What’s New on Disney+ in April 2023
For decades, it has been generally agreed upon that while it may be a truly magical animated film, the racial politics of Disney’s 1953 classic Peter Pan are, uh, not great. If you haven’t seen it in a while, may I refresh your memory with a link to the song in which Native American-inspired characters with feathers in their hair and skin the color of a boiled hot dog sing, “What Makes the Red Man Red”? Actually, you know what, you probably don’t need to see it.
It only follows that Disney’s contemporary live-action remake–the next in line after Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King, et al–would, among other changes to make a 77-minute movie into a proper full-length blockbuster, try to be a bit less racist and a bit more inclusive. Naturally, when the trailer for the Disney+ original film, now retitled Peter Pan & Wendy, dropped a few weeks back, everyone responded to these revisions with understanding and enthusiasm.
No, actually, conservative media jumped on the film as the latest inconsequential front in an endless culture war, in which anything that doesn’t forward 1950s-era “values” gets labeled “woke” and inspires a Tucker Carlson rant. Never mind that the film–from David Lowry, who made the gorgeous fantasy The Green Knight a few years back–looks very pretty, and seems poised to introduce enough changes that it might actually have a reason to exist (which is more than I can say for…other Disney remakes of late). Some of the Lost Boys are now girls, something something insidious anti-family values agenda.