The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey recently revealed that the upcoming remake will update some of the more problematic themes of the original, and it sounds like Disney's other 2023 live-action reimagining, Peter Pan and Wendy, is going to make a few much-needed changes of its own.
Like many movies of its era, the animated Peter Pan film does contain some elements that would be deemed culturally insensitive (at the very least) today. For example, Neverland's indigenous people are depicted with bright red skin (they're even referred to as "redskins" at one point), and Peter describes them as "cunning but not intelligent."
The movie is a product of its time, of course, but there is absolutely no way this kind of thing would fly (no pun) with today's audiences, and Tinkerbell actress Yara Shahidi has revealed that director David Lowery has made some "corrections."
“It’s such a beautiful moment to step into a fairy tale that I think means so much to people," she tells Etra. "I think remakes have to be prove why they are worth being remade in the first place, and having had a chance to watch the film, I think [David Lowery] updates it in a such a natural way.
[He updates it] in a way that feels like it adds to the canon of Peter Pan and also subtly corrects the kinds of stereotypes that are unfortunately passed along through those fairy tales. Correcting the indigenous representation that was mistaken in the animated and in some of the past versions.”
Peter Pan & Wendy introduces Wendy Darling, a young girl afraid to leave her childhood home behind, who meets Peter Pan, a boy who refuses to grow up. Alongside her brothers and a tiny fairy, Tinker Bell, she travels with Peter to the magical world of Neverland. There, she encounters an evil pirate captain, Captain Hook, and embarks on a thrilling and dangerous adventure that will change her life forever.
The film stars Jude Law (Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore), Alexander Molony (The Reluctant Landlord), Ever Anderson (Resident Evil: The Final Chapter), Yara Shahidi (Grown-ish), Alyssa Wapanatâhk, Joshua Pickering (A Discovery of Witches), Jacobi Jupe, Molly Parker (House of Cards), Alan Tudyk (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), and Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show).
Peter Pan and Wendy is directed by David Lowery from a screenplay by David Lowery & Toby Halbrooks (The Green Knight) based on the novel by J. M. Barrie and the animated film Peter Pan.
The movie is set to premiere on Disney+ on April 28.