The Sexual Dynamics of Peter Pan
Nothing serious today, just an interesting set of observations. I’ve been reading some stuff lately about the origins of fairy tales and other pop literature prior to the 1970s when political correctness began to permeate the culture.
The conclusion is that much of this pre-70s literature, including stuff written for children, is filled with violence and sex, or at least strong sexual overtones.
While reading through this stuff, I thought of Peter Pan. I’m not sure why. Peter Pan was my favorite movie when I was a small child before the first Star Wars was released and captured my generation. As a little boy pre-Star Wars, I had Peter Pan books, dressed like Peter Pan for Halloween, and had a Peter Pan record (as in LP, for a record player) that I used to listen to over and over again, to the point where I memorized the songs and parts of the movie.
I hadn’t seen the original Disney Peter Pan animated movie since I was about five years old. I decided to re-watch it and view it through adult eyes. I thought it would also be interesting to view it as a glimpse into past culture, since the book was written in 1911 and the movie was made in 1953.
It was a very interesting experience. You think of Peter Pan as a fun little kid’s movie, when in fact Peter Pan is actually a movie about women trying to murder each other because of intense sexual jealousy. What follows is a summary of exactly what I saw when I watched the film. Everything I’m about to say is 100% accurate to the movie. Feel free to watch the movie if you don’t believe me. Just keep in mind that this movie was made for kids.
What Really Happens In Peter Pan
The movie starts with three children in early 20th century London: Wendy, who is about 11 years old, John, who is about 10, and Michael, who’s about 4. They get a visit from Peter Pan, a boy of about Wendy’s age, and his pixie slave, Tinkerbell.
Very unlike Wendy, Tinkerbell is a fully developed woman (albeit pixie-sized). While she has small boobs, Tinkerbell regularly admires her tiny waist, big ass, and swinging, sexy hips. The makers of this movie really hit this aspect hard. During one scene, she tries to exit a drawer via a keyhole, but can’t fit through because her hips and ass are too big.
Tinkerbell doesn’t speak. She instead communicates telepathically with Peter. Her first translated words in the movie are when she calls Wendy “big” and “ugly.”
Completely the converse to the sexy and silent Tinkerbell, Wendy is prepubescent, domesticated, annoying, and hyper-talkative. “Girls talk too much,” Peter says when he meets her. She responds by helpfully sewing his shadow back to his foot so it won’t escape.
Tinkerbell immediately hates Wendy with a fiery rage. Clearly in love with Peter, like some female high school teacher in love with one of her younger students, Tinkerbell is viscously jealous of Wendy. Ironically, since Peter is a child, he doesn’t pick up on the fact that Tinkerbell likes him this way, or that Tinkerbell is a sexual creature while Wendy is just a child.
When Wendy tries to give Peter a kiss, Tinkerbell goes berserk and attacks Wendy, pulling her hair. Peter catches Tinkerbell and imprisons her in his hat.
Tinkerbell’s pixie dust is also the source of flight for the characters, enabling them to fly like Superman. The characters use Tinkerbell as a salt shaker, snatching her out of the air whenever they need her and shaking her to get her pixie dust so people (and even dogs) can fly. Tinkerbell obviously isn’t happy about this, but reluctantly accepts her role as Peter’s slave, likely out of her creepy adult-on-child lust for him.
Upon the five characters arriving on Neverland, we are introduced to Captain Hook, a paranoid psychotic who regularly murders his own crew members whenever he gets even mildly irritated. His crew is near mutiny because they want to leave Neverland and continue piracy on the high seas. He wants to stay in Neverland and kill Peter Pan. Why? Because recently Peter sliced off Hook’s hand and fed it to a giant crocodile, who now has acquired a taste for human blood.
Peter commands Tinkerbell to protect Wendy and her two brothers by hiding them away while he goes to deal with Captain Hook. Tinkerbell instead tries to murder Wendy by tricking the Lost Boys into shooting her down with their makeshift firearms.
They almost do so, but at the last minute Wendy is rescued from death by Peter. This makes Tinkerbell so enraged that her entire body glows red with lava-like temperatures, and she literally burns through plants as she flies around in a fiery wrath.
Peter rants and raves at Tinkerbell, accusing her of high treason. During his ranting, Tinkerbell walks around on a tree branch, strutting her stuff, swinging her hips, tossing her hair, pursing her lips, sticking out her ass, and acting sexy like some kind of slutty Marilyn Monroe.
Peter, being a child who hasn’t even reached puberty yet, doesn’t notice any of this sexual vibe. “Don’t you realize you could have killed her?!?” he cries. Tinkerbell smiles big and answers with an enthusiastic yes. She clearly wants Wendy dead, and won’t rest until she’s six feet under.
Peter banishes Tinkerbell forever, but Wendy pleads with him to go easy, so he reduces the sentence to “one week.” Tinkerbell leaves, furious.
Later, Peter orders John, Michael, and the Lost Boys to go capture an Indian for literally no reason other than for fun. This results in an encounter with Indians, portrayed in a way that would be considered hilariously racist by today’s standards.
While this is going on, Peter and Wendy go visit the mermaids. Oh, this part is great. The mermaids are naked, super hot chicks with big boobs (as compared to the rest of the characters), their nipples covered only by their long hair or by small seashells. All of the mermaids are ridiculously horny for Peter Pan, swimming up to him, kissing his ass, giving him the doggy dinner bowl eyes, tossing their hair, and begging him to tell them stories, all of which they’ve clearly heard before.
Once again, Peter Pan, being a kid, has no idea what’s really going on. He shrugs and proceeds to tell them a story.
When the mermaids see Wendy, they instantly go into hysterics. They immediately attack Wendy, tearing at her night dress, pulling her hair, and trying to yank her into the water. When this fails, they encircle Wendy and start splashing her, laughing the entire time while Wendy is near tears. Peter Pan, being a child and a moron, thinks it’s all a game and laughs too.
Wendy finally gets her hands on a large conch shell, and attempts to bash in the skull of one of the nearest mermaids. Peter flies down and puts a stop to it, telling Wendy that the mermaids were just having fun.
With murder in her eyes, one of the mermaids says, “We were just trying to drown her.”
Hook later kidnaps the Indian chief’s daughter, Tiger Lilly, though she is rescued by Peter and returned to the Indian tribe. To celebrate, the Indians throw a party and dance while Peter and the Indian chief smoke weed. John also tries to smoke some weed, but it makes him sick.
With everyone dancing, Wendy tries to join in, but she is angrily stopped by one of the squaws, who tell her that women aren’t allowed to dance, and that her job is to go collect firewood while the men are all having fun. Wendy scowls but obeys.
This rule doesn’t apply to Tiger Lilly however (probably because she’s the chief’s daughter). So while Wendy is out collecting firewood, Tiger Lilly dances for Peter Pan, eventually giving him a lap dance and finally kissing him Indian-style by rubbing her face into his. Peter gets into it, starts dancing with Tiger Lilly and they keep mashing faces.
Wendy sees this and flies into rage. She drops her firewood and attempts to stop Peter, but she is interrupted by her little four year-old brother Michael, who calls her “squaw” and orders her to take care of his teddy bear. Wendy fumes as the same squaw from before then orders her to go get more firewood. Reaching her boiling point, Wendy storms off into the forest, alone. Peter and Tiger Lilly keep dancing and making out Indian style, having a great time.
After a failed attempt to torture Tiger Lilly for information on Peter Pan’s whereabouts, Hook captures Tinkerbell with a plan to use her against Peter. “A jealous woman can be tricked into anything,” he says. He tricks a furiously jealous Tinkerbell into revealing Peter’s secret hideout, promising Tinkerbell he’ll capture Wendy and take her away from Neverland. When Tinkerbell spills the beans, he imprisons her in a lantern and sets off for Peter’s treehouse with his pirates in tow.
Back at the treehouse, Wendy and Peter have a huge argument. Peter leaves, and Wendy acts as the Lost Boy’s “mother” and sings them a song. Soon all the Lost Boys decide they want a “mother” and beg to go back to London with her. Before this happens, Hook and his pirates arrive, capture Wendy, her two bothers, and all the Lost Boys. While Peter is asleep, Hook places a dynamite bomb in his bedroom, set to go off the next day.
Tinkerbell escapes her tiny prison and saves Peter at the last minute, and they both return to the pirates and defeat Hook by feeding him to the man-eating crocodile. Peter takes control of Hook’s ship, calling himself “Captain Pan.” He orders Tinkerbell to cover the ship in pixie dust so they can return to London. Ecstatic that Wendy is finally leaving, Tinker accurately obeys Peter for the first time in the entire movie. They all go home, the end.
What the hell did I just watch?
I just watched a story about the old-school, right-wing, Alpha Male 1.0 concepts of female purity vs. impurity.
On one side, we have purity, represented by Wendy, a sweet, submissive, virginal, motherlike, domesticated, innocent girl. The kind of girl the traditional male might want to marry.
On the other side, we have impurity or “sluts,” represented by sexy Tinkerbell, sexy mermaids, and a sexually aggressive Tiger Lilly. These women are hot, sexual, horny, angry, and combative. These are the kinds of girls the traditional male might want to have sex with, but would never marry.
Peter Pan, representing the traditional 1950s man, spurns the advances of the impure women, despite the fact they’re way more attractive and exciting, and gravities towards the purity of Wendy, despite the fact she’s far less sexually attractive, more boring, and clearly more irritating.
How does this play out in the real world? In the real world, both now and back in the 1950s, since sexual monogamy doesn’t work and never has, the Alpha Male 1.0 marries a Wendy and then cheats behind her back with a Tinkerbell. He puts up with the rules, irritation, and jealousy of his Wendy, as well as the drama, jealousy, and anger of his Tinkerbell.
This is especially true of what I’ve called “Mediterranean marriages” in my books. It’s a type of high-drama open marriage common in Southern Europe and South America, where married men are expected to cheat and do, and their wives don’t divorce them, but instead unload a constant stream of volcanic anger and drama about their husband’s repeated infidelity. The husband tolerates this crap forever until he ends up in an early grave.
It would be interesting to observe an updated, Alpha Male 2.0 version of Peter Pan, without the purity-worshipping guy-Disney or slut shaming of the Alpha 1.0 version.
I think I just thought of another idea for a novel to add to my list…