Peter Pan for the Potter Generation
The Darling family love it every night when young Wendy (Rachel Hurd-Wood) delights the family with her fantasy tales of adventure doing battle with pirates. But one snowy night the adventure comes to her when Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter) flies into her bedroom in search of his shadow and ends up taking the Darling children on the most marvellous of adventures to Neverland where he lives with the Lost Boys, Tink (Ludivine Sagnier) and does battle with his nemesis, Captain Hook (Jason Isaacs).
Here is a simple rule; remakes should only be made if they can improve on what has gone before, be it a better version of the story or taking advantage of technological advances to create what previous versions couldn't quite do whilst appealing to a new generation. And it is because of this rule that the 2003 version of "Peter Pan" is a success as thanks to technology the fantasy world of Neverland comes to life in a way which had never been done before. And that makes it a great movie for its intended family audience because visually it offers something for everyone from the fantasy Neverland to the recreation of the Darling's Edwardian home.
But "Peter Pan" works for more reasons that being visually attractive and thanks to clever casting and good direction not only is it humorous but the humour becomes a natural part of the story. It means you are never far away from a laugh but more often than not the laugh seems to appear out of nowhere. It is why despite the story of "Peter Pan" being so well known that you find yourself becoming hooked on the movie as if you are discovering the story for the first time.
But what this version of "Peter Pan" has which makes it stand out is teen tribulations as we have Wendy crushing on Peter Pan in a major way. The looks which Rachel Hurd-Wood gives as Wendy and the glint in the eye which Jeremy Sumpter has are spot on. I don't want to say sexual chemistry but there was certainly chemistry as they have the look of two people who have been friends for a long time and are now having the strange feelings which a teenager doesn't full understand. It still sounds wrong to say sexual chemistry but it is very close to that and it really brings their characters to life. That is also what Jason Isaacs does giving Hook that look and tension of a man obsessed and on the edge of losing it.
What this all boils down to is that this 2003 version of "Peter Pan" is exactly what a new adaptation/ remake should be because it improves on what has been done before and in this case improves on things all round. But what this version of "Peter Pan" has is chemistry and a sense of sexual awareness as we have both Wendy and Peter dealing with their confusing feelings for each other.