From recent theatrical releases such as Into the Woods to required reading lists for students, fairy tales are prominent contributors to popular culture and academia. Some parents may contemplate the lessons taught by fairy tales, while others fear the films may be too scary for their youngsters. We are sharing the Best Fairy Tale Movies series with the intention of addressing both of these considerations as well as broadening the fairy tale genre to include animated classics, live action adventures, and modern interpretations. So, delve into these on-screen stories to experience lessons in love, loss, and life and, perhaps, to find your new favorite film.
Hook is a fantasy feature film that acts as a sequel to J.M. Barrie’s 1911 novel Peter and Wendy, telling the story of a grown-up Peter Pan who has forgotten his childhood. The movie starts by showing the life of Peter Banning, a successful corporate lawyer, who has a wife and two kids. Early on in the movie, the two children are kidnapped by Hook, the enemy of Peter’s past, and he once again returns to Neverland in order to save them and unknowingly reclaim his youthful spirit.
Released: December 11, 1991
Directors: Steven Spielberg
Run time: 142 minutes
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Hook has a PG rating, and parental guidance is strongly suggested—some material may not be suitable for children.
Is Hook educational?
Absolutely. The film’s main lesson is for parents, illustrating how parents can let their jobs rob them of precious time with their kids. When Peter Banning answers his cell phone during his daughter’s performance, and makes plans that conflict with his son Jack’s baseball game in the morning, we see how he has allowed his career to take over his life as a father. The film is shown through a child’s perspective so, while we do not see Peter’s adult point of view to work hard and provide for his family, we can see that his kids Jack and Maggie do not feel important to their dad.
Neverland also holds some lessons. The Lost Boys’ hideaway has everything a young boy could wish for; a classical tree house with a skate park, a large pool used for rough landings in flying lessons, bright paint, and, my favorite, a food fight. But, it’s important to note that Rufio is still the leader of the pack, and the parent, in a sense. Teaching us that, however young and fun we are, there is always a need for supervision and structure. The key is to find a happy medium.
Although some may not see it as a truly educational film, Hook has a great deal of takeaways that allow us to identify our priorities and act appropriately to live a life that is not dictated by our career, electronics, etc.
Will my family like Hook?
Overall, Hook is a great film for children of all ages and their parents to enjoy. There are a few scenes which parents of small children may want to be wary of, and those include two children being abducted by the villainous storybook pirate, Hook, and threatened with death. There is also violence toward Hook, characters displaying suicidal tendencies, and Peter’s children are encouraged to hate their father.
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