Stop me if you've had this one already -
You're a kid again, right, and you're in the house looking out a window at the yard. You start to notice animals all over the place... nice friendly woodland creatures like fluffy bunnies, possums and raccoons and deer and suchlike. You press your face closer to the window, because you're getting this tingly feeling that there's some kind of animal magic afoot.... there's never been such a proliferation of fauna in your yard before! But as you watch, the quality of light outside begins to change, into a sort of bleached twilight, and you begin to notice the other animals, that were hidden better. The wolves and the bears and the cougars (maybe the dinosaurs). Suddenly you decide to make sure all the doors are securely locked. And then you wonder.... where's my little doggy at?
You don't find her in any of her usual places, and suddenly you spot her, way out by the edge of the woods! You don't see any of the animals now, but somehow you can still feel that immense presence of their wildness pressing close in on the house, and you're super-aware of how cheap some of the doors are, especially that sliding glass door that likes to slip the track and won't lock right.
Ever had a dream like that? I have... a few times actually. It was a recurring nightmare when I was younger. And I never associated it with Peter and the Wolf until just tonight. But suddenly I'm quite sure a lot of other people have had that one too (or one very similar) - including a Russian gentleman named Prokofiev. And possibly a Brit named Suzie Templeton.
For me that was one of the 'important' dreams... the ones you wake from in the middle of the night, remembering every bit of it clearly, and you go on remembering them the rest of your life. These are the archetypal dreams, the ones arising from deep in the subflooring of the unconscious that are trying to tell you things at important transitions in your life. The Peter and the Wolf archetype is based on his transition into manhood. I'll bet just about any man can relate to it (the tale, and possibly the dream, thought maybe in different form). Not sure if it's universal to females as well, though it might be (which would explain the story's universal appeal, and also why Suizie Templeton was able to tap into the symbolism so perfectly).
Anyway, the whole point of this entry is just to say - that's why I think I respond so strongly to this film, and doubtless why so many others will as well. It truly does tap into that archetypal realm in a powerful way. The recurring dreams I had give me a deep personal link with it, and maybe I was vaguely reminded of them as I watched.