Dark Origins – Peter Pan, Lost Boys who are murdered and mermaids who are Sirens.

I am over at Writing to be Read with another Dark Origins post. This one is about Peter Pan the original of which is nothing like the Disney film. Thanks for hosting me, Kaye Lynne Booth.

Writing to be Read

Most of us know the Disney version of Peter Pan featuring Captain Hook, Mr Smee, Wendy, John, Michael, and the Lost Boys. Oh, and Tinkerbell, of course.

I am not sure how many people have read the original play called Peter Pan or the boy who wouldn’t grow up, written by J.M. Barrie in 1904, but it is a far cry from the innocent tale presented by Walt Disney.

We know from the Disney film that Peter Pan doesn’t want to grow up, but no mention is made of the extreme lengths Peter Pan is prepared to go to fight it.

Consider this extract: “The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out; but at this time there were six of them…

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27 thoughts on “Dark Origins – Peter Pan, Lost Boys who are murdered and mermaids who are Sirens.

  1. I never liked Disney’s Peter Pan or Pinocchio for that matter. I have read the original Pinocchio, but I am not familiar with the original Peter Pan. Which is definitely more interesting.

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    1. People generally were much more in touch with death in the past, than we are now. Death happened all the time, it was the same as birth. I think there was also a lot of starvation, poverty, and other things that first world children are quite sheltered from.

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    1. Hi Rebecca, it is a very sad story. I knew about the mermaids and some of the other dark aspects of the original story, but I didn’t know JM Barrie’s personal history. They have created a Peter Pan house in Dumfries in a house where JM Barrie spent time during his lifetime. It wasn’t open as yet when we were there but I hope to visit it next time.

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  2. Disney certainly wove a lot of magic where there was nothing but darkness in the original tale…Thank you Robbie for your oversight the links were a fascinating read so far removed from the Disney version …It doesn’t stop me having a fascination and a love of Grimms fairy tales which I still read to Lily :)x

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    1. I had the audio versions of all of the Grimm’s fairy tales and the HC Anderson tales for my sons. I enjoyed listening to them as much as my sons did. Peter Pan (the original) I read last year but I didn’t appreciate the origin of the darkness as I didn’t know Barrie’s personal story and I honestly, didn’t pick up that line about the Lost Boys. That went right over my head.

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  3. I’ve read Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. And maybe other books by Barre – I’ve just read the Wiki entry (I was looking for the titles that I did read) about why Barre created and who Pan was ‘modeled’ after. That is a dark origin indeed.

    I’ll read your full ‘link’ in a moment. This sort of reminds me of Frank L. Baum and OZ there is so much more to Baum’s original series than the movie. As well as the history behind “Alice in Wonderland’. Or even some of the newspaper comics. Like ‘Peanuts’ or ‘Mutt’s’ – which have religious undertones. Though most folks don’t realize that.

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