Peter Pan is not only a classic novel, but it is a classic film. Walt Disney released the movie in 1953 but the movie was supposed to have began a long time ago.
After the success of the wildly popular Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney was looking for another classic story to turn into a motion picture. He sought the rights to Peter Pan in the 1930s and had to obtain them from the Hospital for Sick Children in London. They agreed to give him the rights as long as they did the film with Paramount. This was something Walt didn’t want to do, so he declined the initial offer. Four years later though he would get those rights by outbidding another animation studio.
In the 1940s the Walt Disney Company was all set to start on the production. They had all of the right animators and had developed a child friendly story reel (initially they wanted Peter Pan to kidnap Wendy). The movie was thrown on the back burner in 1941 following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Disney’s studios were turned into a war propaganda supplier. Including one cartoon where Donald Duck is called up during the draft.
Film production resumed after World War Two. This did not last long however. In the late 1940s the company was having financial issues and had to green light Cinderella before Peter Pan. They made the decision because of the box office revenue that Snow White was able to bring in.
Following the release and success of Cinderella, the film was taken off of the back burner and went into full production. The movie made it to theaters February 5th, 1953; and went on to gross over $84 million.