Peter Pan


 Peter Pan was one of those movies everyone has seen growing up. Everyone has seen Peter Pan and he is a childhood classic. I remember watching Peter Pan at a young age and really enjoying the movie. On February 5th, the Disney Company re-released the film on Blu-ray. The movie does feature some of the most iconic characters in movie history, like Captain Hook. That does not mean that every character is easy to remember. For example, I totally forgot about the Indian chief and the tribe till I recently re-watched it. For a movie being made it 1953, it had top notch video quality. The audio from the movie was, also, very high in quality. What ever Walt Disney did to get this kind of quality from a movie, especially one so old, deserves to be remembered.

After watching it, I changed my mind about it. As a kid the movie took me on a journey and it was pleasantly remembered, but as an adult that changed. More specifically, the part when Peter Pan meets a tribe of Native Americans. Once the Native Americans are on screen they sing and dance to a song called “What Makes the Red Man Red.” Through out the song the Native Americans refer to themselves as Injun, Injun is a derogatory term for an Native American. The song says that the Native Americans got there skin color from blushing after being kissed. The list goes on though, first, Captain Hook Refers to the tribe as “redskins.” “Redskins” is another derogatory word for Native Americans. Secondly, the tribe carry’s Tomahawks and they are covered in war paint. The tribe is displayed as being borderline animals and do not act humanly. Not only are they showed acting like animals, but the Lost Boys are hunting them. Thankfully, the Lost Boys are captured and sent to be burned at the stake unless his daughter return. The daughter, Tiger Lily returns and the Lost Boys are set free.

In the sequel to Peter Pan, the Native Americans do not return. After some research, I did find some articles and it made it seem like the director of the film apologized for how the Native Americans were portrayed in the movie. However, most of the articles came from papers I never website I never heard of and included no sources. The real problem is the time difference between the time Peter Pan was released and the time the movie was remastered. Now the Indian part is racist, but, back in 1953, it was accpetable for the time.


2 thoughts on “Peter Pan

  1. I agree the representations of Native Americans are extremely troubling in Peter Pan–it’s often a struggle how to watch something “classic” but at the same time teach and critique the troubling representations. How would relate these a bit more to some of the concepts from class, for example, how it affects children?

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