After seven years since it first started releasing movies in the High-Definition Blu-ray format, Disney has finally gone to the vault to update and restore one of its greatest classics: Peter Pan.
Held over -- and well worth the wait -- for the film's 60th anniversary, the Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy is a true gem and a must have for Disney fans and collectors alike. Pop in the Blu-ray and you'll be thinking happy thoughts as you fly off to Never Land. And you won't need any of Tink's Pixie Dust to get there with the magic of this hi-def adventure.
The all new digital restoration is bright, colorful and crystal clear in both picture and sound; and, like Blu-ray predecessors Pinocchio and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, it includes the option to get rid of those black bars on the left and right sides of the screen with Disney View. Since the film was originally shot in the 1.33:1 format it doesn't come close to filling the screens of the newer 16:9 high-definition TV screens, so turning on Disney View replaces the bars with custom artwork themes created just for the film. The themes change as the scenes and moods do, adding an extra vibrancy to the experience.
Another great feature is the all-new "Disney Intermission," which doubles the entertainment value when the movie is paused, adding 30-minutes of pirate-themed games, songs and animations to keep little ones' attention if a break in the movie is necessary. Activities include hunting for Pan's shadow, a shell game, reading smoke signals and "Pirate Training."
As for the extras, Disney dug deep into the vault and came up with a pair of deleted scenes and two new songs to add to the release. Unfortunately the two deleted scenes, "The Journey Home" and "Alternate Arrival," were never filmed; but full audio and storyboards with drawings of how the scene would have played out tell these short bits of the story.
Two new songs (old, actually) "Never Smile At A Crocodile" (which was actually made famous by the likes of Jerry Lewis and the Muppets) and "The Boatswain Song" are also set to storyboards but include the lyrics and some raw animation to go along with them.
Peter Pan's standout extra, though, is the documentary "Growing Up With Nine Old Men," which focuses on Walt Disney's core of nine animators as told through stories from their children, now all grown up and in their golden years. All nine only worked together on three Disney films.
Lastly, several of the special features that were a part of the 2007 Platinum Edition release are also included, like "You Can Fly: The Making of Peter Pan" and "Tinker Bell: A Fairy's Tale"; Walt Disney explaining why he chose to bring Peter Pan from the stage to the screen and the 1952 featurette "The Peter Pan Story." They're all gems; however, they're all in standard definition. One of the pluses, though, is that the footage from the film used in "You Can Fly: The Making of Peter Pan" is pre-restoration, so you get a good look at how amazing the upgraded picture and sound really are.
Join the Darling children -- Wendy, John and Michael -- as they fly of with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell to Never Land for the adventure of a lifetime in the Peter Pan Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, released Tuesday, February 5, 2013. "Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning!"
Blast from the past: be sure to check out the below slideshow below, featuring 1950s live action reference photographs from the Walt Disney Studio Vault!