I love pretty much all incarnations of Peter Pan: Disney’s 1953 Peter Pan, the Peter Pan tv special starring Mary Martin, Hook, 2003’s Peter Pan, Finding Neverland. You name it, I will read it or watch it if it concerns our favorite lost boys and gangs of somewhat-surly pirates (scariness varies from one adaptation to another).
So even though I’m not exactly part of the demographic for a preschool aged show, you can bet I wanted to be at the D23 event giving us a sneak peak of Disney Jr’s new show Jake & The Neverland Pirates.
Disney Jr is the new name for Playhouse Disney, and Jake is the first new show under the Disney Jr name. After a few months on the Disney Channel in the mornings (like Playhouse Disney is now) Disney Jr is planning on migrating to it’s very own channel! I’m sure this is very exciting news to babysitters, nannys and moms & dads alike 😉
First there was a screening of the first two 11-minute episodes that will make up a half hour of Jake & the Neverland Pirates. I have to say — again, as someone that doesn’t have kids and isn’t 4 myself — that this is a VERY cute show. Jake & his crew, Izzy and Cubby (voiced by Colin Ford, Maddison Pettis from The Game Plan and Jonathan Morgan Helt respectively) have adventures around Neverland and try and avoid/outwit Captain Hook, Smee and the rest of his dastardly pirate crew. Myself, and the rest of the audience, laughed out loud quite a few times, especially when Captain Hook was around.
After that there was a brief panel with: Story Editor Mark Seidenberg, Executive Producer Rob LaDuca (who also worked on the Gummi Bears, Duck Tales and Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers back in the day!), and voice actors extraordinaire Corey Burton (the voice of Captain Hook for the past 25 years!) and Jeff Bennett (voice of Smee). They had a lot of fun talking about how the Neverland on the show is similar yet different to the Neverland we’ve seen before (Tink is off in Pixie Hollow for one thing…) D23 Disney Geek/Moderator Jeffrey Epstein got the voice talent to do a lot of their iconic voices too, which was really neat to see in person.
Following the panel there was some mix and mingle time outside, where you got to meet Captain Hook himself!
Let’s just say there’s a possibility I may be watching Jake & the crew if I ever find myself with a lot of downtime & Disney Jr is on…