Hogan’s Peter Pan shares a number of intertextual relationships with its hypotext. Perhaps most tangibly, it is a generical transposition of J.M. Barrie’s original play. Also, and partially related to this, it incorporates a number of elements of approximation from the original which can not entirely be understood as products of a generical transposition. Finally, the hypertext forms a bricolage of analogies to other, though arguably less prominently treated, hypotexts. This bricolage can, for obvious reasons, not be seen as a replication of a similar bricolage in Barrie’s original as will be shown below.
Hogan’s film is an obvious transposition in terms of genre. Although Peter Pan appeared as both novel and a variety of plays in Barrie’s lifetime, the original Peter Pan is a dramatic one. Thus, the transposition from one dramatic genre to another should be a comparatively easy one. This, of course, is belied by the several editorial choices Hogan would have to make. Which dramatic elements in the hypotext are so central that they should be received in the new genre and which can be excluded? As the next paragraphs will show, the simultaneous process of approximation would necessarily interfere in this process of transposition.
Both Barrie’s continually revised versions of the play and the arguably most defining dramatic representation of these, the 1953 Disney version, are indicative of the constant need of approximating elements in the hypotext. So too with Hogan’s film. Characters, visual representation, plotlines and social relationships are updated with the aim of courting not only a modern audience but also a teenage one.
|Hook and Wendy|
Paul J. Hogan’s Peter Pan’s adaptive relationship to Barrie’s play is a complex one which has yet to be adequately discussed. The above paragraphs have shown how the editorial choices associated with the change of genre was determined by several processes of approximation. Hogan’s film appears more adapted to an pre-teen/ teenage audience with more romantic, sinister and violent features than the hypotext. Furthermore, technological advances has allowed Hogan to overcome some of the limitations of the stage, which must have influenced Barrie, but also retain and improve some of the features from the hypotext. Finally, the hypertext does draw on other sources than just the hypotext. As with Barrie’s protagonist, the representation of characters alludes to defining cultural products within particular areas, such as Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
(i) Hogan, P.J.; Peter Pan, 2003 (DVD). James Matthew Barrie;Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up in James Matthew Barrie; Peter Pan and Other Plays, Oxford 2008.
(ii) Julie Sanders; Adaptation and Appropriation, London 2006
(iii) See Deborah Cartmell’s essay in Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelahan (eds.); The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen, Cambridge 2007: 167-180 for more on this.
(iv) Barrie 2008: 123, 145. In fact, in the novel Peter and Wendy Barrie also frequently draws attention to Pan’s “first teeth”.
(v) Hogan 2003: 1.23.00-1.33.00
(vi) Ibid: 53.00-56.00
(vii) Sanders 2006: 4
Pictures: 1, 2
Barrie, James Matthew; Peter Pan; or, The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up in James Matthew Barrie; Peter Pan and Other Plays, Oxford 2008
Cartmell, Deborah and Whelahan, Imelda (eds.); The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen, Cambridge 2007
Sanders, Julie: Adaptation and Appropriation, London, 2006
Hogan, P.J.; Peter Pan 2003 (DVD)