Kids love fantasy, and it’s not hard to see why. Fantastical adventures, otherworldly beasts, child heroes, and exotic locales capture their youthful imaginations and inspire them to play out their own versions of the tales of derring-do that they see onscreen. The best fantasy pictures have a sense of magic about them, bringing the stuff of dreams to life in sweeping, vivid color. If only for 90 minutes at a time, they allow youngsters to escape into a more exciting and lively world.
The executives at Warner Bros. know better than to believe that sentimental nonsense, however; what the kids really want is backstory and closure. As anyone who’s ever tried to explain something to a child already knows, children absolutely love explanations. When little ones first met perpetually boyish scamp Peter Pan in Disney’s 1953 animated classic, naturally, their first questions concerned why and how Peter Pan got to Neverland and became the de facto leader of the Lost Boys. Watching the mustachioed Captain Hook buckle the ol’ swash with Peter Pan, children wondered whether or not this villain might harbor a gentler, softer past. Perhaps as a miner. And what of Peter Pan’s greatest ally, Tiger Lilly? What’s to stop her from being a white person, other than the fact that she’s clearly part of a native tribe?
Joe Wright’s Pan will answer all these questions, and some that children didn’t even think to ask (or want answered). You may have thought that passage to Neverland was as simple as taking the second star to the right and going straight on ’til morning, but you’d be wrong. You’ve got to pass by tiny planets and huge gobs of water suspended in midair. It looks a bit like Canada. Close your eyes very tight, think happy thoughts, and hit play on the trailer below. (Feel free to continue closing your eyes and thinking happy thoughts as it plays):
The trail of the tape
Director: Joe Wright
Screenwriter: Jason Fuchs
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried, Garrett Hedlund, Levi Miller
Release date: October 9, 2015
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “Is this Canada?”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
We’ve already learned so much from this trailer alone! He’s not called Peter Pan because he has a passion for cookware, or feels romantic attraction irrespective of gender identity. It’s all because his mom gave him a pan flute pendant! That settles that. Moving right along: Peter becomes king of the locals because he possesses a necklace in the correct shape (which I believe is also how they appoint Prime Ministers in Australia), pre-captain Hook has the first name of James, and he’s also hot for the area mermaids. The Darling family has yet to be seen, though Amanda Seyfried’s casting as Mary would suggest that they play an integral role in the film. And let’s not forget Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, the reigning pirate regent. But then, how did he become the sea scourge that he is during the events of the film? I call for backstory to the backstory!