Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Comrade Pan

Well, bust my buttons.

We've all been slightly wrong!

Peter Pan by P.J. Hogan is not, technically, the first live-action movie of Barrie's story (with sound.)

Thanks to Jason A. Quest's Neverpedia [a thorough (but still gathering info) database of all things realted to Peter Pan] I've just learned that a Soviet version had been produced in 1987 by Belarusfilm. It's also a musical. So, perhaps, if we want to get very technical, this is not a true straight adaptation of just the story and Hogan still has the distinction of being the first live-action. But that's splitting hairs. (Either way, Hogan's is the first Hollywood edition.)

You can find out more (and interesting) information about "Питер Пэн" (the Soviet Peter Pan movie) on this page from Neverpeida.

You can watch a clip from it below. (What ISN'T on YouTube?) The YouTube page of it has the lyrics translated as well.

Here are my thoughts:

(None of these are meant as complaints. Just observations as per what I'm used to or one would normally expect from the story.)

The Underground House set is quite wonderful — have to wonder about that bedspread, though.

Peter Pan's outfit is quite interesting - a far cry from the leaves. A little more like Disney's tunic and tights yet that doesn't come springing to mind at first either.

It's on the correct hand, but my word, what a different type of hook for the Captain! Very angular! It's almost (if not) scarier!

Unless he's been using a wig for the rest of it, I'm not so sure about Hook's haircut given this description from Barrie: ...his hair was dressed in long curls, which at a little distance looked like black candles, and gave a singularly threatening expression to his handsome countenance.

Hook is sufficiently creepy.

Peter's leg arching while he sleeps is a great touch, as you'll find that in Barrie. (Missing the arm over the bed, however.) One arm dropped over the edge of the bed, one leg was arched...

As for the music, it's a little (ahem!) 80's but then again, it came out in 1987. I do like the melody. And Hook singing isn't bad in the least. It's more of a gleefully evil singsong speak which to me seems more appropriate for the Captain.

I would love to be able to see the rest of this movie!

Thanks again to Jason A. Quest at Neverpedia as well a thank you to yamino4444 who posted it on YouTube.

UPDATE: Since came to realize - "Питер Пэн" had been made for TV - which also pencils in another reason Hogan can be considered the first, if we are talking about theatrical release.


Peter said...

Andrea Jones (author of Hook & Jill ) pointed out to me that Peter Pan still looks rather like a girl in this one...
which brought to mind another fascinating tidbit about this production. If we are to count it as the first live-action (with sound) movie of Peter Pan then we must also note that Sergey Vlasov* beat Jeremy Sumpter to the punch of the first boy to play Pan. (Various smaller/independent theatrical productions notwithstanding.)

*English translation of his name... and no offense is meant about his appearance!

Anonymous said...

Thought you might be interested in this trailer (or rather trailers) for the new movie based on Loisel's graphic novels, but not animated. Coming out soon in France.