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Neverland

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Illustration of Peter Pan playing the pipes, with Neverland in the background by F D Bedford, from the novel Peter and Wendy published in 1911
Illustration of Peter Pan playing the pipes, with Neverland in the background by F D Bedford, from the novel Peter and Wendy published in 1911

Neverland (also spelled Never Land and also known as Never Never Land) is a fictional world featured in the works of J. M. Barrie and those based on them. It is the dwelling place of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, and others. Its best known resident famously refused to grow up, so it is often used as a metaphor for eternal childhood (and childishness), immortality, and escapism. Neverland has been featured prominently in subsequent works, either adapting Barrie's works or expanding upon them. These Neverlands sometimes vary in nature from the original, which seems fitting as Barrie originally described them as doing that.

Contents

Name

The name was possibly inspired by the contemporary term for outback Australia: the Never Never. Barrie wrote that "the Neverlands" are not all alike, and even he couldn't seem to make up his mind what the proper name of the place was. In the earliest drafts of the play and the program for the original 1904 production, the island was called "Never Never Never Land"; the characters in the play itself referred to it as "the Never Never Land". This version of the name caught on, and it is widely known that way. In his 1911 novelization Peter and Wendy, Barrie referred to "the Neverland", and its many variations were "the Neverlands". In the 1928 published version of the script, it was written as "the Never Land", and Disney appears to have standardized on "Never Land".

Nature

Disney's Neverland
Disney's Neverland

The novel explains that the Neverlands are found in the minds of children, and that although each is "always more or less an island", and they have a family resemblance, they are not the same from one child to the next. For example, John Darling's "had a lagoon with flamingos flying over it" while his little brother Michael's "had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it". The novel further explains that the Neverlands are compact enough that adventures are never far between. It says that a map of a child's mind would resemble a map of Neverland, with no boundaries at all.

According to the authorized 2006 sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet, the island was pushed up from the ground by imagination. The unauthorized 2004 prequel Peter and the Starcatchers presents it as a normal island, named by Peter after the Never Land, the sailing vessel on which he was sent away from civilization.

Neverland waking up to Peter Pan's return in the 2003 film Peter Pan
Neverland waking up to Peter Pan's return in the 2003 film Peter Pan

In Barrie's original tale, Peter led Wendy and her brothers to Neverland by flying "second to the right, and then straight on till morning." for many days, though it is stated in the novel that Peter made up these directions on the spot to impress Wendy, and that they found the island only because it was out looking for them. In the 1953 Disney film, Peter Pan, the word "star" is added to the directions Peter speaks: "second star to the right, and straight on till morning." That phrase is widely quoted, and was used again in the 1991 movie Hook. Inexplicably, the 1988 direct-to-video adaptation changes it to "first on the left and straight on till morning". In Peter Pan in Scarlet, the children get to the Neverland world by flying on a road called the High Way, and the island is located in a sea known as the Sea of One Thousand Islands.

The passage of time in Neverland is ambiguous. The novel Peter Pan mentions that there are many more suns and moons there than in our world, making time difficult to track. Although widely thought of as a place where children don't grow up, Barrie wrote that Lost Boys eventually grew up and have to leave, and fairies there lived typically short lifespans. According to Peter Pan in Scarlet, time froze to the children as soon as they got into Neverland.

Locations

Most of the adventures in the stories take place in the Neverwood. The Lost Boys build the Wendy house here, and it is also the location of the Home Underground, where Peter and the Boys reside. There are many entrances into the underground home. Hollowed-out trees are made to fit every Lost Boy in Peter's ranks, and there is a small Nevertree in the middle of the large room that grows every day. Peter and the children use it as a table to eat on, then they cut it when it has grown too large. In Peter Pan in Scarlet, Peter lets the Nevertree grow too large, and it grows out of the roof. It then picks up the Wendy House and lifts it into the air.

The mermaids lounge around in the Mermaid Lagoon without a care in the world. This is also the location of Marooner's Rock. It is not safe for mortals to visit Mermaid Lagoon at night. This is the most dangerous place in Neverland.

Slightly Gulch - where a great battle took place against the Redskins, during which Peter Pan decided to switch sides for the "fun" of it

Neverpeak Mountain is the huge mountain that is right in the middle of Neverland. According to Peter Pan in Scarlet, when a child is on top of Neverpeak Mountain, he or she can see over anyone and anything and can see beyond belief.

The Maze of Regrets is a maze in Peter Pan in Scarlet where all the mothers of the Lost Boys go to find their boys. This was thought to be a maze of witches before the League of Pan ran into Mr. Smee.

Pixie Hollow is where Tinker Bell and her tiny fairy friends live and dwell in Disney's Tinker Bell movies and related books.

The Indian Mountain - the location of the encampment in Hook & Jill to which the natives of the Neverland withdraw after the harvest, or when threatened by unfriendly forces

The Fairy Glade - the home of the Neverland fairies in Hook & Jill

Neverbay - the location where the Jolly Roger anchors in Hook & Jill

The Clearing (House in the Clearing) - the place in the forest where the Wendy House stands in Hook & Jill, later built up as a home for a new family comprised of Indians and former Lost Boys.

Croc's Grotto - the name of the crocodile's lair in Hook & Jill

Inhabitants

Fairies

There are fairies in Neverland, and they are the primary magic users of Neverland. They are allied to the Lost Boys and against the pirates. The most famous is Tinker Bell, the companion of Peter Pan.

In the part of the story where Peter Pan and the lost boys built a house for Wendy on Neverland, Peter Pan stays up late that night to guard her from the pirates, but then the story says: 'After a time he fell asleep, and some unsteady fairies had to climb over him on their way home from an orgy. Any of the other boys obstructing the fairy path at night they would have mischiefed, but they just tweaked Peter's nose and passed on.' Disney Fairies Never fairies and sparrow men live in a little place called Pixie Hollow in the heart of Never Land. After Wendy left, Tinker Bell was still a little mad at Peter so she went back to her old home in The Pixie Hollow.

Lost Boys

The Lost Boys are a tribe of boys in the Neverland. They reside in the Home Under the Ground (entered by way of hollow trees) and live for adventure. They are a formidable fighting force despite their youth and they make war with the pirates as well as the Redskins (prior to their befriending them on account of Pan saving Tiger Lily from Hook.) Their leader is Peter Pan.

Pirates

The crew of the pirate ship Jolly Roger have taken up residence off-shore, and are widely feared throughout Neverland. Their captain is the ruthless James Hook. How they came to be in Neverland is unclear.

Redskins

There is a tribe of wigwam-dwelling American Indians who live on the island, who refer to themselves as 'Redskins', although Barrie himself referred to them as the Piccaninny tribe. They have an imposing tribal chief, whose daughter, the princess of the tribe, is called Tiger Lily, and she has a crush on Peter Pan. The Redskins are known to make ferocious and deadly war against Captain Hook and his pirates, but their connection with the Lost Boys is more lighthearted. For 'many moons' the two groups have captured each other, only to promptly release the captives, as though it were a game. It is also unclear how the Redskins came to be in Neverland; they may have gotten there through shamanistic rituals. They have apparently been in Neverland for some time though, as it is stated they know Neverland better than anyone.

Mermaids

Mermaids live in the lagoon. They enjoy the company of Peter Pan but seem malevolent towards anybody else, including the fairies. In J.M Barrie's world mermaids are not as they are in story books, they are 'dark and dangerous creatures in touch with all things mysterious'.

Animal Kingdom

Various wild beasts live throughout the Neverland, such as ostriches, wolves and bears.

See also

Uses some licensed material by Wikipedia editors.

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