Hook (1991)

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: J.M. Barrie (books), J.M. Barrie (play) 
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts |

In Hook (1991) Robin Williams plays Peter Banning, who is the adult Peter Pan and has succumbed to the corporate machine of business law. Banning does not even remember who Peter Pan is. In one of the early scenes of Hook, Banning is flying on a commuter flight, and it is hitting heavy turbulence. Banning squeezes the armrest with his hands and sits stiff in his seat. Banning seems to have a slight fear of flying now. As an adult, he can no longer remember the magic of flight; he has lost the imagination, innocence and excitement that protected him from fear, anger, and the captivity associated with Hook (Audissino, 109). Later in the film, Banning’s children are kidnapped, and Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) comes to help him save them, but he does not remember being Peter Pan, and thinks he is having a hallucination. Like most adults, he does not believe in fairies any more. Banning lost his ability to imagine, to dream. The film suggests that childlike belief and happy thoughts rarely survive growing up, since the world requires very practical decisions and a realistic, if not cynical, point of view (Audissino). Later, with the help of the “Lost Boys,” Banning starts to shed some of the layers of worldly biases he’s built up with a imaginary food fight. At first, he was not able to see the food; all he saw was empty dishes, but he slowly started to believe, and to imagine again. Audissino writes of Spielberg, “flying is synonymous with freedom and unlimited imagination…” It is a magical relationship of being able to explore one’s mind and to dream, to conceptualize an idea and fly with it. WhenPeter Banning starts to remember, he is able to challenge Rufio (Dante Basco), the new leader of the “Lost Boys,” with some trash talk, and let go of the built-up repression of society. Thus, he starts to rediscover his imagination and begins to believe in himself again, which also leads to him flying again. Peter goes on to fight Hook, win, and save his children. Through this rediscovery of childhood wonder, he also builds a new relationship with his children through the magic of flight.