PopFilter Vs. Our Childhood

In which we reminisce about childhood entertainment, then go back and watch it and re-assess.





As a child, I would return home from school, eat a snack, and watch Freakazoid, Animaniacs, and Hook. This wasn’t a fair-weather routine; the VHS tape eventually broke. I would like to think it was because of my lack of proper VHS care, not my obsessive nature. Looking back, I’m sure rewinding the tape in the VCR was a large contributor to the deterioration of my beloved film. Regardless, I haven’t seen the film in around fifteen years. As a child, I wasn’t looking for anything more than streamlined entertainment, so my memories of this movie are more simplistic than the plot of Pacific Rim. With a bit of nostalgia, here are my thoughts of the film before re-watching it.


I liked the kid and his love of baseball. I also loved baseball.

Why does everyone forget in Neverland? I never understood why.

I don’t like the little girl. She is annoying and reminds me of my sister.

That guy lost his marbles. I liked that joke as a kid.

Rufio is a dumbhead. He’s mean to Peter Pan.

Robin Williams is a clean comic who promotes family values.

I was wondering how much the pirate was paid to be stung by real scorpions in the “boo-box”.


With seven simple memories, a deep love for this film, and the knowledge that Robin Williams is not a clean comic who doesn’t necessarily promote family values, I sit down to revisit my childhood.



Without realizing, I was screaming, “Daddy, NOOOOOOOOO!” throughout 40% of the film. Apparently, I have daddy issues that were reawakened during a child’s story about a father. Also, I didn’t realize that there were other actors besides Robin Williams.


“Is that Dustin Hoffman?”

“Is that Julia Roberts?”

“Is that Bob Hoskins?”

“Is that Phil Collins?”

“Is that Gwyneth Paltrow?”


Watching this as an adult, I understand why Dustin Hoffman’s name comes before Robin Williams during the credits. This is a film about Captain Hook, not Peter Pan. Without Dustin Hoffman at the helm, this movie would lack a driving force, and because of his talent, it brought not only Hook to life, but every character that Hook interacts with. As a child, you can’t root for the villain, but as an adult I wanted more Hook. I wanted Hoffman on the screen as much as possible, just to see another glimpse of the psyche of the character he portrays.


A man with great taste and style, Hook always prefers the theatricality. He’d rather lose the momentum of his stirring speech than walk down carpet-less stairs. Without an entrance, an image of good form, or something to cause a memorable experience, it would not be something worth doing. He’s an isolated, intelligent, and tortured individual who is forced to confide in Smee, who mostly understands from context. I will help enlighten you to why the title of the film is Hook and not Pan.


Hook is the only established character in the film. Everyone else is unsure of themselves, worried about the outcome of uncertainty, or show cowardice. Hook only cares about the war; his only goal is to settle the score between him and Pan. It’s his war, and it must be handled with class, as it is the thing most precious to him. Being that he is an established character, Tinkerbelle is able to use this in order to persuade the Captain to allow her to properly train his “great and worthy opponent.”


Captain James Hook: “Hear me, men. For reasons of good form, I have decided that the so-called Pan will return in three days to commit the arbitrament of the sword. Smee, translate.”

Smee: “In three days, we’re gonna have a war! A battle between good and evil to the death!”


Hook lives by a code of honor, albeit a pirate’s honor, and it reminds one of a samurai. He has the ability to fire cannons upon the shore, to assault the homes of Lost Boys, but he’s “bound by [his] indefatigable good form to wait” battling suicidal tendencies and depression during this time. When the battle begins, the best swordsman of the Lost Boys approaches him, Hook draws a different sword that conveys the amount of respect that he has for the upcoming duel. Even after admitting defeat, he asks for his dignity (hair), and for a clean death.


You owe it to yourself to watch Hook as an adult, knowing that Hoffman transformed a children’s nightmare, into a human being consumed with the thought of revenge. At the end of it all, you will wonder “what would the world be like without Captain Hook?”


I never liked “Bangarang!” and I still don’t. I still like that “lost my marbles” joke. And something you don’t notice as a kid: Grandma getting weird with Peter.

And contrary to popular belief, this is not a Christmas movie. It’s a Father’s Day movie.


Send your hate mail to timappelbaum@yourpopfilter.com




(For your nostalgic amusement)

Captain James Hook: “No stopping me this time, Smee. This is it. Don’t make a move Smee, not a step. My finger’s on the trigger. Don’t try to stop me, Smee.”

Smee: “Oh, not again.”

Captain James Hook: “This is it. Don’t try to stop me this time, Smee. Don’t try to stop me this time, Smee. Don’t you dare try to stop me this time, Smee, try to stop me. Smee, you’d better get up off your ass. Get over here, Smee!”

Smee: “I’m coming. I’m coming.”

Captain James Hook: “Stop me! This is not a joke! I’m committing suicide!”

[Smee makes the gun go off which blows away the toy ship]

Captain James Hook: “Don’t ever frighten me like that again.”

Smee: “I’m sorry.”

Captain James Hook: “What are you? Some kind of a sadist?”