Peter Pan: Signature Collection

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Disney;
Animated;
$39.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘G.’
Voices of Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Paul Collins, Tommy Luske.

One thing Disney has been doing more frequently with its Blu-ray re-releases of its animated classics is making the legacy bonus material available through the digital edition, for which a code is included with the disc. So featurettes or deleted scenes that were available on the previous disc version of the film are accessible through Movies Anywhere or other digital retailers, though the content tends to vary depending on who’s offering it.

The degree to which this material is left off the disc tends to vary, however, depending on how much the new material takes up space on the disc. This could be somewhat frustrating to fans and collectors who want the new extras but may be wary of swapping out the version they have in their collection because they like having those extras on physical media, just in case.

For the new “Signature Collection” of 1953’s Peter Pan, it seems most of the previously released material managed to survive the cut to be included on the latest disc, which should be a relief to collectors for the most part, even though there are a few extras that didn’t make it to the latest round.

Compared with the 2013 “Diamond Edition” Blu-ray, the most notable omission is the introduction by Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney-Miller. However, since she passed away in 2013 a few months after that Blu-ray came out, it’s perfectly understandable why it wouldn’t be included this time.

The other notable extra that was left behind is the “Disney Intermission” function, during which a secondary video depicting fun activities will start to play whenever the movie is paused. Given that this somewhat defeats the purpose of pausing the movie, leaving it out also makes sense.

But almost all the rest of the legacy material is here, from comprehensive “Backstage Disney” documentaries to deleted scenes, and even the optional “DisneyView” that frames the movie between illustrations based on the film rather than the black bars that would appear on widescreen TVs because the film was cut in the 4:3 standard of its era.

The animation remains bright and vivid, and appears to be the same transfer from the 2013 version, though the film has garnered some attention in recent years for how its depiction of Indians rubs up against the PC sensibilities of an expanding sub-culture of social media.

The new material amounts to a few short supplements that reflect on the making of the film and why Walt wanted to do it. The most prominent is the latest of the “Stories From Walt’s Office” vignettes that have been appearing on these Signature Collection releases. This one is called “Walt & Flight” and is a four-minute look at Walt’s love of airplanes and flying in them.

The disc also turns up the sentiment with “A Darling Conversation With Wendy & John,” a new, eight-minute retrospective conversation between actors Kathryn Beaumont and Paul Collins, who voiced Wendy and John in the film.

The disc also includes sing-along versions of two songs: the film’s signature theme “You Can Fly” and the deleted sequence “Never Smile at a Crocodile.”

The sing-alongs should be fun for younger viewers, while the healthy mix of old and new bonus material should satisfy older fans looking to add this to their collection or upgrade from the 2013 version.

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