Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tinker Bell & Hook: 'Frenemies'?

Remember when Tinker Bell is captured by Captain Hook and they strike up a sort of kinship against Peter Pan (because Peter had banished her)? I don’t.

This, folks, is another of the misconceptions about the story of Peter Pan. I’d been almost exactly positive that it doesn’t happen in any versions of the story by Barrie.  But just to be sure I just had a gander and, no, sorry, Barrie never has Tink and Hook together in any capacity (play, novel or screenplay.)

It’s another invention of Disney. It’s a fine one, to be sure. For it’s not like it doesn’t make sense, given how moody and flighty the fairies, especially Tinker Bell, can be. But it’s technically not correct, nevertheless.

It’s also another of the ingrained-in-pop-culture bits that P.J. Hogan used in his movie. I rather like his image of Tink sitting on Hook’s iron claw... and I love the fact that Hogan had it so that Hook understood the fairy directly whereas Disney had her ‘speak’ to him most of the time in pantomime [although at one point it does seem he hears words yet if so, they're still accompanied by a shaking finger.] Hogan has it precisely right.  Having been in the Neverland so long, Hook must have developed the knack for translation of the fairy language.  But again - Tink siding with Hook just does not actually happen in Barrie.

There’s also a short story called Never Never by Bruce Glassco in The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm in which Hook and Tink are seen together as well.

And the last place the two of them are seen together in cahoots that I can think of off the top of my head is in Hook & Jill. And this, folks, is probably the best use of this idea. No, not because author Andrea Jones and I are friends. Because in her Pan tale, the scene happens after the point in which the storyline has been skewed. Therefore, Andrea uses the popular (and appealing) idea to great advantage. She includes it but in a way entirely separate from anyone else. I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll just have to read Hook & Jill to see how it plays out. Incidentally, it’s precisely this scene that Andrea read aloud at the bookstore when I first met her (at a book signing/reading.)

In Disney’s showing of this otherwise non-existent scene, Hook tricks Tink into revealing the location of Peter Pan’s hideout.  She walks along a map and locations are seen (not found in Barrie) such as Cannibal Cove. (Cannibal Cove? Really, Disney? I mean hey, I’ll be the first to point out that the island can be a horrifying place... but cannibals?? Egad!) In doing so, it winds up sacrificing a rather fun part of Barrie’s tale and at the same time denying Hook some of his thunder – that he finds the hideout himself. Granted, he does so by accident when he’s rambling on about his woe of his infamous encounter with Pan that cost him a hand and how the crocodile lurks around for him, but still...

In Hogan’s version, it’s not an asking of Tink as to Pan’s whereabouts. Rather Tink tells him the name of the girl/mother now on the island (Wendy.) Interesting that they changed this around.  [Also interesting is that the film, too, omits Hook finding the hideout as Barrie has it in favor of that damned parrot (an addition) following Tink.]

Naturally, this cancels out another fun image - a fairy (namely Tink) trapped in a lantern.  It appears in both Disney and Hogan.
Oh well. It’s a shame that this lantern concept has become so over-used. (I’ve seen it a bunch outside of stories or movies, too.) I’d like to do it myself in a tale though I have nothing particular in mind... and since it’s now sort of hackneyed it’s more than likely that I won’t.

So as much fun as it might be - there's no "frenemy" of Tink & Hook in Barrie.


Anon said...

I guess Disney thought it followed naturally from Barrie: Tink was banished by Peter, Hook wanted to take Wendy away (which Tink would naturally want) and so he could prey upon this, and plus in Disney they had it be that Hook didn't know where Peter lived and was trying to grill her (and for that matter, Tiger Lily) for information. They just tied together what were separate elements of Barrie.

Personally I thought Disney's idea made Hook MORE nefarious, since he thought of something that actually WORKED. Which isn't to say that overall Hook was harder to take seriously in Disney, but imagine if Barrie's Hook had done THAT.

As for "Cannibal Cove", that's nothing. How about "Suicide Trail" or "Satan's Ridge" in "The Rescuers Down Under"? SUICIDE? SATAN? What kind of subliminable messages is this company sending to little kids?

(And yes, I spelled it wrong on purpose, you don't have to tell me. :P )

Anon said...

Which isn't to say that overall Hook WASN'T harder to take seriously in Disney, sorry.

But I still misspelled "subliminal" wrong on purpose.

Anon said...

Not to mention, of course, that Satan himself was depicted in Fantasia.... As well as topless nudity....

This is DISNEY we're talking about, right...?