'Peter Pan and the Pirates' very quickly not only became one of my favourite animated shows but also one of my favourites ever. Of all the adaptations of 'Peter Pan', it's also my personal favourite.
All the characters are not only interesting but remarkably complex, especially Hook, even when not looking like Barrie's Hook all the character traits of the character are fully explored and expanded upon. The show is advantaged furthermore by good animation (with some exceptions here and there). Great music particularly the theme tune, one of the best of any animated 90s show. Remarkably good writing that had real maturity and a wide range of emotions rare in animated shows today. Gripping and imaginative stories that maintain the spirit of Barrie's source material while expanding on the themes, events and characterisation. And really excellent voice acting, for one of the most talented voice actors in the business and near-unequalled in villain roles Captain Hook contains some of the best work Tim Curry has ever done.
"The Rake", as well as being one of the creepiest episodes, is one of my favourites of 'Peter Pan and the Pirates'. It contains some of the show's best animation, especially in the very eerie character design for the ghost of Captain Patch and there has never for the show been more majestic, formidable and rich in atmosphere visuals for the way the ship The Rake is designed and used. There are some beautiful colours, well drawn characters (showing a pretty nuanced character design for Hook), meticulous and imaginative backgrounds and one is really immersed in the Neverland setting. The music is a great mix of lively, haunting and lush, the theme tune immediately sticks in one's head and never leaves it.
Writing is as mature, intelligent and emotionally complex as one would expect, never feeling dumbed down for adults or too complicated for children. There is a lot of tension in the amount of threat the ghost of Captain Patch exudes and there have rarely been more epic and creepier scenes than the scenes with the pirates and the rake, which also sees the best of the conflicts and in depth personalities of the pirates. "The Rake" is not without its humour, such as Peter's imitation of Hook and Billy Jukes' line to Cookson. The story draws one right in and never lets go.
Love that Peter is portrayed with a mix of likable traits and less likable one. That the lost boys and the pirates have a lot of personality and well-established ones at that (Smee especially is delightful, despite being stupid and bungling everything, he is very funny and quite endearing). TinkerBell is stern, feisty and sympathetic (also well-meaning and sensible, never annoying) and the Darlings are not too cloying. One sees more back-story to Hook, great despite him being a very complex character already, showing that despite being the show's main antagonist that he is actually nothing here compared to Captain Patch, who is very creepy by the show's and animation standards. The voice acting is excellent from particularly Tim Curry and Ed Gilbert (as Captain Patch).
Overall, one of the best 'Peter Pan and the Pirates' episodes. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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