J.M. Barrie’s classic story is—among many things—about a flying boy who refuses to grow up and a young girl whose elders insist she must. This live-action version enhances the storybook allure, whimsy, danger, adventure and literary nature of Barrie’s play and book with exhilarating special effects and some poetic license from director P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend’s Wedding
) and his co-writer, Michael Goldenberg (Contact
). The film begins in Edwardian London. Wendy enthralls her brothers, John and Michael, with tales of Peter Pan and pirates. Peter lurks outside their window. Wendy discovers him when he enters the Darling home in search of his runaway shadow. With the help of fairy dust, Peter then entices the young Darlings to fly to Neverland, a fantasy island inhabited by mermaids, Indians, pirates, fairies, the Lost Boys and a ticking crocodile. The film is saturated with visual wonders, and the cast is excellent. Like Wendy’s storytelling, it is one of those rare films that can be enjoyed over and over again.