Peter Pan & Wendy Movie Review: David Lowery and His Disney Paycheck Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

Peter Pan & Wendy is Directed by David Lowery and Stars Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson and Jude Law

I love many of David Lowery’s movies – but I do not love this one. “Peter Pan & Wendy” serves as the newest mixture of soulless Disney live action remakes and lauded directors trying to get their next movie financed. The results are not great. In fact, they are quite poor.

Peter Pan and Wendy movie on Disney+ is a live action remake of "Peter Pan" from David Lowery.
Peter Pan & Wendy

In recent weeks, David Lowery has been touting around his newest Disney+ offering Peter Pan & Wendy, offering up the sentiment that this may just be his most personal effort. Set aside the fact that Lowery is responsible for some of the industry’s most distinct projects in years – from the harrowing and desolate A Ghost Story to his manipulated version of the Arthurian legend in The Green Knight – to call his newest work his personal favorite may just be a form of salesmanship. At least that’s what I thought before even laying my eyes on the movie. Now I’m worried a studio exec at Disney was holding him hostage at his house, forcing such mild affectations. Someone, check on David Lowery.

 Yes, Lowery’s vision in Peter Pan & Wendy isn’t that different or unique compared to the original story, but coming from Lowery’s previous movies that inspire a heartfelt sense of appreciation for the people and items that reside in the real world (or the posthumous one), you’d think he would have some sort of twist or different understanding of the source material that would give it some weight. Perhaps his slick visual style of sharp desaturation comes through partially when allowed, but beyond that, there’s not much to pull apart that adds to his own filmography – or that changes the notion that Disney is okay with simple and mindless recreations of their previously catalogued material.

Peter Pan & Wendy tells the story that is well known at this point: Wendy Darling is swept away to Neverland with the sneaking and kiddish Peter Pan. Along with his tag team group of “Lost Boys,” the young ones take on the ravaging Captain Hook and his ship of pirates destined to take down Peter Pan no matter the cost. Jude Law dons the pointy claw this time around in the role that feels the least awkward, even if that isn’t saying much.

Reviews for Films like Peter Pan & Wendy (2023)

David Lowery’s rendition of Peter Pan feels like a clear and unremarkable “one for them” before he returns to *hopefully* his next string of idiosyncratic ideas and perceptions on life, but it’s odd to see such a stark difference in quality between the director’s eye and taste for the soul-crushing scene of Rooney Mara eating a pie, and the scene of green-screened kids flying out of caves to avoid the jaws of an oversized crocodile (alligator? Regardless, still might be one of the scenes that stand out in Peter Pan & Wendy solely because of the premise. Not good, though).

And maybe there’s no way to better sum up Peter Pan & Wendy then to say that it feels like watching a child try to fit square pegs through a round hole. David Lowery’s touch can be felt so slightly in scenes with beautiful landscapes and visually striking forests, but it’s for a movie with flying children, a floating pirate ship, and Tinker Bell. This hodgepodge of ideas and visuals is a weird clash from the jump, and it doesn’t seem to balance out as it goes on.

Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson do their best as the two lead children, although Molony’s Peter Pan feels like a boiled-down, barebones caricature of the leader. Ever Anderson feels a bit more comfortable in the greater infrastructure around her, able to mold and change depending on who’s in frame with her. If either actor or actress goes on to a big career, it won’t be due to the success or demands of this film, though. They feel like paychecks for the actors involved just like it does for the man behind the camera.

Unfortunately, I think that mostly squeezes out how I felt leaving Peter Pan & Wendy. I was hoping that David Lowery’s name being attached to it would’ve made it a bit easier to get through, but much like Guy Ritchie directing Aladdin or Jon Favreau spearheading The Lion King, these remakes suck the life and style out of their filmmakers. If Tim Burton and David Lowery weren’t able to make it work, I have a feeling no one will. At least there can’t be that many Disney properties left, right? RIGHT?


Genre: Adventure, Family

Watch Peter Pan & Wendy on Disney+

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Peter Pan & Wendy Movie Cast and Credits

Peter Pan and Wendy movie poster and review that contains the credits for this movie. Now streaming on Disney+


Alexander Molony as Peter Pan

Ever Anderson as Wendy Darling

Jude Law as Captain Hook

Alyssa Wapanatâhk as Tiger Lily

Jim Gaffigan as Mr. Smee

Joshua Blue Pickering as John Darling

Jacobi Jupe as Michael Darling

Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell


Director: David Lowery

Writers: David Lowery, Toby Halbrooks, J.M. Barrie (Original Writer)

Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli

Editor: Lisa Zeno Churgin

Composers: Oliver Wallace, Daniel Hart

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