Peter Pan Conspiracy Theories


Image via Celebrations

Cadynce Harmon, Writer

Peter Pan is one of the most iconic Disney movies out there. From the cartoon versions to those that are live-action, each variation still finds a way to bring the main character to life. There aren’t many movies that can top Peter Pan, but behind every good movie, there are its flaws: details and stories that appear and catch the eyes of adoring fans. 

Peter Pan is a story about a boy who lives in the mythical world of Neverland, where children never grow up and instead spend their immortal lives flying around and going on adventures. This story, written by J.M. Barrie, started out as one called Little White Bird, which was a story about a man who becomes fascinated with a little boy and who wants to steal him away from his mother. The man makes up the story of Peter Pan in order to befriend the boy. Little White Bird is based on Barrie’s personal experience with a five-year-old boy named George Llewelyn Davies. He felt a deep affection for George and for his brothers Micheal, John, Nicholas, and Peter, who were ultimately the namesakes of the characters in Peter Pan

One of the conspiracy theories that I’ve heard is that Peter Pan is an angel and that all of the other children are dead. The way the theory goes is that he holds the children’s hands-on their way to Heaven, a.k.a Neverland, which is the reason why they never grow up. 

The second theory, the one I’ve heard most often, is that Peter Pan is the real villain. In a certain part of the story it says, “The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according to as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out.” It’s said that when they get too old he kills them off due to his hatred for grown-ups. The theory also explains that Captain Hook and his crew are lost boys who grew up and got away from Peter Pan and that they are trying to stop his wicked actions in their adulthood. Peter Pan literally kidnaps children and takes them away to Neverland, where they “never grow up” and instead get captured by a pirate over and over again. It sounds pretty bizarre when you think about it.

Another interesting topic that’s not a conspiracy theory, but that is a problem in the real world as well as in Peter Pan is racism. J.M. Barrie’s description of Native Americans when they first appear was, “They carry tomahawks and knives, and their naked bodies gleam with paint and oil. Strung around them are scalps, of boys as well as of pirates, for these are the Piccaninny tribe, and not to be confused with the softer-hearted Delawares or the Hurons.” First of all, this is extremely offensive to Native Americans and very stereotypical. He makes it seem like this describes every Native American and completely disregards the different cultures among Native American tribes. The original song in the story also indicates that the Native American songs are all gibberish and made up of nonsense. Since Peter Pan is a children’s movie, it makes it that much easier to hide blatant racism. 

There are real-world problems portrayed in children’s movies, and it’s hard to look past them. It can be difficult to accept the conflict in our favorite movies, but as long as we’re aware of it, we can try to bring it to others’ attention. The story of Peter Pan has had its share of remakes, rewrites, and so on. It’s a favorite of many, and nostalgic for all. Nevertheless, Peter Pan is iconic, and it will always be.