Peter Pan is HUGE for all faerie enthusiasts… it’s one of the first faerie tales (not fairy tale, tale about a faerie) we all knew growing up thanks to Disney. It could be argued that Peter is a faerie himself, though a changeling would be closer to the truth. It’s where most of us learned about some fundamental faerie laws… it’s just the best
For those who do not know the story, or just haven’t seen/ read it in a while and forget it, Peter Pan is a magical boy who lives in a place called Neverland and never wants to grow up. In the book, he looses his shadow in the nursery of three children and makes such a ruckus trying to capture it that he wakes the children, Wendy, John, and Michael. He teaches them how to fly and then off they go to Neverland to have scrapes with faeries, pirates, indians, mermaids and lost boys.
There have been numerous books and movies featuring Peter Pan, but let’s start at the beginning shall we? Peter Pan was created by a Scottish playwright names James Barrie. The first time Barrie wrote about Peter was in a collection of short stories about Kensington Gardens called ‘The Little White Bird” in 1902. Later, the chapters with Peter were made into a book of it’s own called “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens”(1906). This discusses Peter’s origins, how he came to be in Neverland. He then wrote the play, Peter Pan: or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up in 1904, and that was turned into the novel “Peter Pan and Wendy” in 1911. Barrie also wrote an epilogue to the story called “When Wendy Grew Up- An Afterthought” (1908). This short piece shows Wendy as a mother talking to her young daughter Jane, and is included in some of the modern versions of the book.
Since then there have been numerous adaptations and continuations of the story. Here are some films that stand out for me
The 1953 version by Disney
Hook (1991) a story that takes place after the events of the books (and on the note of hooks, I read somewhere that all of the hooks in the different movies have a different hook that is indicative of their character, something to look for.
Peter Pan (2003)
and finally Finding Neverland, the story of the author (in which Dustin Hoffman makes a reappearance, as he was hook in Hook.
And of course, there are other stories, earlier versions of the film, Disney’s sequel, foreign films, but these are the one’s I have seen that I like the most.
There have been many books, both versions of the original and prequels/ sequels. One’s to take note would be of course the ones Barrie himself wrote, those would be mandatory reading before the adaptations. Here are a few.
Also, this pop-up book is phenomenal. Anything by Robert Sabuda is amazing… I highly recommend checking out any if not all of his works, his Star Wars pop-up is especially amazing. He is the master of the pop-up, his pop-ups usually have pop-ups within pop-ups… I can’t speak highly enough of this man. Amazing.
This is the official sequel… decided so by whom I don’t know… Hook will always be my official sequel. Peter Pan in Scarlet is basically Peter turning into Hook.
There are other sequels as well. Peter and the Starcatchers, which is the first of a series. This is a prequel to Peter Pan and Wendy. While the story is a fresh twist on a classic, it does twist the story a bit much. The protagonist hardly resembles the one we knew in the classic and the story has it’s failings. Another is called The Lost Girls, and this story is basically about Wendy’s daughters.
Also, I don’t think I could go without mentioning Disney’s offshoot series featuring Tinkerbell and her friends. I was massively displeased by this endeavour. I wasn’t just mildly disappointed with it, was actually angry after I saw the movie. The fairies have been castrated in this series. The bite has been sucked out and fairies are now on par with Franklin and Caillou. There is nothing wrong with those shows, great for kids… but that’s not who Tinkerbell is. If Disney wanted to release a fairy series for the princess/ homemaker type of child that’s fine with me… but don’t give that fairy the name of one of the most well known fairies in pop culture. The Tinkerbell in Peter Pan tried to kill Wendy… not make friends with anyone. Don’t try to change a classic for the ratings. Chances are if they made up a new fairy not as many people would care… and if that happens blame the writers because the stories are far from amazing.
Anyway, that rant out of the way here is a list of Peter Pan inspired works http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_based_on_Peter_Pan
This is a cool little site with Peter paraphernalia http://www.peterpan.com/neverland-store
There is also a phenomenon called Peter pan Syndrome, which as you can probably guess, means that the effected individual doesn’t want to grow up. However http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=8534 states that it is no longer accepted as a medical syndrome. For those interested in the symptoms though, a few are listed here http://emotional-verbal-abuse.suite101.com/article.cfm/male_socialization
This wonderful picture here is by the renowned Annie Leibovitz.