Friday 3 September 2010

"Good Form Mr Smee?"

"Good form???

Did Pan show good form when he did this to me?

Cut off my hand and through it to the crocodile. The cursed beast like the taste of it so much, he's followed me around ever since... Licking his chops for the rest of me."

My brother and I could recite copious portions of Walt Disney's Peter Pan to each other although we hadn't as yet seen the film. This being in the days when you had to wait for the studio to re-release the film and send it out on the cinema circuit during the three year production hiatus whilst the people in the Mouse Factory located in sunny Burbank California got on with their next animated epic. But the reason we could so unerringly conjure up the script of Peter Pan was, that Disney obsessed weirdos that we were, we actually had (gulp) an LP of Peter Pan complete with glucky voice over...

Cue Peter Pan theme intro:

"This is your Disneyland storyteller bringing you the story of Peder Pan."

Cue heavenly choir:

"Long, long ago in a liddle etc, etc...

Yup them's were the days when the were no DVDs, no computers, no videos, all you had was a black and white TV where you would occasionally see excerpts of these (to us) lost classics of yesteryear animation. In fact we were so desperate for more of these animated wonders that we would record the soundtrack of the Christmas and Bank Holiday Disney Time's on an old Grundig tape recorder, so in our heads and aided by whatever scraps of visual stimuli we could acquire, we would run the film.

As mentioned in a previous posting, it was possible to get hold of song books of films such as Peter Pan to help add to the visual stimuli required for smooth imaginary running of these animated classics.

So here without further ado is...

Peter Pan in all his mono and spot color glory.

All images © Walt Disney Productions 2010.


  1. I've always wondered what could have possessed the guys at Disney when they decided to make their version of Tinkerbell quite so... er, *well-developed*. As it is her image seems to have haunted the erotic dreams of a whole generation of pre-pubescent boys, to the extent that in later life some of them may never have been able to find a real-life woman who quite matched up to their early fantasies.

    Personally I wasn't even born when Disney's Peter Pan was released in 1953, but if I were I suspect that I'd have been just as captivated by the comic-strip serialization that British readers were treated to in the same year on the back page of Odhams' Mickey Mouse Weekly:

    ...According to those clever eurofolks at Inducks this beautiful strip was drawn by none other than Ronald Neilson - last seen on this very website in the company of fellow Disney artist (and creative powerhouse behind Wulf) Ron Embleton! As a storyman at Stratford Abbey Films it seems clear that Neilson was uniquely skilled in adapting animation techniques (particularly his sumptuously painted backdrops) to the comic strip format.

  2. ...And while I'm at it here are two more details from Neilson's Peter Pan strip: one in which Cap'n Hook is pursued by his crocodilian nemesis, and another in which Pan follows him to a particularly forboding island:

    ...Wonderful stuff!

  3. Phil - many thanks!!!

    I'm a bit overcome really, not to mention totally in awe of your terrier like ability to track down rare and exquisite gems such as Ron Nielson's amazing artwork.

  4. I had a 33rpm record of the Daleks vs the Mechanoids episode of Dr Who (sans Dr Who theme and TARDIS sound fx, for some odd copyright reason) as well as a collection of tapes I made myself of Fireball XL5. Kids today, eh - think they've got it all with their DVDs and colour HD big screen tellys, but we were only a generation or two from hand-cranked wax cylinders - and we had it made :)

  5. Aye Dave. Them's were the days!

    Talking of 33rpm records I actually had several of the Woody artworked LPs, "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and "War of the Worlds".

    Must check to see if I still have them.

  6. Peter, I'd forgotten all about those LPs. They used to be advertised in the back of FMOF and I was saving up for one, but when the fateful day came I suddenly decided to buy the reel of film from Creature From The Black Lagoon instead. I still don't know why, as we didn't own a projector!

  7. Aha Dave, you have just reminded me about my "Horror of Dracula" 8mm film which at a gargantuan 200 feet ran for about 7 minutes, with an accompanying floppy plastic 33 rpm soundtrack EP which you had to time to start at the same moment as the films started rolling.

    Now them's really were the days!

    Eeeeeh Bah Goom!