Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tinkerbell's Sad Fate From The Book Is Forgotten (Again) In Peter Pan & Wendy

Contains spoilers for "Peter Pan & Wendy"

As far as the essential checklist for a "Peter Pan" film goes, David Lowery's latest take has all the relevant story beats plus a few more in "Peter Pan & Wendy." Kid dressed like a house plant is looking for his shadow. Other kids learn to fly. Crocodile clocks in to cause some trouble. That's the great thing about Peter Pan's story, though. It's a formula that never gets old.

That being said, even with the ever so slightly altered ending to this particular take, "Peter Pan & Wendy" still doesn't dare bring to light one of the original story's darkest plot points. It's a beat so bleak that even Steven Spielberg skimmed around it in his most underrated film, "Hook". You can't blame them, really. In a family-friendly story about adventures and battling pirates, is there really any space to include the death of one of Neverland's characters, especially one so notable as Tinker Bell?

Yep, that's right, kids. In the wonderful adventure of the boy who never grew up, our hero's jingling little pal actually kicks the fairy dust-filled bucket in J.M. Barrie's original story. Upon review, though, it might not be a matter of Hollywood wanting to sugarcoat things for the audience but more so avoiding what simply plays like an afterthought in Barrie's century-old story.

Tinker Bell fades from Peter's memory in the original story

Plenty of fairytales (princesses especially) had creepy endings that Disney avoided, "Peter Pan" included. In J.M. Barrie's story, Wendy, Michael, and John Darling return home with the Lost Boys, whom Mr. and Mrs. Darling adopt, as in Lowery's latest adaptation. As time passes, they all begin to grow up and forget their adventure, with Wendy and Michael being the only ones determined to remember. The issue, however, is that Peter also forgets as time goes on as well. Returning every year to take Wendy away, it's revealed that his old adventures and those involved were forgotten in place of new ones, along with those involved.

In Barrie's book, it's revealed that Pan forgets his supposed nemesis Captain Hook because "I forget them after I kill them." Tinkerbell is given the same treatment, though, because when Wendy expresses her excitement to reunite with the fairy, the name doesn't ring a bell for Peter. "There are such a lot of them," he says. "I expect she is no more." Wendy, while shocked at the news, is pretty accepting of it. "I expect he was right, for fairies don't live long, but they are so little that a short time seems a good while to them." 

So there we have it, kids. Disney can kill a lion and turn a man into a widow in the first five minutes of a film, but a fairy fading out like "Back to the Future?" Never.