Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Peter Pan's Christmas Story

While browsing the numerous online newspaper archives, I came across a long-forgotten tradition from 1960 staring Disney characters updated daily, from November 28 to December 24.

And already, we're veering into Scrooge territory with Captain Hook going into full venting mode.  Bah Humbug!

If he were a more scurrilous man, he would take this opportunity to steal the numerous gifts to children, then sell them back at a discount rate.  Taking free presents and making money off them.  It's a lose-win scenario!

We're missing November 30th, so we don't get to see anymore of Captain Hook's ranting, which may be an exercise in redundancy or a loss of scenery chewing.  Your choice.

Then, Captain Hook got an idea.  He had a wonderful awful idea.

Yes, what'll he do?  Please let us in the audience know so a certain hidden pixie can eavesdrop on all your scoundrelous plans.

Now, Tinkerbell could've simply solved this dilemma on her own, but since her name's not on the title, she'll have to delegate it to somebody else with more star power.  She wouldn't get the chance at a staring role until 50 years later.

We're also missing December 4th, but despite this gap in the story, we're not missing out on the larger plot.

A Present for Santa?  Well, unless it's the Ghost of Christmas Present (Who's somewhat of a Santa figure himself), this plan doesn't seem especially dastardly so far.

Yes, because a gift from Captain Hook would be considered more suspicious than from his right-hand man.

Somewhat disappointingly, Captain Hook resorts to repeating the tactic of planting a bomb disguised as a gift instead of poisoned milk.  (The play used poisoned medicine).  After all, if one dastardly plan failed the first time, surely it'll have a higher degree of success the second time, no?

Of course, there's the question of delivery.  How does Captain Hook intend to have Mr. Smee give his explosive gift to Santa in the first place?  By air mail apparently.

Seems Neverland is just a stone's throw from the North Pole.  In the world of adults, their solution to flying involves using gunpowder instead of fairy powder.  It makes perfect sense!  Too bad it only works in one direction, which explains why they don't use this method much.

Amazingly enough, Smee survives from being shot out of a cannon.  He should enjoy his euphoria while it lasts, since he won't enjoy it for very long.  Assuming Smee survives the fall, but fails to deliver the gift on time, he'll have to face Captain Hook's wrath of "slitting his gizzard", which isn't an unusual euphemism to mistake for anything other than misery.

Silly Smee.  You should've known that by the time you willing (or unwillingly) climbed into that cannon, you were basically going on a suicide mission.  Personally, I'd be more worried about the landing, considering you've been blasted off with great force.  However, that doesn't seem to be much cause for concern...

Because the very next week, Smee somehow lands without any bumps or bruises, and finds himself wandering onto the set of Snow White for some reason.  Dwarves are close enough to elves, right? This would be on par with mistaking Trolls with Gnomes.  Anybody who says otherwise is just Gnoming you.

Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch Smee, you... Ginger-haired adolescent man.

Following the Dwarves, Smee comes not upon Santa's hidden village, but upon the Dwarves' home instead. Excluding the possibility that he's nowhere close to his intended target, Smee feels that he's doing just fine so far.  Truer words were also spouted by optimists falling down a building.

While exploring the diminutive house, Smee comes upon a Friar Tuck outfit, despite the residence being occupied by nothing but people shorter than him.  They must've been saving it for a special occasion, when one of the Dwarves suddenly "grew up".

Shockingly, Smee decides to stick around, figuring that the Dwarves won't notice an extra face in the crowd.  Most people have trouble rattling off the names of all seven of them (Bashful usually throws them off), so what's one more?  Only Grumpy is pessimistic enough to notice that dinnertime is more uncomfortable than usual.

Too bad Grumpy's comment is lost in the sea of hourly complaints, including how uncomfortable the chairs are, how cold the soup is, and whose turn it is to do the dishes, so anybody who'd notice anything being slightly off wouldn't pay attention.  The success of this plan relies on the incompetence of everybody else, including the laws of physics.  Maybe if we're lucky, the bomb will fail to go off, but since the gunpowder treason trajectory plot seems to have worked just fine, that doesn't look very likely.

A visitor five shopping days from Christmas?  Could it be an insurance salesman hawking a safety investment against bombs, since it sure would be a shame if anything nasty happened to this place, wouldn't it?

When even Santa can't tell the difference between a kindly obese pirate-hand and one of the Seven Dwarves in an outfit that's probably three sizes too small for him, we're venturing into senility territory.  It probably helps that Smee keeps his face hidden throughout so Santa can't get a good look.

We're missing the 21st of December, so you'll have to imagine the gruesome results of the explosion here.

Christmas Eve, the season so nice Hook named it thrice.  Since we missed yesterday's entry, we have to conclude that Smee succeeded and blew Santa Claus up, regarding all of Peter Pan's efforts for naught.

...and Peter manages to find the single inconspicuous gift among all others, and throws it far enough to land directly at the feet of the messenger.  Since I'm missing the conclusion, we'll have to conclude that the explosion was big and large enough to propel Smee back to the very pirate ship he came from.

But this wasn't the only incomplete Peter Pan Christmas comic.  I found another one from 1983, starring Wendy.

 Where the previous Christmas story had Santa showing up at the end, here he shows up at the beginning.

Using fairy dust on inanimate objects to make the animated?  That's not how they're supposed to work - objects can't think happy thoughts (or if they do, they're probably extremely different from living creatures' happy thoughts).  It's probably just an artist's shortcut to prevent objects from interfering with the character design sheets.

Compared to the previous story, this seems remarkably tame in comparison.  Peter and Wendy decide to spruce up their hideout as a surprise for the rest of the Lost Boys when they come back.

As you can probably tell, the quality of these scans are markedly poor.  The faces of the characters are so faded you can barely make out the details.  You pretty much have to fill in the blanks here.

It's been awhile, and there hasn't been any sign of these so-called Lost Boys.  Do they even exist?

Turns out they've been in captivity of the Pirates all this time.  This revelation would have been less surprising if we'd gotten details of their kidnapping at the beginning, which was when it probably happened.

At this point, shouldn't Captain Hook know better by now that all that glitters is not gold?

Sadly, we may never know what his "brilliant plan" was, since the newspaper archive for this story ends right here.  It probably involved putting another bomb in a prettily wrapped box.

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