review for Peter Pan on AllMovie

Peter Pan (1997)
by Mike Cummings review

Filmed before a live audience, this video adaptation of Peter Pan captures the magic of the long-running Broadway stage show on which it is based. Former American gymnast Cathy Rigby portrays Peter, as she did in the Broadway hit in the 1990s. Those who have never seen her perform will be delightfully surprised with her versatility. Not only does she frolic and dance with Olympian athletic ability, but she also sings marvelously (rumors that she lip-synchs are untrue) and speaks with a bloody good British accent to boot. But above all, it is her exuberance as the high-flying, ever-mischievous Peter that captivates the audience. When she zooms through the window of the Darling family's nursery for the first time, dive-bombing and flip-flopping, she establishes a joyful rapport with the audience that does not let up until the final curtain comes down. Oh, yes, there are those who prefer the legendary Mary Martin as Peter, maintaining that she played the role with more poignancy during her Broadway run in the 1950s. But, aw heck -- the Rigby version is fun, and kids seem to love it. The 104-minute video, directed by Glen Castle, features movie-quality special effects and wonderful song-and-dance numbers, including "I'm Flying" and "I Won't Grow Up."