The Imaginary Food Scene In Hook, Explained

Anyone who has ever seen the beloved 1991 movie "Hook" — in which Robin Williams plays an adult Peter Pan that returns to Neverland — probably would've given anything to have a bite of the imaginary pie or even a piece of that giant wheel of cheese in the infamous imaginary dinner party scene when things get messy. In Neverland, all it takes is the power of imagination to pull together such a grandiose smorgasbord, but according to Dante Basco (who played Rufio in the film), in real life all that food cost about $50,000 and the scene had to be filmed twice (via Complex).

Considering how memorable the iconic food fight scene is, it makes sense that the production team (led by director Steven Spielberg) put that much money towards making it all look good, but Basco told Complex it appeared as good as it tasted — and it was all real, even the rainbow-colored imaginary pie, which the actor described as thick Cool Whip. In another interview with Gamespot, Basco recalled being just as mesmerized as audiences were when he first saw the treat. "Nowadays, you can go and get frosting at the local supermarket — turquoise and hot pink and stuff like that. In the '90s, you couldn't do that," he shared, adding, "They started creating this goop. It was edible. It wound up in a lot of our mouths."

The imaginary pie was almost gray

It's hard to imagine the food scene in "Hook" without Peter Pan's first spoonful of red and blue imaginary food. But the scene that made it into the film wasn't necessarily what was first intended. The pies were originally supposed to appear realistic, so no food coloring was used, but this gave the setup a different feel with less emphasis on its imaginary quality. 

"At first it was brownish gray," Basco revealed to Gamespot. "Steven [Spielberg] didn't like that, so they just started making it colorful." It cost them an entire day of filming, because the costumes were ruined, the set was a mess, and all the food had to be remade. Though it was such a small detail, it ended up making a huge difference in the long run. Considering the end result is still remembered fondly by audiences today — and you can't help but crave that imaginary pie every time you watch the movie — it's safe to say Spielberg made the right choice.