HOME : Peter Pan FAQS

When did Peter Pan first appear?

Scottish playwright James M. Barrie first wrote about Peter Pan in a book called The Little White Bird, which was published in 1902.

Who was Peter Pan based on?

James Barrie based the characters in various editions about Peter Pan on himself and on the children in his life, including a little boy named Peter Davies. "Pan" however, was likely first derived from ancient Greek mythology. According to Greek mythology, "Pan" was the spirit of nature (a term Barrie adopted to describe Peter), who lived in the woods and spent his days annoying the "wood nymphs."

When I read After the Rain, I became curious about the book The Little White Bird. I noticed that in The Little White Bird James Barrie wrote that Peter flew away from home when he was 7 days old. But in After the Rain, Peter is older when he leaves home. Why is this?

Both books are narrative fiction. So we would liken this to the question in Drew Barrymore's movie Ever After when the Grimm Brothers asked the Queen whether Cinderella's slipper was made of glass or fur? The answer largely depends on who is telling the story.

Doesn't Walt Disney own Peter Pan?

It is a common misconception that Walt Disney Corporation owns the copyright to Peter Pan. What they own is the copyright to their cartoon adaptations of Peter Pan and the copyright to their 1927 silent-movie screen adaptation.

I heard that the Great Ormond Street Hospital in England has an indefinite copyright on Peter Pan. Is this true?

The copyright you heard of is restricted to Britain. In the United States and Canada, various editions (listed below) are determined by age to be in the Public Domain.

Works by James Barrie now in the Public Domain in Canada and the USA:
1) The Little White Bird (1902) (Note: Peter Pan appeared for the first time)
2) Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906)
3) When Wendy Grew Up: An Afterthought (1908)
4) Peter and Wendy (Peter Pan) (1911)

From The Little White Bird

After the Rain
A New Adventure for Peter Pan

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