The story stars with Peter abandoned at an orphanage as an infant, wearing a pan pipe necklace. Twelve years later he’s become a brave, cocky boy, stuck in a terrible orphanage…from which he’s kidnapped by pirates, who carry him off to Neverland.
But no one can mistake this for a rescue—the pirates, led by Captain Blackbeard, put the orphans to work in a vast pixite mine digging for crystals of fairy dust. In the mine Peter meets the young, dashing and cynical James Hook, who later engineers their escape. He also comes to the attention of Blackbeard, who thinks Peter may be the child of prophecy who is destined to lead a rebellion against the pirates and free Neverland.
However, to earn the trust of the native tribe who can show him the way to the fairy stronghold, Peter will have to overcome his fear of heights and learn to fly.
Of course, he does eventually learn to fly, and his struggle to do so almost works as a character arc. But “almost works” describes so much of this movie that it’s a bit painful. It’s visually stunning, with magnificent special effect and costumes. On the down side, it has stock characters, pedestrian dialogue, and plot holes you could fly a pirate ship through. In fact, Pan is a textbook example of what happens to a movie when the producer goes all out on the special effects and skimps on the script. It is absolutely gorgeous…but it could have been so much more than “gorgeous.” And it isn’t.
We put the age range at about six and up—there was a lot of violence, but none of it was graphic. In fact, one of the cooler effects is that when a pirate shoots a tribesman the victim explodes into a cloud of colored dust. Younger kids, who aren’t as aware of good characterization and dialogue, may actually enjoy this movie more than their older siblings.
Overall, it scored three tickets from Anna-Maria (who really likes gorgeous visuals) and two tickets from Hilari (who can’t forgive flat dialogue.)
Check out our full video review: https://youtu.be/L0mAtiFXvFM
Hilari Bell and Anna-Maria Crum are two children’s book authors, who love kid movies and go to them for fun! Their YouTube channel is: Should I Take My Kid To This Movie, and you can also follow them on Facebook and their Twitter handle is Kid2Movies.