PETER PAN – Overview: The short version

(Here’s my first Overview – a detailed look at a ‘classic’ book, including it’s historical context and how it’s changed through the years in various versions and media. I had thought to publish Overviews as simple posts, but this one has turned out so, um, voluminous that I think I will put it up as a page instead (ie. accessible through the menu at the top under “Overviews”, or here. Below is a Short Version, for those who have neither time nor patience with obsessive research…)

illustration by Mabel Lucie Attwell

“Every child grows up… except one.”



A mysterious boy named Peter Pan flies in the Darling family’s nursery window and entices Wendy, John and Michael to go with him to a magical place called Neverland. With the help of a little pixie dust from a fairy named Tinker Bell, they are able to fly away with him and encounter the real (yet deadly) land of their imaginations and dreams – a land where they never have to grow up. After many adventures there Wendy convinces her brothers that they must return to their anxious parents. Peter’s entire band of Lost Boys have enjoyed having a mother (Wendy) so much that they decide to go with them to the real world. Peter alone stays behind – he thinks parents and growing up is terribly overrated. As they exit the hideout, however, the children are captured by the evil Captain Hook and his pirates. Tinker Bell prevents Peter from drinking the poison Hook has left for him, and Peter rushes to rescue the others and do battle with the Captain. The pirates are vanquished and Hook is eaten by a crocodile. Peter returns the children to their nursery window, where their parents and dog Nana await. Peter refuses to stay, he prefers to remain a boy forever – no matter what the cost – and he flies off, back to Neverland.

(Note: story events can vary greatly from one version to the next.)



Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)

Rated: G
Length: 81 min
Age: 4 +   (because of rats; might be okay for 3)         Commonsense Media sez:  4+

Scary factor: escaping from red-eyed rats is quite scary, but action-packed and moves along quickly. Encounter with trolls is quickly defused as trolls are more goofy than scary, and easily dodged.

Intense scenes: More troublesome for the very young might be moments of high despair for Tinker Bell, and scenes in which she loses her temper with her friends, however she apologies and learns from all trials.

Warning: Excessive Merchandise Alert!

Interests: fairies, magic, nature, adventure, travel, treasure

Tinker Bell (2008)

Rated: G
Length: 78 min
Age: 3+               Commonsense Media sez: 4+

Scary factor: Biggest scare is a brief scene with a hawk; the fairies flee in terror and hide. The hawk has Vidia cornered briefly but she escapes. Two stampedes of Sprinting Thistles are momentarily alarming, but the plants are more of a nuisance than a directed threat.

Intense scenes: the aftermath of the second thistle stampede, in which Tinker Bell has inadvertently destroyed all the work of the entire fairy community, could be emotionally intense for some – along the lines of “she’s in so much trouble!!!”, but things are soon set right again.

Another brief gag: a squirrel is hit in the head with a nut, and bursts into tears. Done for humour, and happens very quickly.

Warning: Excessive Merchandise Alert!

Interests: fairies, magic, nature, seasons, spring

Go to review for 2nd Tinker Bell film – Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure.

The Little Bear Movie (2001)

Rated: G
Length:  75 min.
Age: 2 and up.

Scary Factor: a mountain lion slinks around but is quickly chased off; flashback to Cub getting separated from his parents during a storm, which isn’t altogether scary simply because it is a flashback; mountain lion returns at end, menaces Goose and Little Bear, then is scared off

Interests: animals, nature

Next: Little Bear TV series

Many Moons


Many Moons

James Thurber, author

Louis Slobodkin, ill.

New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1943

45 pp

age 3+

Interests: fairy tales, princess, castles, moon


The Little House


The Little House

Virginia Lee Burton

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1942

40 pp

ages 2 +

Interests: machinery, cars, construction, country living, the seasons, and what life was like long ago…


Make Way for Ducklings


Make Way for Ducklings

Robert McCloskey

New York: Viking Press, 1941

62 pp

ages 2 and up

Interests: birds, ducks, public parks, Boston


The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles


The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles

Maude and Miska Petersham

New York: Simon & Schuster, 1945

62 pp.

age: infants on up

Interests: poetry


The Amazing Bone


William Steig

New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1976

28 pp

5 and up


Never Take a Pig to Lunch: And Other Poems About the Fun of Eating

Nadine Bernard Westcott, ed. and illustrator

New York: Orchard Books, 1994

63 pp.,  56 poems

age 4 and up

Interests: food, poetry, eating, gross stuff


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.