Sunday, August 28, 2011

"If Peter Pan were here, I'd set anchor in his heart!"

I think for my 3rd installment of my Capt. Hook series, I’m going to have to talk about the cartoon series Peter Pan and the Pirates. This series was broadcast on the Fox network in the early 1990’s and I was in love with it. In my Picturebook class, we read a text which discussed the reality of when popular stories are accompanied by different illustrations than the classic ones. For example, there are numerous renditions of The Wizard of Oz which have different illustrations than the famous WW Denslow ones, and there are more than a couple picturebook versions of The Velveteen Rabbit which do not have Margery Williams’ original pictures. In literature and film, Peter Pan is often depicted as having either blonde or light brown hair and outfitted in green. The Peter Pan from this series had long brown hair in a ponytail and wore brown. Wendy also looked quite different, wearing a pink dress instead of her usual white or light blue nightgown, and likewise, the Captain Hook from the series was a far cry from the traditional one.

For starters, he looks like he hulked up or hit the gym or something. Captain Hook is usually seen as leaner with a more dapper appearance. This Captain Hook is huge, and aside from his white ringlets and his lace cravat, there’s little reference to his gentlemanliness. He was voiced by Tim Curry which I cannot decide the significance of. True, Tim Curry’s terrifying clown character in Steven King’s IT gave me nightmares and established him in my mind as an actor capable of portraying terror on screen, but he’s also the guy that’s in Rocky Horror Picture Show, Annie and my personal favorite, Home Alone 2. Does Tim Curry’s involement make it more legitimate, or more ridiculous?

As you can see from his face, this Captain Hook was pretty angry most of the time. Rather than a calculating, cold-hearted villain, he seemed like more of a hot-head. I remember one episode in particular that really captured my imagination: Peter Pan and the lost boys find a skeletal hand still clutching a sword, and they relaize this is the hand that Peter famously severed from Hook’s body. I do not remember if they explain how it came to be there instead of in the crocodile’s innards, but this series was an alternate imagining of the story anyway.

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