On Peter Pan

It’s probably pretty obvious, but I have a huge Peter Pan complex. I blame my parents for this (they made my song “Forever Young—the Rod Stewart version, not the Jay-Z version—when I was young), but it probably stems from a lot of things. Regardless, I’ve always had a fascination with Peter Pan. My favourite portrayal so far has to be the 2003 version starring Jeremy Sumpter, but I got the chance to watch Hook the other day, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

While watching it, though, I started thinking about the untapped stories in Peter Pan. The story is magical because of the character that Peter holds. Peter embodies and is Neverland, and a lot can be done with that. Few films seem to accept or embrace that, which is why the 2003 version happens to be my favourite; it really plays with the idea and personality of Peter, while staying rather close to the original J.M. Barrie story.

Peter is embodied by his childishness—his refusal to grow up is what gives Neverland its timelessness. And in that inherent immaturity, we see the pros and cons of such an approach. Peter is tactless, to the point of hurting those around him out of ignorance, but enchanting, happy, and carefree. He is incapable of some of the stronger emotions, and exhibits a fleeting character that one may miss if they blink.

What then, is made of the crush that Tinkerbell clearly has on him? It is implied in every version I’ve seen that this is what fuels her betrayal of Wendy to Captain Hook, but the dynamics aren’t really explored. And Tink, herself, is a wonderful font for exploration: a creature so tiny she can only hold a single emotion at any given point. Much a mirror of Peter’s undeveloped emotional capacities, the dynamics between Tink and Peter hold a plethora of opportunities for stories. What would Tink say, should she have a chance to tell the story? What would Peter say, should he know of Tink’s feelings for him? What would a relationship between Tink and Peter look like?

Perhaps I’ll have to write some explorations into this realm that I love so, should I get the opportunity this semester. I would love to hear other people’s thoughts on the matter, though.