"Peter Pan" is the latest Disney film to get the Diamond Edition Blu-ray treatment. I could go on and on comparing the various adaptations of J. M. Barrie's original tale, but this release brings plenty of its commentary to the discussion, particularly in a short film called "Growing Up With Nine Old Men," which introduces us to the head honchos of Disney's animation team, who collaborated on this film as Directing Animators. Thanks to the digital restoration you can now appreciate the true scope of their vision -- particularly the animation of Peter Pan's flying, which seemed almost impossibly smooth and graceful compared to other films of the period. Also, Disney's experimented with an "Intermission" feature for the kiddies: if you pause the movie, be prepared for an onslaught of animated games and character voices (adults: the mute button is your friend).
On a more serious note, America lost a burgeoning authorial voice this week when a gunman at a Texas shooting range opened fire on Chris Kyle, the ex-Navy SEAL who wrote the 2012 bestseller American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History. Details are still unfolding; all that's known is that both Kyle and a friend of his were killed. It's tragic to think that after surviving so many battle scenarios, he'd ultimately be taken down by friendly fire on his home turf.
Medical experts may have determined in retrospect that it probably wasn't Scarlet Fever that blinded little Mary Ingalls (as documented by Laura Ingalls Wilder in By the Shores of Silver Lake). The likely culprit? Viral meningoencephalitis. Obviously the author and her parents weren't doctors and had no way to know for sure, but it's fascinating to think that we can now make more educated guesses based on a few scant details than those made by the people who actually survived these ordeals in the first place!
Also, one last bit of leftover sludge from Super Bowl Sunday: How on Earth did Coke's homage to "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" wind up featuring a bunch of female showgirls instead of, ya know, drag queens? Why on Earth would they include a movie like that if they're uncomfortable (or think football audiences will be) with its subject matter? As you might expect, hackles have been raised in response to what I can only describe as an oblivious and insensitive gaffe. Better luck next year, fellas!