Peter Pan & Wendy Shows The Difference Between Aging And Maturing

Contains spoilers for "Peter Pan & Wendy"

If there's one theme audiences are surely expecting to encounter in Disney+'s freshly released "Peter Pan & Wendy," it's what it means to grow up — and what it takes to avoid this fate. And this of course is because Peter himself, played by Alexander Molony, is a boy with no interest whatsoever in becoming an adult. As such, Peter arrives on cue as a puckish ambassador of permanent childhood, gliding through the window of the Darling household to the wonderment of Ever Anderson's Wendy Darling and her siblings.

Whisking the youngsters off to Neverland, Peter, Wendy, and the Darling children embark on an adventure that expands on the original J.M. Barrie play and subsequent novel, with numerous callbacks to Disney's own, classic 1953 animated feature. The current Disney reboot invites viewers into the iconic fantasy to once again meet up with all the franchise's usual suspects, including Jude Law's suitably cranky, Pan-hating Captain Hook, the pixie-dust-sprinkling Tinkerbell played by Yara Shahidi, and Jim Gaffigan as Hook's piratical sidekick Smee. But when it comes to getting older as opposed to actually gaining the perspective of age, it seems Peter manages to mature over the course of the film, while Hook may have added years to his age but appears no wiser.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook take very different paths in the film

As the action of "Peter Pan & Wendy" plays out, viewers are likely to notice that Peter and his hook-wielding antagonist experience very different journeys as far as character development is concerned. In Peter's case, his path would seem to be pre-determined by the full title of Barrie's original play: "Peter Pan; or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up." But the fact is, in "Peter Pan & Wendy," Peter brags loudly that he has what it takes to always act the hero in any situation and so never needs assistance from anyone to save the day. But by the film's end, Peter displays growth from this narrow-minded arrogance. He eventually comes around to admitting he was wrong to banish Captain Hook from Neverland and also relents and allows Tiger Lily (Alyssa Wapanatâhk) to lend him a hand.

As for Hook, the cranky Captain refuses to accept Pan's apology and remains steadfast in his angry enmity. It turns out Hook's backstory of being raised by pirates and thus "growing up wrong" may actually provide a rationale for his behavior. But it nonetheless proves the point that while Pan clearly seems to mature over the course of "Peter Pan & Wendy," the crusty old Captain Hook merely ages in place.