The producers were wise in their choosing of James Newton Howard to compose the score for P.J. Hogan’s big screen rendering of J.M. Barrie’s famous children’s book Peter Pan. The former Elton John keyboardist’s work on M. Night Shyamalan’s Sixth Sense and Signs showcased his ability to blend suspense and whimsy, and skillfully paint a scene from a child actor’s point of view. For Peter Pan, Howard builds the dreamy world of “Neverland” with harps, choirs, and the occasional keyboard flourish, fleshing out the characters with fairy tale precision, and creating a believable realm in the same fashion that John Williams handled the magical world of Harry Potter. The string motifs he chooses for Wendy and Peter are steeped in the bittersweet confusion of sexual awakening, and the eternally youthful Lost Boys are treated with a light hand, hinting at their enviable immortality. “Howard” goes to great lengths to capture the myth of Peter Pan, never dumbing it down. His is a darker take on a story that has spent years in the hands of cartoonists, and it delivers the tale a much-needed edge.