Returning To Neverland With A Disney Legend

Full disclosure: Peter Pan is my favorite Disney movie, and has been since I first saw it at age 13. My son’s childhood room is decorated with Peter Pan artwork. So I jumped at the chance to visit the Disney Studios for its celebration of the release of the 65th Anniversary DVD/Blu-Ray release.

The visit included a rare chance to visit Walt Disney’s original offices, lovingly restored to their original state – right down to the pens and paper clips that were on his desk when he died in 1966.

Walt Disney’s working office at the Disney Studios in Burbank, CA on May 22, 2018. The room has been restored to its 1966 state by the Disney Archive. Photo by Lariel.

We were also given a chance to see some of the Peter Pan toys and collectibles kept by the Disney Archive, including a letter of praise for Peter Pan sent to Walt Disney by legendary filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille. (Disney was honored with the Cecile B. DeMille Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 1953, the year of Peter Pan’s original theatrical release.)

Letter from Cecil B. DeMille to Walt Disney, praising “Peter Pan.” Photo by Lariel.
Peter Pan memorabilia from the Disney Archive, Burbank, CA. Photo by Lariel.

But the highlight of the afternoon was getting to spend a few minutes with Disney Legend Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Wendy Darling in the film – and at Disney attractions. It’s her voice you hear calling out to Peter Pan in the Fantasmic! show at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

Beaumont was also the live-action reference model for Wendy, to help the animators bring the character to life – and she had a little bit of input for Tinker Bell, too. Beaumont was joined by author and Disney expert Mindy Johnson in a discussion with reporters about making the film, and the impact it had (along with her role as Alice in Alice in Wonderland). Check out the video below!

The new home video release gives Disney fans more behind-the scenes footage, deleted songs and much more. The special 65th Anniversary Edition of Peter Pan will be released on Digital and Movies Anywhere on May 29, 2018, and on Blu-Ray on June 5, 2018.

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