Peter Pan (2003 Film)
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Peter Pan 2003 Film

Peter Pan
Peter Pan 2003 film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byP. J. Hogan
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onPeter and Wendy
by J. M. Barrie
Narrated bySaffron Burrow
Music byJames Newton Howard
CinematographyDonald McAlpine
Edited by
Distributed by
Release date
  • 18 December 2003 (Australia)
  • 24 December 2003 (United Kingdom)
  • 25 December 2003 (United States)
Running time
113 minutes[2]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$130.6 million[3]
Box office$122 million[4]

Peter Pan is a 2003 fantasy adventure film directed by P.J. Hogan and written by Hogan and Michael Goldenberg. The screenplay is based on the play and novel Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J.M. Barrie. Jason Isaacs plays the dual roles of Captain Hook and George Darling, Olivia Williams plays Mrs. Darling, while Jeremy Sumpter plays Peter Pan, Rachel Hurd-Wood plays Wendy Darling, and Ludivine Sagnier plays Tinker Bell. Lynn Redgrave plays a supporting role as Aunt Millicent, a new character created for the film.

After completing the script, Hogan and Goldenberg were given approval by Great Ormond Street Hospital, who held the rights to Barrie's story. Principal photography took place in Australia at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast, Queensland from September 2002 to May 2003.

Peter Pan premiered at the Empire in Leicester Square, London on 9 December 2003 and was theatrically released by Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Revolution Studios in the United Kingdom on 24 December 2003 and in the United States on 25 December 2003. The film received positive reviews from critics but grossed $122 million worldwide. With an estimated budget of $130.6 million, the film was a box office bomb resulting in a $70-95 million loss.


In the nursery of the Darling household located in Edwardian era London, Wendy Darling tells stories of Cinderella and Peter Pan to her younger brothers John and Michael before their Aunt Millicent's arrival. Judging Wendy to be an "almost" full-grown woman, Aunt Millicent advises Mr. and Mrs. Darling that Wendy should spend less time in the nursery. At school, Wendy daydreams about having seen Peter in the night, and, is in trouble with her teacher who sends a letter via boy messenger to Wendy's father at the bank. Wendy tries to stop him, along with the family's "nurse" dog Nana, but embarrasses her father in front of his superiors. As a punishment, Mr. Darling chains Nana outside and declares that it is time for Wendy to grow up.

Peter visits the nursery looking for his shadow, which Nana had bitten off, and introduces himself to Wendy. Wendy sews his shadow back on. Peter invites her and her brothers to Neverland, where Wendy can tell stories to his gang of Lost Boys. They agree and are taught to fly using Tinker Bell's fairy dust. Nana breaks free from her chain and leads Mr. and Mrs. Darling back home from a party, but they arrive too late to stop the children. The children fly to Neverland. Captain Hook and his crew are alerted to Peter's return and fire their cannons, which knock Wendy far away and cause Michael and John to fall towards the island. Tinker Bell reaches the hideout as Wendy is still falling from the sky, and out of jealousy, tricks the Lost Boys into shooting Wendy with an arrow. The boys learn the truth and confess to Peter, but Wendy has not been killed as the arrow hit the acorn necklace hung around her neck. Angrily, Peter banishes Tinker Bell and ends their friendship.

When Wendy awakens, the Lost Boys beg her to be their mother, which she accepts. They blindfold her and lead her to their hideout, but she finally realises her brothers are missing. Michael and John encounter the Native American princess Tiger Lily and all three are then captured by Hook and his crew, and taken to the Black Castle. Wendy and Peter visit the mermaids' lagoon for help in locating Tiger Lily, John, and Michael. At the Black Castle, Peter and Hook engage in a duel, but it is stopped when the ticking crocodile arrives and tries to eat Hook, allowing the children to all escape.

That night, after a celebration at the Native American camp, Peter shows Wendy the fairies' home and the two share a dance. Hook spies on the two and soon comes across Tinker Bell, who is still hurt and upset from being banished, and charms her into telling him more about Peter and Wendy. Peter becomes upset with Wendy after she tries to get him to express his feelings. He tells her to leave, refusing to believe that he can ever love and never grow up. Hook finds Wendy sleeping and carries her to his ship. There, he tries to entice her to become a pirate, and sends a spy to follow her to the Lost Boys' underground hideout afterwards. Wendy tells her brothers that the three of them will be going home and are joined by the Lost Boys, which upsets Peter. She leaves him a cup of "medicine" and tells him not to forget to take it.

As Wendy and the other children leave the hideout, they are captured by Hook's crew. Hook enters the hideout; unable to reach the sleeping Peter, he instead poisons Peter's medicine. When Peter is about to drink the medicine Tinker Bell intervenes and drinks the poison instead, and is about to die. Peter asserts his belief in fairies, which reaches out to children sleeping around the world, bringing Tinker Bell back to life. Peter and Tinker Bell save Wendy and the boys from walking the plank by the pirates and a battle soon breaks out. Hook uses fairy dust to fight Peter in a duel while flying and taunts him about Wendy abandoning him and forgetting all about him when she grows up. Weakened by those thoughts and unable to fight, Peter Pan is almost defeated. A kiss from Wendy revives Peter and he finally defeats Hook, who falls into the jaws of the crocodile.

With the ship covered in fairy dust, Peter flies Wendy and the boys back to London. Mr. and Mrs. Darling are overjoyed at the return of their children, and adopt the Lost Boys. Slightly, who got lost on the way to London and arrives at the house too late, is adopted by Aunt Millicent. Peter promises never to forget Wendy and to return some day before heading back to Neverland with Tinker Bell. Wendy, as the adult narrator, claims she never saw Peter again, but she continues to tell his story to her own children and grandchildren so that his legacy will last forever.


  • Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan: a young boy who does not want to grow up. Unlike other versions, Peter's feelings and even his mere presence affect various aspects of the weather.
  • Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook: the Captain of the Jolly Roger and Peter's archenemy as Peter cut off Hook's hand and fed it to a crocodile which has followed Hook ever since.
    • In one of the few aspects faithful to stage tradition, Isaacs also portrays George Darling, the Darlings' father.
  • Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy Darling: the eldest child of the Darling family and a surrogate mother to the Lost Boys and her younger brothers, John and Michael.
    • Saffron Burrows plays the adult Wendy, who narrates the film. Burrows appears in the deleted epilogue.
  • Lynn Redgrave as Aunt Millicent: the maternal aunt of the three Darling children. Aunt Millicent is an original character created for the film.
  • Richard Briers as Mr. Smee: Hook's humorous first-mate.
  • Olivia Williams as Mrs. Mary Darling: the matriarch of the Darling family.
  • Harry Newell as John Darling: the middle child of the Darling family.
  • Freddie Popplewell as Michael Darling: the youngest child of the Darling family.
  • Ludivine Sagnier as Tinker Bell: Peter's fairy companion who is jealous of Wendy.
  • Rebel as Nana: the dog nurse of the Darling family.
  • Carsen Gray as Tiger Lily: the daughter of a Native American chief.
  • Kerry Walker as Miss Fulsom: a strict schoolteacher.
  • Mathew Waters as the Messenger Boy.
  • The Lost Boys:
  • The Pirate Crew:



The film is dedicated to Dodi Al-Fayed, who was executive producer of the 1991 film Hook. Al-Fayed planned to produce a live action version of Peter Pan, and shared his ideas with Princess Diana (who was President of Great Ormond St Hospital), who said she "could not wait to see the production once it was underway." Al-Fayed's father, Mohammed Al-Fayed, co-produced the 2003 adaptation of the tale after his son died in the car crash which also killed Princess Diana.[5]Finding Neverland, a film about J. M. Barrie and the creation of Peter Pan, was originally scheduled to be released in 2003, but the producers of this film - who held the screen rights to the story - refused permission for that film to use scenes from the play unless its release was delayed until the following year.[]


Contrary to the traditional stage casting, the film featured a young boy in the title role. Since the first stage production of the story, the title role has usually been played by a woman, a tradition followed in the first film adaptation. Two subsequent animated adaptations have featured a male voice actor as Peter Pan, and a Soviet live-action film adaptation for television cast a boy to play the role. This film was the first live-action theatrical release with a boy playing the part. The casting of a single actor to play both George Darling and Captain Hook follows a tradition also begun in the first staging of the play.


Principal photography began on 17 September 2002 and concluded on 5 May 2003, taking place entirely inside sound stages on Australia's Gold Coast, Queensland.[6][7] According to Fisher, the decision to shoot in Australia was based on the low value of the Australian dollar at that time.[7] Hogan had originally planned on filming in a variety of locations such as Tahiti, New Zealand, and London but abandoned this idea after scouting some of the locations.[8] Filming on sound stages did help "retain some of the theatricality of the original play", something which Hogan thought was important.[9]

Visual effects

The visual effects in the film are a mixture of practical and digital. The fairies that appear in the film are actors composited into the film with some digital enhancements. According to actor Jason Isaacs, the filmmakers were impressed with actress Ludivine Sagnier's performance and decided to abandon their plans to make Tinker Bell entirely computer animated.[10] The film also features a large, computer-generated crocodile. Another character, an animatronic parrot, appears in some scenes on the pirate ship. A complex harness was built to send the live-action actors rotating and gliding through the air for the flight sequences. They were then composited into the shots of London and Neverland, although they are sometimes replaced with computer-generated figures. One other aspect of bringing the story to life was the complex sword-fighting sequences, for which the actors were trained. Sumpter said that, "I had to train for five months before the shoot. I had to do harness training to learn how to fly and learn how to swordfight," and that, "I got stabbed a couple of times with a sword."[11] Hogan says that the flying scenes were very difficult to accomplish, but that, "it was tougher on the kids than it was for me. They were up there on the harness 12' off the ground, having to make it look like flying is easy and fun."[12] Sumpter grew several inches over the course of the film's production, requiring staging tricks to retain Hook's height advantage over Peter in face-to-face scenes late in the process. Hollywood-based producer Lucy Fisher also said that, "The window he flies out of had to be enlarged twice."[10]


This film was released in theatres on 22 November 2003 in Australia, on 24 December 2003 in the United Kingdom and on 25 December 2003 in the United States. Universal Pictures distributed the film in France and in all countries where English was the primary language, while Columbia Pictures released the film in the rest of the world.


For the promotion of the film, the original novel of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie was re-released displaying the film's promotional material. A video game based on the film was released for Game Boy Advance on 4 November 2003, receiving mixed reviews from critics.


Critical response

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 77% based on 144 reviews, and an average rating of 6.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Solid if far from definitive, this version of Peter Pan is visually impressive, psychologically complex and faithful to its original source."[13] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14]

Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half out of four stars.[15]MovieGuide has also favourably reviewed the film, calling it "a wonderfully crafted, morally uplifting movie that intentionally emphasizes the fantasy elements of the story both in dialogue and design of the film."[16]

Box office

Peter Pan earned $48,462,608 at the box office in the United States and another $73.5 million outside the US, which brings the worldwide total to nearly $122 million.[4] It faced competition from the highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King released the week before, and Cheaper by the Dozen, which opened on the same day.


Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 Jeremy Sumpter Best Performance by a Younger Actor Won
Best Fantasy Film Nominated
Rachel Hurd-Wood Best Performance by a Younger Actor Nominated
Janet Patterson Best Costumes Nominated

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 Peter Pan Best Family Film - Live Action Nominated

Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 Rachel Hurd-Wood Best Youth in Film Nominated

Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 Peter Pan Best Live Action Family Film Nominated
Jeremy Sumpter Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Male Nominated

Visual Effects Society Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 Yusei Uesugi

Giles Hancock

Outstanding Matte Painting in a Motion Picture Nominated
Ludivine Sagnier Outstanding Performance by a Male or Female Actor in an Effects Film Nominated

Young Artist Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2004 Jeremy Sumpter Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Won
Peter Pan Best Family Feature Film - Drama Won
Rachel Hurd-Wood Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress Nominated
Harry Newell Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Nominated
Carsen Gray Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Nominated


  1. ^ "Peter Pan (2003): Full Production Credits". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Peter Pan (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 9 December 2003. Retrieved 2016.
  3. ^ "'Gigli's' Real Price Tag - Or, How Studios Lie About Budgets". The Wrap.
  4. ^ a b "Peter Pan (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009.
  5. ^ "Dodi Al-Fayed - Peter Pan". Archived from the original on 20 June 2011. The first step was for Dodi to negotiate an extension of the rights granted by the hospital to his father. He was in the process of doing that when he was killed.
  6. ^ "Peter Pan goes to Queensland". The Age. 27 June 2002. Retrieved 2019.
  7. ^ a b Mitchell, Peter (23 December 2003). "Dark days loom for Aussie film industry". The Age. Australia: The Age Company Ltd. Retrieved 2008.
  8. ^ Whipp, Glenn (29 December 2003). "Latest 'Pan' film lets boys be boys, preserves spirit of classic". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2008.[dead link]
  9. ^ Ramshaw, Mark. "Peter Pan: Hook, Line and Tinker". VFXWorld. AWN, Inc. Retrieved 2004.
  10. ^ a b Wloszczyna, Susan (7 August 2003). "A Mature Peter Pan". USA Today. Retrieved 2008.
  11. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Interview with 'Peter Pan' Star, Jeremy Sumpter". Archived from the original on 29 September 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  12. ^ Murray, Rebecca. "Director PJ Hogan Discovers Neverland With 'Peter Pan'". Archived from the original on 11 June 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  13. ^ "Peter Pan (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Peter Pan Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (24 December 2003). "Peter Pan Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 2014.
  16. ^ "PETER PAN | Movieguide | Movie Reviews for Christians". Movieguide | The Family & Christian Guide to Movie Reviews. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 2017.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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