Peter Pan & Wendy Ending Explained – why does Peter Pan return to Neverland?

By Marc Miller
Published: April 28, 2023 (Last updated: March 19, 2024)

We discuss the ending of the 2023 Disney+ film Peter Pan & Wendy, which will contain spoilers.

The Disney+ adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s children’s classic tells the tale of Peter Pan but through the eyes of Wendy Darling, who tries to avoid growing up like the legendary children’s character.

Her parents, Mary and George Darling, want Wendy to attend boarding school. However, Wendy would rather play Peter Pan with her two younger brothers, Michael and John.

After Peter and his magical fairy companion, Tinker Bell, float into their bedroom, Wendy and her siblings are taken to Neverland. There, the Darling children encounter the villainous Captain Hook, including his loyal first mate Mr. Smee, and befriend Peter’s lost boys (and even girls). And, of course, that pesky crocodile. Let’s explain the ending of Peter Pan & Wendy.

Peter Pan & Wendy Ending Explained

What is Captain Hook’s real name?

Captain Hook’s real name is James, which is revealed to Wendy when she finds his name etched into a door. It turns out that James was once a member of the Lost Boys but did not want to stay in Neverland. Peter refused to let him in when he tried to return and banished him from the magical island. James regrets his decision and misses his friend, Peter.

When James and his shipmates raid the Home Under the Ground, Captain Hook confronts Peter, and for the first time, he shows fear. While floating in the air over an opening on the floor, he tells James that their battles are no longer fun. This causes Peter to lose his magical power, and he falls all the way down to the basement.

Does Peter Pan kill Captain Hook?

Peter Pan doesn’t kill Captain Hook and instead tries to save him. After Wendy and the Lost Boys take over the Jolly Roger, Peter regains his magical power, shows up, and engages in a sword fight inside the ship against his old friend. When the confrontation spills out onto the captain’s deck and the ship begins to rotate in the air, Peter offers his hand and friendship to Captain Hook, attempting to save him.

Peter’s hand is on James’s hook, and the villain falls. All that is left is the infamous hook in Peter Pan’s hand. Peter then flies Wendy, her brothers, and the Lost Boys back to London so Wendy can watch over them. However, Peter refuses to stay and sails the Jolly Roger back to Neverland. Wendy etches her name under his on the brick wall on the roof of her home, writing “Peter Pan + Wendy.”

What does Tinker Bell whisper in Wendy’s ear?

Before Peter and Tinker Bell leave, the magical fairy whispers into Wendy’s ear, “Thank you for hearing me.” This is significant because in J.M. Barrie’s original story, she communicates only through the sound of a bell, and her ‘tinkling’ voice expresses her emotions.

In various adaptations, she is played as a figure who is strong-willed and has an attitude with a chip on her shoulder. The fact that Tinker Bell thanks Wendy for being heard, the mischievous fairy, could symbolize social activism. In this case, those who go unheard can now have a voice.

Why does Peter Pan return to Neverland?

It is unclear why Peter returned to Neverland, but we can speculate on two options based on what happens during the film:

  • Throughout the story, it is frequently mentioned that Peter never wants to grow up.
  • Additionally, while fighting Captain Hook, Hook talks to Peter about how he will miss their battles and confrontations.
  • Finally, straying from the book, Peter indicates a troubled childhood with his mother.

The adventures of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys are similar to what Wendy’s brothers were playfighting at the beginning of the film, but Peter and his friends use their imaginations. In reality, Captain Hook/James is Peter Pan’s best friend and play partner. When Peter returns, Captain Hook looks up and smiles, indicating that their adventures can continue and play make-believe.

Does Peter Pan & Wendy have a post-credits scene?

No, Peter Pan & Wendy does not have a post-credits scene.

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