I first saw Hook at the cinemas in December of 1991, it was a stunning movie to see at that age when you’re still not one hundred percent certain that the Peter Pan story is fictional. “The world’s a big place! It could happen, right? Hey, I’ve never been to London! Maybe Wendy’s window is magical!? Maybe everything in London is magical? That’s where Mary Poppins is from, right? I need to go to London.” And so on.
Sweeping, epic, romantic, I had never seen anything of that scope before. For the next six months, I told whoever was forced to sit next to me on the school bus that Hook was ROBBED by Dances With Wolves for Best Picture that year. “NOT EVEN A NOMINATION? WHAT A JOKE THE ACADEMY IS, RIGHT? RIGHT?”
Although it was my first exposure to him, it firmly placed newcomer (to me) Robin Williams in the Siddharth Chander’s Childhood Hall-of-Fame (cemented 3 years later by Aladdin) alongside such luminaries as Optimus Prime, The Ultimate Warrior, Eddie Murphy, MacGyver, Axl Rose and Balki from Perfect Strangers. Steven Spielberg would direct the acclaimed Schindler’s List a few years later and it seemed every review stated things like “Finally! Spielberg makes his classic!” The now slightly older me was confused by this because my review of the black and white snoozer simply read: “Ain’t no Hook.” Literally and metaphorically, I might add. How could people enjoy watching Nazis being Nazis more than the Lost Boys having a food fight? You can have Auschwitz, I’m staying in Neverland my man.
One word: RUFIO.
He is the MVP of this thing and just so you know where I stand – I would have sided with Rufio over Pan any day of the week. Rufio was younger, more dynamic, more charismatic, had *MUCH* better hair, funkier clothes and in my opinion crowed at the sky better than Pan who looked like a down on his luck lawyer in his tattered 3-piece suit and spectacles. YOU are the “substitute chemistry teacher”, Pan.
Still, it definitely never got any better than when Rufio elected to be the bigger person, embrace Pan’s return and go all WATCH THE THRONE on Captain Hook and his ship of fools. Rufio sold it completely and although I was not happy that my Asian brethren was unfairly usurped by some middle-aged upper-class yuppie, I was all in for the team because, as second bananas go, Rufio was the best since Goose in Top Gun.
This scene gets me every damn time.
The moment when Pan and Rufio start crowing and doing that thing with their fingers in front of their mouths – I humbly suggest we put that GIF in a time capsule for future generations.