Peter Pan, most popularised by the 1953 Disney film, is the tale of a young boy who never wants to grow up. Peter Pan comes into the home of Wendy, John and Michael, taking them to the magical world of Neverland where children never grow up. The story of Peter Pan is very much innocent on the surface, but in more recent times a sadder theory about the true meaning of the film has emerged.
This interpretation of the film is based on the idea that the character of Peter Pan was in fact an angel. Peter Pan would visit the dead children and guide them up to Heaven, otherwise known as Neverland. The theory states that Wendy, John and Peter passed away in their sleep during a house fire, and as result were taken to Neverland, somewhere they would never grow old. This theory is logical – the children are all taken during the night by Peter Pan up into the sky, where they then emerge through the clouds and arrive in Neverland, a place where the young stay young forever. There are other children there, all of whom are the same age as when they arrived, aptly named the ‘lost boys’. Equally, Neverland is clearly a place for kids, and full of the things children love. There are mermaids, native Americans, fairies, pirates, and other mythical creatures and characters children identify with. The children’s time in Neverland is filled with adventure and excitement, almost as though they are playing a game. Perhaps at the end of the film, when the children are returned to their beds, it has been decided that they are not ready to be taken yet, and that they have more time to spend on Earth.
These theory hasn’t just been stirred up from nowhere, but actually has its origins from the original book, written by J.M. Barrie. J.M Barrie’s brother tragically passed away at the age of 14, as a result of a skating accident. Barrie’s mother suffered with the pain and grief of her sons death for the rest of her life, but was comforted by the fact that her son would be eternally youthful, and forever in her memory as a happy, young boy. Barrie then came up with the idea of Peter Pan.
This theory does give Peter Pan a dark twist, but if you think about it, it is really quite beautiful. The idea that children when they die are taken somewhere they can be eternally carefree and youthful. So do you like this theory? Or do you think it is complete nonsense? Let me know in the comments!