The Dark Herald Recommends Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy

The Dark Herald Recommends Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy

Disney’s latest live-action remake is the greatest version of Peter Pan ever!

Having spent a second sleepless night strung out on muscle relaxants and pain relievers, and a day in clown-room therapy has opened my eyes to the wonder, glory, and beauty of Disney’s live-action remakes.  The inversion of what some would call a classic and timeless story for children has been subverted and reimagined into a stunning and brave exploration into the darkest recesses of the human mind imaginable.

The story begins like any other version of Peter Pan showing the turn of the last century life of the Darling family.  However, our expectations are immediately overturned by Wendy Darling played (by a teenage clone of Milla Jovovich for some reason) is decrying her impending imprisonment in an English boarding school for girls. Wendy is a feminist heroine who must first battle disbelief in her and her exile to a boarding school is symbolic of the patarchy’s shackling of such a powerful girl like Wendy. True her family was scrimping to send her to the best school they could afford and every other girl of her class would have been expecting the same thing and would have known about going to a boarding school ever since she successfully learned to walk. But this ignores the fact that Wendy Darling is far too special to be educated as she undoubtedly already knows everything she will ever need to succeed in life by age 12.

Instead of being a pseudo-mother to her brothers and helping in their upbringing thus giving the impression that she will be a happy wife and mother, this Wendy engages in sword fights with her much younger brothers, effortlessly dominating the younger would-be male oppressors. At first, I thought it was just a cheesy and incompetent way to convince the audience that her impending effortless defeat of entire pirate gangs was remotely plausible. But after my third Tramadol in as many hours my mind was opened to the true vista of Wendy as a symbol for the hidden potential of suppressed Victorian women in Edwardian times.  

Wendy breaks a mirror with the sword and blames her brothers for it.  When her brothers look at her with hurt betrayal in their eyes, she coldly informs them, “You’re pirates, aren’t you?  You have to be ruthless.”  An unsophisticated eye would view this as the start of a story arc beginning with the baseline of Wendy being a complete and total shit to her brothers.  But remember, she is a feminist heroine and will therefore have no story arc, she is already perfect.  No there is a deeper reason for her actions.  

She IS being a good pseudo-mother to them by preparing them for the cruelties of life.  She knows that since they are clearly going to be a couple of quarts low on testosterone all their lives, their wives will betray them.  Worse still, Wendy has also seen the approaching storm clouds over Europe, when the Guns of August sound her brothers will both be of recruiting age.  If they are to be ready for the brutality of trench warfare she has to start shattering their preconceived notions of honor and fairness now.

Tinkerbell overhears Wendy and sprinkles her with Pixie Dust. You might mistake this for sympathy and kindness, but Pixie Dust is a devastating drug that ruins the lives and bank accounts of millions at theme parks every year.  It also seems to negatively affect the taste of many people on Twitter.  This effect may be permanent or it might not.  I couldn’t care less.  Now in the original story, Tinkerbell is a somewhat complex feminine character given to both deep love and deep jealousy.  So much so that Captain Hook eventually manipulates her into betraying Peter Pan.  Here she’s being portrayed by a black woman. Since this is a Diverse and Inclusive retelling of the story, Tinkerbell will have no flaws or drawbacks or any real character whatsoever.  Consequently, she can be completely ignored for the rest of the story.

In the next scene it’s election season in the Village and number Six is giving a speech where he tells the Villagers a truth they never hear, that, at one time everyone here held a position of a secret nature, and they were brought to this place to have that knowledge protected or extracted and how the fuck did I start watching The Prisoner?  Oh, it’s on my phone.  Fascinating device, about the only thing in the 21st century that is as cool as my childhood was promised.  Well, the TV is a lot more reliable than when I was a kid but I’m not convinced that’s a plus. What’s playing on the TV?  Peter Pan and Wendy? What is that?

Okay, they have gotten to Neverland.  Peter Pan is telling them about the various risks of the place.  Now this is where you have to use your brain.  You might think that the horrible acting of the brown child they have playing Peter Pan is a clever representation and transposition of your expectations regarding the performance potential of races that were Othered in the 19th century. But no, the kid is just a shit actor.  I keep hearing don’t be cruel to child actors but the truth is 90% are nowhere near talented enough to make it as an adult in the business.  Telling them they are not good enough when they are young is about the kindest thing you can do for them, considering what happens to most of them eventually.

A pity they couldn’t find a kid who is a better actor because this iteration of Peter Pan is actually only pretending to be the hero from our childhood stories.  When you get to know him better you realize Peter Pan is in fact a monster.   

The Pirates fire a canon at the side of the hill the children are on and it explodes killing all of them.

No wait, expectations subverted.  They clearly and obviously should have all died but Peter is protecting them with his demon magic.  Keeping his toys alive so he can play with them more. 

Wendy gets washed up on a beach and is found by the Lost Boys, some of whom are girls, and all of them are diverse.  Wendy says “I guess it doesn’t matter.”  In the original story, girls were too sensible to become Lost Boys, but here is the powerful and honest message for the youth of today, girls aren’t sensible at all.  Very brave messaging. For Disney especially. Also in the OG PP, Wendy, acting according to her maternal nature convinces them to grow up. Imposing a horrendous gender identity on boys who were going to be trench fodder in about a decade or so.  Also, I’m not sure about their gender identities here so I’ll just call them the Lost Things.

Princess Tiger Lilly rides up to the Lost Things. She is their leader and while she can speak English she keeps slipping into Cree, since my eyes kept slipping out of focus, I couldn’t read the subtitles so I was left with the hilarious impression that the Lost Things didn’t have the slightest idea what the hell she was saying but were just acting like they did.  You probably don’t want to know the conversations that I was assuring myself Tiger Lilly was having with herself regarding the Blood of the Innocent. All the while, the Lost Things just thought she was giving them common sense orders about things they knew needed to be done anyway.  The key to success was inside the Lost Things all along.  Which is why Tiger Lilly was secretly planning to cut it out of them.

It’s okay if it’s reparations.

The election is over, and Number Six has been elected Number Two.  This episode was written and directed by Patrick McGoohan himself revealing his attitudes towards the 1960s version of the uni-party damn it I’m watching my phone again.

Okay, the Darling children have been captured by the pirates.  We find out that in this version of the story that Captain Hook was once a Lost Thing himself but that he missed his mom so, he left Neverland but sadly, couldn’t find his way home.  Pirates took him in and raised him. Eventually, he came back to Neverland…

And Peter Pan cut off his hand for it. THEN he fed it to a fucking crocodile right in front of him!!!!

Freaking hell this thing is dark, it’s a Disney version of Squid Game.  I told you Peter Pan is a monster out of the lands of Fairy, he kidnaps children and drags them off to the last remaining realm of his kind yet untouched by the light of the White Christ. And he horribly punishes those that return to his land unbidden by him.  Hook is unquestionably the unsung hero of this story as he is locked in an eternal battle with a monster in the form of a child.

So, the pirates decide to make Wendy walk the plank. Now having happy thoughts is how you can make yourself fly.  So, Wendy attempts to do so.  She dreams of her life to be where she will learn to fly a plane, play the piano, become an incredibly successful writer, then die alone on a couch.  She will never have her proud father walk her down the aisle while a handsome young man beams at her on the happiest day of Wendy’s life.  She will never know the joy of holding her child’s hand as she takes her first step.  She is destined to die alone on a couch and not surrounded by grief-stricken grandchildren holding her trembling hand as she passes to the next life.  No, Wendy Darling is destined to go through this world miserable, alone, and forsaken of all.  The sum total of her life; a few books covered by a thick layer of dust in a college library and an untended Wikipedia entry.

But then Wendy realizes that this is the perfect feminist life and overcome with joy takes flight. Wendy and Peter Pan but mostly Wendy defeat the pirates.  Captain Hook falls to his death as represented by Ammit the Egyptian crocodile god-beast, the Devourer of Souls.  James Hook could not even have hope for the afterlife.  His was an entire life devoid of any joy or happiness because of the demon of fairy, called Peter Pan.

Wendy then sails the Jolly Roger back to the Darling house and informs her father that he will be taking care of all of the Lost Things.  Mister Darling secretly laughs at his daughter’s hilarious joke and makes a mental note to see the fellow who runs the workhouse, where the Lost Boys who are girls will be forcibly reminded that they are in fact girls and not boys.  The actual Lost Boys will be joining a generation of lost boys in the trenches and the Lost Boys who are in fact girls will be reduced to London’s back alley service industries. 

Horrible, yes. But wonderful in the older and darker sense of ‘wonder.’

This was the brilliant and daring, ultimate and penultimate subversion of a terrifying fairytale.  He may be a soulless abomination, but they were all better off in Neverland with Peter Pan.  

So come to Disney World where you can be in Neverland too.

WAIT! Number Six was Number One all along.  Oh, that is some kind of bullshit McGoohan. 

I thought it was the midget butler.

The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend (1/5)

Discuss on Social Galactic but not the Butler thing, save for the last of my Prisoner posts.

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