YMMV: Peter Pan

The original novel and play

  • Adaptation Displacement: It's often forgotten that it began life as a play, before being adapted into a novel (both by JM Barrie).
    • And it's often forgotten that while the play was Peter Pan's first incarnation as a story, the character of Peter Pan goes back further still, to his debut in Barrie's novel The Little White Bird.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: One of the rare cases in which it hits on something, since most of the people who consider Pan evil have no idea that early drafts of the story had him as the villain, taking children away from their parents.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • In everyone who goes to Neverland; in Peter himself so much it's scary.
    • The one thing he ever briefly has angst over is the fact that he had no parents, and he'll never have a family or know true love because he can't grow up, which is a bit of a Tear Jerker. In Hook he gives in to this and leaves Neverland.
  • Evil Is Cool: Captain Hook. The narrator is well aware of this, and repeatedly goes out of his way to stress that, despite being "not wholly unheroic," he isn't a Draco in Leather Pants.
  • Hell Is That Noise: For Hook, the sound of a ticking clock is generally cause for alarm, as it almost always means the Crocodile is nearby.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: John mentions fantasizing about becoming a pirate and calling himself Red-handed Jack. In Hook, Peter's son Jack does become a pirate, and he dresses up like a miniature Captain Hook. Had he gone the whole nine yards, he would have been Jack with a Red Right Hand.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Peter Pan himself is an arrogant and bloodthirsty delinquent, but every now and then the veneer slips and it's clear how desperately sad it is to never grow up. Especially toward the end, when the narrator describes how Peter will never be able to know the joys and love of family.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Peter and Hook both.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The pirates' massacre of the Indians is this for Hook.
  • No Yay: Wendy/Hook. Good god, Wendy/Hook. "For a moment she was entranced by him." See the 2003 film version as well.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Peter Pan is such a sociopath it can be hard to cheer for him in the final battle on the pirate ship.
  • Special Effect Failure: There have been many accidents with the tethers during the stage adaptations.
  • Toy Ship: Peter and Wendy. Also Wendy and Hook, depending on the handling of the adaptation.
  • Values Dissonance: The boys go out and have adventures, and Wendy is their 'mother' and does all of the cooking and mending. At the end of the story Peter returns to London to find Wendy grown up, and her daughter goes off with him for a month to do his spring-cleaning. The whole story is built around children's fantasies, so the fundamental premise is that its' boys' fantasies to have adventures with pirates and Indians and the like, and girls' fantasies to be mothers and keep house and that's all. (Tiger Lily is an exception, being described as a formidable warrior, but the only scene we really see her in is when Peter saves her and she more or less disappears from the story after that, making her a Faux Action Girl.)
    • There's also the horribly racist depiction of the Indians, particularly after Peter saves Tiger Lily.
    • The insinuation that all families have/need both a mother and father, which is blatant in the Disney adaptation.
  • The Woobie: Say it with Wendy and me, everyone—"Poor Tootles!" Despite being the only Lost Boy who might accurately be called "nice", he's Born Unlucky and his self-esteem is virtually non-existent. Not to mention that he's always saying things like this:
    "I did it...When ladies used to come to me in dreams, I said, 'Pretty mother, pretty mother.' But when at last she really came, I shot her."

The Disney animated film

  • Adaptation Displacement: The movie adds "star" to the book's quote "Second star to the right and straight on til morning", which is almost invariably how the phrase is quoted, often even with mistaken attribution to Barrie.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Captain Hook. As Internet reviewer Unshaved Mouse notes:
    Even his own men don’t seem to fear him and he’s murdering them on a regular basis! [The book] mentions that Hook is feared by “the Sea-Cook”. As in, Long John Freakin’ Silver was afraid of this guy. The Disney version wouldn’t scare Captain Crunch.
  • Ascended Extra : Tinker Bell.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The crocodile looking at the camera and smiling. Even Peter is like "WTF".
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, and Tick Tock the Crocodile, probably for having the funniest moments.
  • Evil Is Cool: Captain Hook, again. It was said that Hans Conried really had fun doing Hook's voice.
  • Fair for Its Day: The movie's embarrassing portrayal of the Indian tribe was actually one of the more positive representations of American Indians at the time.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The first words in the film (by an unnamed narrator) are "All this has happened before...and it will happen again."
  • Ho Yay: Hook and Smee. Smee seems to live for nothing more than serving Hook, which he does quite cheerfully. He's also quite the bumbler, and yet Hook hasn't killed him yet, despite shooting a man for singing distractingly or hurling one overboard for an irksome comment. He also calls exclusively for Smee with insane gusto any time he needs saving, and during the 'life of a pirate' song there's the affectionate little feather tickle Hook gives Smee, and Smee seems quite smitten by it. In Return to Neverland the octopus gives Hook a kiss with one sucker, which Hook accepts with no problem because he thinks it's from Smee. Smee also gives the Captain a rough massage.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Tinker Bell.
    • Captain Hook qualifies too, he may be evil but he suffers more than he deserves and unlike most Disney Villains has an understandable reason to want to kill his nemesis.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "SMEEEEE!!!"
    • Captain Hook shooting the accordion-playing pirate, whose song is usually replaced with a different song in YouTube Poops.
    • "We were only trying to drown her!"
  • Newer Than They Think: Specifically, the line in the novel read "second to the right". All Disney did was add the word "star" after "second".
  • Nightmare Fuel:
  • One-Scene Wonder: The mermaids are in one scene, but are well remembered by many, particularly their Memetic Mutation line.
  • Smurfette Breakout: Tinker Bell has her own spinoff franchise.
  • Toy Ship: Peter/Wendy. Also Peter/Jane in the sequel.
  • Values Dissonance: Watching "What Made the Red Man Red?" today can be uncomfortable to say the least.

The live-action film

  • Accidental Innuendo: "Both hands." Probably doubles as Squick for many.
    • "You'll never make a man out of me!"
  • Awesome Music:
    • Well, the music was after all, composed by James Newton Howard. So awesome that Disney stole it for use in their Disneyland commercials.
    • Just try and not get chills when the kids first fly to Neverland.
    • "Clocks" by Music/Coldplay, which was beautifully used in the trailers. This was when Coldplay was first coming out, and did a lot to get them noticed.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Captain Hook gets this treatment a lot in fanfics, usually just because he's played by Jason Isaacs. He's usually depicted as the Draco to Wendy's Hermione.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Slightly. The actor who plays him admitted to being surprised at having so many fans after doing only one film.
  • Foe Yay: The film turns this Up to Eleven between Hook and Peter.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: All the talk about Peter being afraid of love and of his own sexuality becomes funny if you know that Jeremy Sumpter went on to star in a notoriously bad Lifetime movie about a teenager getting addicted to internet porn.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Peter. Hook too, to some extent, but this version constantly squanders this sympathy.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The more monstrous portrayal of the mermaids and the only one to date to actually show the stump of Hook's severed arm.
    • Hook's eyes actually do turn red as he attempts to murder an unarmed Peter Pan.
  • No Yay:
    • Sometimes the response to the Hook/Wendy dynamic, including from several professional reviewers. Word of God says they didn't realize when they were shooting just how that was going to look on film.
      • Never mind that it's a pretty accurate portrayal of Wendy's attraction to Hook in the novel.
      • One reviewer didn't have a problem with that as much as with his perception of Hook's attraction to her.
    • The Foe Yay between Hook and Peter can fall into this category, too.
    • One reviewer speculated that a lot of the creepiness could be attributed to the fact that Hook has No Sense of Personal Space with either of them. At all. Jason Isaacs has mentioned in interviews how incredibly uncomfortable some of that was to portray.
  • Tear Jerker: Hook giving Peter a verbal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, implying Wendy will leave and forget him, in order to break him.
  • Toy Ship: John with Princess Tiger Lily
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The fairy dance scene in particular.

The musical

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The common one is that Peter is actually a lesbian trying to convince Wendy that she's a boy. And Captain Hook is dumb enough to fall for it.
  • Base Breaker: Christopher Walken in the 2014 live show. People are pretty well split between his being terrible, or the best reason to watch. Or both.
  • Fridge Logic: So Hook's actual last name is Hook? That's awfully convenient, isn't it?
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many tuned into the December 2014 TV adaptation either to see Christopher Walken (and his dancing skills). Alternately, many were upset at Pan for casting a white actress as Tiger Lily, and tuned in to support NBC's choice to make her Native American, and the song she sings in her language accurate to real Native American culture.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Narm: The 2014 live film asking us to save Tinkerbell with Twitter. At least they didn't go so far as having Peter actually say it, but that caption pulls you right out of the moment. Fortunately but unsurprisingly, home video prints don't include such a caption.
  • Never Live It Down: Allison Williams preemptively lecturing people about "hate watching" the 2014 live show. Many resented feeling like they were being told they needed her permission to snark at it, with predictable results.
  • Special Effect Failure: The HD cameras used for the 2014 performance made it rather hard to hide the actors' wires, and sometimes even the overhead lighting.
  • Values Dissonance: A ceremony the Indians hold for Peter consists mainly of singing gibberish meant to sound like a native language. Averted with the December 2014 live-action TV adaption, which not only specifically cast a Native American actress as Tiger Lily, but replaced the gibberish with actual Native American dialogue, in an effort to be politically correct. Though many still found it offensive.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Many observers' reaction to the decision to cast Christopher Walken as Captain Hook for the December 2014 live-theatre TV adaptation, since Walken looks nothing like the character out of makeup. Another main criticism was that Alison Williams looks too feminine for the role, looking more like a Tomboy or Butch Lesbian than a boy.