Peter Pan is a charming story about a little boy that never grows up. As a child many of us have enjoyed the Disney film as well as the popular book itself. Today I’m sharing my top 3 reasons why Peter Pan should remain a bookshelf favourite.
If you hadn’t guessed by now, I’m a massive fan of anything that is magical. Not always magical in the traditional way as in wizards waving wands and hocus pocus/abracadabra kind of magic, but Disney’s kind of “happiest place on earth” magic and anything that gives you that warm feeling inside. Peter Pan is another childhood novel that does that for me. I’m always safe in the knowledge that the I can return to Neverland any time I please and be swept up in the magic of childhood adventure.
In terms of physical magic, Peter Pan is overflowing with all kinds of traditional characters used in make believe games of Barrie’s era, many of which are still relevant today. Pirates, mermaids, Indians and pixies all feature meaning all genders (and ages) have something they can enjoy.
2 The book is just the start
For me, one of my favourite things about Peter Pan is that I can enjoy it in all of my favourite mediums. The story doesn’t end when you close the book because there are a plethora of films to enjoy too. As well as the Disney classic, films such as Hook (1991), Pan (2015) Peter Pan (2003) and so many more depict a version of the classic novel. Almost every generation is blessed with a new adaptation! It’s not just films though. We have the classic plays, as the story was originally designed to be told as well as modern day theatre putting their own spin on it by staging “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” on the West End (which, I believe, is due to be recorded for TV release this Christmas). If that doesn’t satisfy you, you can immerse yourself in the world of the ‘real’ Peter Pan and J.M Barrie thanks to “Finding Neverland” which is not only a film but now a smash hit Broadway musical and rumoured to be coming to London at some point. There are so many options, it’s difficult not to fall in love with this story.
1 It’s relatable as an adult as well as a child
This book has always been one of my firm favourites and I reread it regularly. However the more I read it as I’m getting older, the more something dawns on me: I want to be Peter Pan. I think we all secretly do. There is a very large part of us that doesn’t want to grow up. We want to return to the days where the thing we could rely on most was make believe and it was wonderful. There’s a kind of melancholy attached to this story of an eternal child but there’s beauty in that sadness. I think this story tells far more than Barrie ever intended.
I think this is by far the most magical and important thing about Peter Pan. As we grow older this book can stay with us because we will never forget how we felt as a child but now that meaning has changed but it still connects. J.M.Barrie gave us a gift in Peter Pan. Between him and Walt Disney the magic has been immortalised, and I for one can never thank them enough.