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, Shadow, Wendy Darling & Tinker Bell Paper Dolls
Captain Hook Stained Glass Window "Peter & Wendy" book cover illust. by F.D. Bedford
Capt. Hook & Peter Pan fighting on the Jolly Roger deck. Illust. by F.D. Bedford
Mary Martin as Peter Pan - 45rpm EP
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
A Collection of Links about Peter Wendy & James Barrie
If you'd like to swap links or have your link added then Contact Us
- Andrew Birkin's site is the best place to start. He wrote "J M Barrie & the Lost Boys"
- Neverpedia - A collection of information about Peter Pan and J.M. Barrie
- Peter Pan Quotes
- "Shutting the Window: the Loss of Innocence in Twentieth-Century Children's" online essay by Isaac Gilman
- The Little White Bird: or, Adventures in Kensington Gardens (1902)by James M Barrie
- "The Peter Pan Alphabet" by Oliver Herford (1907)
"U is the Underground Home mid the roots of the trees,
Where when not slaying Pirates, the boys take their ease.
While Wendy sits mending their shirt-waists and hose,
And the Indians (ed.) above Keep watch against foes."
- Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie (1911)
- The Neverland of Id: Barrie, Peter Pan, and Freud by Michael Egan (1982) "...in his story Barrie unconsciously created a vast, symbolic metaphor - the Neverland - of the child's id; and that, secondly, he populated it with figures of an almost archetypal resonance."
- The case of Peter Pan, or, The Impossibility of Children's Fiction by Jacqueline Rose (1984) - a book about what our interests in the phenomenon of Peter Pan tells us about ourselves.
- "J M Barrie & the Lost Boys" by Andrew Birkin (2003)
- Peter Pan In Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean. The sequel authorized by Great Ormond Street Hospital (2004)
- Peter and The Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson (2004) 1st in a series of prequels with Disney Publishers
- Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J. V. Hart (2005)
- J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, In and Out of Time: A Children's Classic at 100 Donna White, C. Anita Tarr, eds. (2006) - A series of essays Peter Pan's Shadows in the Literary Imagination (College Textbook: Children's Literature and Culture) [Hardcover] by Kirsten Stirling (2011)
- Peter Pan in Canada: Two steps forward, and then two steps back again - a discussion on stereotyping of American Indians in Children's Literature
- The Annotated Peter Pan (The Centennial Edition) 2011 - Edited / Anotated by Maria Tatar
- The Bridge to Never Land by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson (2011)
Imagery- not surprisingly, the majority of images online are from the Disney animation - however here are a few other resources.
- images of Peter Pan
- Peter Pan Photo Gallery - pictures from the 2003 movie directed by P.J. Hogan
- Annie Liebowitz created some Disney Animation / Celebrity Mock ups including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gisele Bundchen, and Tina Fey as Peter Pan, Wendy, and Tinker Bell
- Peter Pan illustrations by Mabel Lucy Atwell for the 1921 Hodder & Stoughton Limited Edition. - you can probably find all of these illustrations by googling, now that you know who to look for.
- Walt Disney's Peter Pan & Alice In Wonderland Record - Wonderful cover art by Pete Hawley which is not from the movie.
Film, Television, Theater
- Peter Pan The Play is first performed on stage (1904)
As I mentioned TagYerit's song "Wendy Bird" is about our concerns for the environment and various ecological issues including pollution, global warming, loss of habitat etc. so here are links to a few organizations that have been working hard to protect this amazing natural world that we've inherited.
- CLF - Conservation Law Foundation
- Earth Island Institute
- Friends of the Earth
- NRDC - Natural Resources Defense Council
- The Nature Conservancy
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Never Grow Up by Taylor Swift
- Peter Pan song-infectious rhythmic song that somebody who goes by the name "Somebuddy" sings - it's a mini biography on Peter Pan. (Words and music by Russell Lowry & Recorded by Eric Vanausdal
- Randy as Peter Pan It's possible that nobody today is trying their hardest to live the Peter Pan dream as is Randy Constan. You will find several Peter Pan inspired songs here.
- Peter Pan (original song) Ed Spaunhorst
- "In Search of Peter Pan" by Kate Bush
- "Peter Pan RIP" by Kula Shaker
- James McMurtry "Peter Pan James McMurtry tells his tale of Never Never Land. 2010.
- "When I Was a Boy" Dar Williams live on WNRN 2010
- Wendy Bird by TagYerit
- The Peter Pan Syndrome - a term used to define childish behavior in adulthood. (Earliest cited use 1966).
The term "puer aeternus" is a 2000 year old term for "eternal boy". Carl Jung defined this as an example of an archetype.
I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention Michael Jackson who did his best to stay young and lived at his Neverland Ranch.
- Scotland's first Centre for Children's literature is to be created at the house reputed to have inspired the story of Peter Pan
- Peter Pan Gives Children Rashes And Broken Bones. A True Story
- Peter Pan Mini Golf - Austin Texas
"Never Never Land" is a print on foil by Jean & Ron Henry 1992 - showing Mermaid Lagoon and all the major characters.