Monday, February 23, 2015

Dreams of flying

Walter--often known as Michael, although he's more amenable to be Walter, too, these days--loves Peter Pan.  Sally loves Walter, and she loves music and dancing, so she's game. My feelings about the story are slightly more ambivalent, because of:

  • The way the three female leads fight (ruthlessly, in Tinker Bell's case) for the affection of a boy who, we're told in the prologue, has not emotionally matured beyond the age of 2.  This fighting is the only kind of interaction we see between Wendy, Tiger Lily, and Tinker Bell. 
  • The way even good casting and heavy re-writes can't erase the stereotyped portrayal of the Islanders. I tend to recommend the version we've been watching with Walter--Peter Pan Live (2014)--as "the least racist version I've ever seen." 
  • The moral ambiguity that makes the story delightful to me and not entirely appropriate for my three-year-old.  Because really: the pirates are the best. Clearly, they are the best.  
  •  The way the hero of the story is more bloodthirsty than the villain. Think about it. 
But don't think about any of it too hard. That's probably the secret to enjoying the story wholeheartedly. And I find myself doing just that, because Walter loves it so, so much. And I love Walter. And I love:

  • The way he sings, and delights in singing.
  • Singing "Tender Shepherd" with him to help him fall asleep. A couple of times we've circumvented naptime drama by just singing that song.
  • The way he uses the characters as a starting point to tell his own stories, and imagine the continuing adventures of the Darling Family, Tiger Lilly, and Peter Pan.
  • Christoper Walken as Captain Hook.  Really, the live TV version is tremendously good. 
We were telling stories last night using Rory's Story Cubes (more about that, later) and one of the stories included a celebration of Tiger Lily's birthday. Walter was delighted by that idea, and as we said goodnight to him I said, "Maybe you can dream about Tiger Lilly's birthday." "No," he said, "I'll probably be too busy dreaming about flying."


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