FOX (ended 1991)
In 1904, author and playwright J.M. Barrie created a character destined to be beloved by generations of theater and filmgoers: Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up. The well-known story depicts how Peter – using happy thoughts and Tinker Bell's magic fairy dust – teaches the Darling children to fly and brings them to Neverland so that they can stay young forever. Wendy, John, and Michael Darling have exciting adventures with Peter, his loyal band of Lost Boys, and the island's Indian tribe. It all culminates in a climactic battle against Captain James Hook, the notorious pirate whose right hand was cut off by Peter and fed to a crocodile long ago. After Hook is defeated once and for all, the Darling children return home to grow up and their family adopts the Lost Boys. Only Peter Pan remains in Neverland with Tink in order to continue his carefree existence as the personification of youth.
That's the basic story from the play that has been retold in books, musicals, and movies. Yet it's really only the beginning and the end. What about the middle of the story? What adventures do Peter, Wendy, John, Michael, Nibs, Slightly, Curly, Tootles, the Twins, and Tinker Bell have while the Darlings live in Neverland? That is the premise behind the early 90s cartoon Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates. This series fleshes out J.M. Barrie's c characters and explores the legends, dangers, and wonders of Neverland with great imagination. The Darlings, Lost Boys, and Indians (which include Tiger Lily, her brother Hard-to-Hit, and leader Great Big Little Panther) all get their time in the heroic spotlight without ever diminishing Peter's status as leader and "ruler" of Neverland.
As the title indicates, this TV show focuses as much on the pirates as it does on Peter Pan. Captain Hook and Mr. Smee traditionally are the only pirates who receive any attention in the story. Yet here, the other crewmembers of the Jolly Roger (Mullins, Mason, Starkey, Billy Jukes, and Cookson) are given distinct personalities and character development. But none could ever hope to overshadow their menacing captain. A real force to be reckoned with, Hook is a powerful, temperamental, cultured, intelligent, and charming pirate with an insatiable thirst for vengeance. Excellent writing and fantastic acting on the part of voice actor Tim Curry (who won a well-deserved Emmy for his remarkable work) make Hook such a cool villain that Peter Pan becomes even more amazing for defeating him time and again.
"Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning" . . . adventure can be found every day in Neverland, especially as envisioned by Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates!
(Of partiicular note: The Walt Disney Company unsuccessfully attempted to sue Fox in preventing this show to be made, claiming the Peter Pan story, which they made into a movie in 1953, as their intellectual property. Disney filed a similar suit in 1987 trying to prevent Fillmation's Pinocchio And The Emperor Of The Night theatrical feature from being released.)moreless