On December 27, 1904 an apple-faced adolescent named Peter Pan invited Wendy Darling to join him in a place called Neverland along with his good-hearted gang, The Lost Boys. Famous adventures followed, involving an infamous showdown with an infamous privateer, Captain Hook. Director Joe Wright has fashioned a motion picture based on the exploits of Mr. Pan – titled, appropriately, “Pan” – and we here at Cinema Romantico have investigated the pertinent facts to determine where Mr. Wright sticks close to the truth and where he deviates.
Peter Pan. The real life Peter Pan quite famously dressed in “autumn leaves and cobwebs.” Does this look like autumn leaves and cobwebs to you? No, he just looks like Oliver Twist. That’s an entirely different kind of story altogether. Grade: F
Blackbeard. In “Pan”, Hugh Jackman’s Blackbeard kidnaps children and forces them to work in the mines of Neverland to harvest Pixum. Blackbeard, of course, was actually Edward Teach, a privateer turned pirate who caused mayhem in the West Indies and along the Atlantic coastline of the Americas after the War of Spanish Succession. While Blackbeard plundered many merchant ships, there are no verified accounts of his kidnapping children and it’s a historical absolute that he oversaw no Pixum mines. Grade: F
Jolly Roger. The Jolly Roger, of course, is the black flag adorned with a menacing skull and crossbones, flown by pirates to signal their nefariousness. And while the origin of the Jolly Roger is up for debate, we can authoritatively confirm the Jolly Roger was specifically a flag, never a ship. The Jolly Roger being presented as a ship in “Pan”, let alone a ship that can fly (ships, as is known, are specifically watercrafts), is monumental absurdity. Grade: F
Neverland. Neverland, as documented in many historical texts, was found in the minds of children. Neverland of “Pan” takes place in the mind of Joe Wright. He is 43 years old. He is not a child. Grade: F
Tick Tock the Crocodile. The infamous croc, his name bestowed upon him by Henry C. Mann, who first recounted the story in which the reptile bit off the hand of Captain for the Annapolis Herald, was “no bigger than an average croc.” Tick Tock the Crocodile in “Pan”, on the other hand, is the size of a dragon from feudal England. Grade: F
Pixum. In “Pan,” pixie dust is the street name for Pixum, a crystalline substance mined from deep within the earth that can restore youth. In reality, Pixum is a photo shop in Köln, Germany. Grade: F