highlighting the relationship between Captain Hook and Tick-Tock the Crocodile.
Legacy/Classic Bonus Material:
- Sing-along Version of the film: Sing along with your favorite songs from the movie.
- Growing Up with Nine Old Men – “Peter Pan” is both a story of living with a child’s sense of openness to the world and an acknowledgement that the path to adulthood most often leads away from those qualities. A parallel of sorts to that duality can be found in Walt Disney and his core group of animators, the Nine Old Men, in their lives and in their work. Our short film will look at who they were and the parts they played in one of the most remarkable team of artists that ever worked together.
- Deleted Song: “The Pirate’s Song” – Original demo recording of the song played over concept art.
- Deleted Song: “Never Smile at a Crocodile” – With music played over static concept art of the crocodile from Pater Pan.
- Deleted Song: “The Boatswain Song” – With music played over static concept art of Captain Hook and his crew.
- Deleted Scene: “The Journey Home” – A proposed alternate ending where Peter asks the Lost Boys to return home with Wendy and the other children.
- Deleted Scene: “Alternate Arrival” – A deleted scene where Wendy and the children are initially attacked by the Lost Boys because Tinker Bell tells them that Wendy is holding Peter captive. We also see in this version of the story that Nana the dog travels to Never Land with Wendy and the children.
- Disney Song Select – Simply play the clip from the movie with subtitles underneath it.
- “The Second Star to the Right”
- “You Can Fly”
- “A Pirate’s Life”
- “Following the Leader”
- “Your Mother and Mine”
- Audio Commentary Hosted by Roy Disney – Audio commentary hosted by Roy Disney, but carried on by several other people.
- Music and More
- ”Never Land”: The Lost Song – A bonus piece that sets up the backstory of where this lost song was found and how Richard Sherman recomposed it.
- Music Video: “Never Land” – Music Performed by Paige O’Hara – A music video of the song “Never Land”
- Music Video: “The Second Star to the Right” – Music Performed by T-Squad – A music video of the song “The Second Star to the Right” performed by T-Squad.
- Backstage Disney
- You Can Fly: The Making of ‘Peter Pan’ – A making-of video of the 1953 Disney classic, “Peter Pan.”
- In Walt’s Words: “Why I Made ‘Peter Pan’” – Based upon an article written by Walt Disney retold as a dramatic recreation.
- Tinker Bell: A Fairy’s Tale – An introspective video on the creation, history and personality of the one and only “Tink.”
- The Peter Pan That Almost Was – Hosted by Ron Clements and John Musker, we take a look at the storyboards and early concepts of a version of the “Peter Pan” film that never saw the light of day.
- The “Peter Pan” Story – An original featurette for the film created in 1952.
When I think back to my childhood, three novels spring to mind that made a longstanding impression on me and inspired a love of science fiction and fantasy that persists to this day: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. I read these books over and over throughout elementary school and into adulthood.
Unsurprisingly, there are significant differences between the book and the movie, and while some make sense in the effort to adapt it to the screen, I can’t say that I understand all of them. A Wrinkle in Time is a really big story. A lot happens in its pages, and I don’t think director Ava DuVersay quite succeeds in bringing it all to the screen. It feels a bit rushed and choppy at times, and at only 1 hour and 40 minutes, I do think there was room to add more. Despite this, the movie is definitely worth watching.
This is a beautifully visualized and imaginative movie with loads of special effects, but at its heart, it’s a story centred on love and faith and trust. Meg’s unshakeable love and faith in her dad, the deep enduring love Meg and Charles Wallace have for one another, Calvin’s trust in Meg, and most especially, Meg learning to have faith in herself.
A Wrinkle in Time is rated PG for several scary and intense scenes. My 8-year-old was fine, but they were definitely too much for my 5-year-old. I’m thinking particularly of a scene when the kids and Meg’s father are being dragged down a dark hallway behind Charles Wallace who has been taken over by IT, and the final battle between Meg and the giant tentacular brain. I would suggest nine years old and up.
- A Journey Through Time: Take an up-close look at the making of this magnificent movie with Director Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, and the cast and crew.
- Deleted Scenes: (with optional director audio commentary)
- Ant on a String
- Aunt Beast
- Meg Learns About Calvin’s Dad
- Audio Commentary:
- Director Ava DuVernay
- Producer Jim Whitaker
- Co-Screenwriter Jennifer Lee
- Production designer Naomi Shohan
- First assistant director
- Michael Moore
- Editor Spencer Averick
- VFX supervisor Rich McBride
- Original Songs/Music Videos
- “I Believe” performed by DJ Khaled featuring Demi Lovato
- “Warrior” performed by Chloe x Halle
Win A Wrinkle in Time Blu-ray
I’ve got a copy of A Wrinkle in Time to give away to one lucky reader. Enter in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, 18+. All the winner’s entries will be verified.
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