Do you believe in fairies? On February 5th, 1953, Walt Disney’s classic Peter Pan premiered in theaters, delivering an animated adventure set in the fantastical world of Neverland. 

Based on the 1904 play Peter Pan by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie, Walt Disney’s version features the adventures of Wendy Darling and her brothers, John and Michael, as they are whisked away to Neverland by The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, Peter Pan and his pixie companion Tinker Bell. During their adventures, the Darlings meet mischievous mermaids, sword-wielding pirates, and the rowdy Lost Boys, that desperately need a mother. Audiences of all ages were introduced to an array of colorful characters meant to capture the imagination and invoke the innocence of being a child. 

Walt Disney was inspired by Paramount Picture’s silent film version of Peter Pan in 1924. Disney had to postpone development and focus on other projects until he could acquire the proper ownership. As the fourteenth full-length animated film produced by Disney, Peter Pan was a worldwide hit. Tinker Bell became the unofficial Disney mascot, representing the magic Disney presents in each movie.

I don’t recall how old I was when I first watched Disney’s version of Peter Pan, but I remember always being delighted by the idea of never growing up. I was enchanted by the idea of going to a far-off place where I could meet mermaids, fight pirates, fly with fairies, and never grow up. But since growing up is a part of life, I decided to keep my inner child alive instead. I love the story Peter Pan presents, and although they are some things that could certainly be changed, I think Disney did a great job explaining the call to adventure that Neverland presents.

If you loved Disney’s 1953 animated edition of Peter Pan, keep an eye out for the live-action reimagining of Peter Pan and Wendy, designated for Disney+ later this year. Peter will be played by British actor Alexander Molony as part of his film debut, while American actress and daughter of Milla Jovovich Ever Anderson will play Wendy. Anderson’s first film debut was Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in 2016, playing the younger version of the series protagonist Alice. I loved the Resident Evil series, so I am excited to see what Ever Anderson brings to the table as Wendy Darling. I’m curious to see what new spins Peter Pan and Wendy offer. 

Funko’s Loungefly will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Disney’s Peter Pan with a new collection of fandom-inspired fashion. Some Loungefly products are limited in stock, so if you’re interested in owning Peter Pan merch, check out their website and find what suits you. There are backpacks, wallets, crossbody bags, and pins, so you’ve got options!

If you’re interested in learning more about what Disney has in store for 2023, check out Natalie’s article, Celebrating 100 Years of Disney. Her article has a lot of good information about Disney parks, merch, and upcoming films like Wish.

How do you plan to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Peter Pan? Tell us in the comments below.