J.M. Barrie first introduced Peter Pan and the Lost Boys in his novel "The Little White Bird" in 1902. Since then, his ideas and imagery have sparked countless versions of Neverland and it's inhabitants. In fact, he produced several follow-ups himself: the play "Peter Pan; the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up" (1904) and "Peter and Wendy" his novel of the play (1911). There was a silent movie in 1924; the 1954 Broadway musical with Mary Martin & Cyril Ritchard which was televised in the 1960s airing had been rebroadcast enough times to imprint Peter in the psyche of every US child growing up in front of the tv then. In 1976, another all-star cast presented a different tv musical with Danny Kaye as Captain Hook (& Mr. Darling) with Mia Farrow as Peter Pan. Though highly acclaimed this version quickly disappeared. We only saw it that once, but recall Capt. Hook saying, "Infamy! Infamy! Why does everybody have it in for me". Then there's the 1953 Disney animated cartoon, which Disney originally optioned in 1939. Disney installed Peter Pan's Flight in Disneyland in 1955. There have been many other notable adaptions which we've listed in the links section.

Now that the copyrights to the Peter Pan story and characters have become public domain(*), prepare for the onslaught of spin-offs. Disney has the book series Peter and the Starcatchers. Macy's has their online marketing scheme "Wendy". The Syfy Channel has a 'prequel' "Neverland".
* The Ormond Street Hospital continues to hold a unique right of royalty for all performances that takes place in the UK.

Having trouble finding Neverland? If you live in the northeastern part of the U.S. you can hop on the Peter Pan Bus founded in 1933. Among other places they'll take you is to UMass Amherst, MA which is pretty close to Neverland for some of the students. I know it was for us.

In music Peter Pan has been inspiring us for years. There are songs for the various theatrical, film and tv shows about Peter Pan. There was probably a score for the original silent film of 1924, though I've only seen Andrew Birkin's mention that his mother sang the overly sugary 'Peter Pan Song' at the beginning of every performance of the 1924 silent film at her father's theater.

There are songs about how Peter Pan and other characters from the story become imagery and symbols for many of us.

Dar Williams sings in "When I Was A Boy":
"I won't forget when Peter Pan came to my house, took my hand
I said I was a boy; I'm glad he didn't check.
I learned to fly, I learned to fight
I lived a whole life in one night
We saved each other's lives out on the pirate's deck."

Our band TagYerit wrote "Wendy Bird" , using several scenes from the story as a cautionary tale on environmental degradation:
" Well they shot the Wendy Bird /
Hook keeps leaving those poison cakes /
One's an act of sinister intent / The other was all a huge mistake"

Others including Kate Bush, Kula Shaker & James McMurtry have also written songs. (See the music links below)

Peter Pan Records was a record label of children's music from the 1940s and on, though other than the name and logo I'm not sure if there was any other connection other than they wanted to sell us this cool music in the hopes we never grew up. FWIW,they currently own the peter pan.com domain name.


Peter Pan, His Shadow, Wendy Darling and Tinker Bell Paper Dolls


Captain Hook Stained Glass Window from "Peter & Wendy" book cover illustrated by F.D. Bedford


Captain Hook and Peter Pan fighting on the deck of the Jolly Roger. Illust. by F.D. Bedford


Mary Martin as Peter Pan - 45rpm EP recording


Cyril Ritchard as Captain James Hook


Plastic Peter Pan Doll


Tinker Bell Hand Puppet


Wendy Darling Hand Puppet


Peter Pan - Madam Alexander Doll


Peter Pan Records