Lost Boys (Peter Pan)

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The Lost Boys and Peter Pan after building a house for Wendy. Illustration by Alice B. Woodward.

Peter Pan's Lost Boys are characters in J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and subsequent adaptations and extensions to the story.[1][2]

History[edit]

They are boys who fall out of their prams when the nurse is not looking and were lost by their nannies in places such as Kensington Gardens. Having gone unclaimed for seven days, they were swept off to Neverland, where they live with Peter Pan. There are no "lost girls" because as Peter explains, girls are much too clever to fall out of their prams and be lost in this manner.

List of Lost Boys[edit]

  • Tootles – Tootles appears in almost all Peter Pan related material. He is described as the most humble of the Lost Boys because of his terrible luck with adventures: as soon as Tootles goes away to complete a chore or some such, bloody battles and thrilling adventures take place. Because of this, he has become accepting of his lot in life, and he is much sweeter for it. He is the one who shoots Wendy Darling with a bow and arrow after Tinker Bell tells them Wendy is a bird, and convinces them that killing her would bring great favor with Peter, so when the mistake is discovered, he tells Peter to kill him. However, since Wendy survives, Tootles is spared. Though he is clumsy and silly, Tootles is the first to defend Wendy when she wants to return to London. When Peter takes possession of "The Jolly Roger", Captain Hook's pirate ship, Tootles takes Smee's place as boatswain. At the end of the novel, he returns to London with Wendy and the other lost boys and eventually grows up to become a judge. In "Peter Pan in Scarlet", he turns into a girl because he only has daughters to borrow clothes from, and spends most of the book playing princess and dreaming about marrying Peter Pan. His character is largely minimized in the animated Disney version, as he has no lines of dialogue; he wears a skunk suit in this film. However, in this version, he is often shown to have an occasional moment of brilliance; thus, making him the smartest of the Lost Boys. In Peter Pan and the Pirates Tootles (voiced by Chris M. Allport) wears a panda hat and his left eye is black to complement this. Since he is presumably the same age and size as Michael, he acts as a brother to him.
  • Nibs – Nibs is described as happy, active, joyful and debonair, possibly the bravest Lost Boy. He is chased by wolves in chapter five, and tattles on Slightly in chapter ten. He says the only thing he remembers about his mother is that she always wanted a cheque-book; he says he would love to give her one- if he knew what it was. He grows up to work in an office, and in Peter Pan in Scarlet is the only Lost Boy not to return to Neverland because he can't bear the thought of leaving his children. In the Disney version he wears a rabbit suit. In Peter Pan and the Pirates Nibs (voiced by Adam Carl) is depicted as a blonde Lost Boy with a cap shaped like a bear's head with the face cut out.
  • Slightly – Slightly often provides comic relief. In the original book, he is described as the most conceited of the boys, because he believes that he, unlike the others, remembers what life was like before he was "lost." However, most of his "memories" are either based on misunderstandings or pure fabrications: one example is that he claims to know what his last name is— his pinafore had the words "Slightly Soiled" written on the tag. Slightly is, apparently, a poor make-believer, but he does seem to have a talent for music; he is described as cutting whistles and flutes from the branches of trees and dancing to tunes he creates himself, and in Peter Pan in Scarlet, he plays the clarinet and even saves the day a couple of times with his music. Slightly grows up to marry a noblewoman and becomes a lord, though in Peter Pan in Scarlet, he has become a widower at the age of thirty and is the only one of the Lost Boys not to father any children. In Peter Pan and the Pirates Slightly (voiced by Scott Menville) wears a parrot hat. He uses the word "Slightly" more often than the other Lost Boys, a reference to his name.[original research?] In Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Slightly is said to have received his name at St. Norbert's, his true name being Edward Slight.
  • Curly ("Cubby" in the Disney version) – Curly is described by Barrie as "a pickle" (a person who gets into pickles). He is in charge of building the little house in chapter six. He is described as having curly hair, hence his name. He isn't very smart but very loveable. Curly is also a little timid but has a kind heart. Curly grows up to work in an office; in Peter Pan in Scarlet, he is a doctor and also the owner of one of Nana's great-great-puppies. In Peter Pan and the Pirates, not much is revealed about Curly, except that he wants to be the comedian of the group. In one episode, he persuades Tinker Bell to make him funny, but has second thoughts when everyone laughs at the unfunniest things he says. He wears bear ears in the Disney version. In Peter Pan and the Pirates, Curly (voiced by Josh Keaton) is a Hispanic lost boy with a cap shaped like a tiger's head with the face cut out.
  • The Twins – First and Second Twin know little about themselves- they are not allowed to, because Peter Pan does not know what Twins are, and no Lost Boy is allowed to know anything that Peter doesn't. The Twins grow up to work in an office. In Peter Pan in Scarlet, their real names are revealed to be Marmaduke and Binky. In Peter Pan and the Pirates, the Twins (voiced by Michael Bacall and Aaron Lohr) look nothing like each other and each finish the other's sentences. When they have a falling out with each other, one cannot finish the other's sentences. The Underground House goes into turmoil as a result, until they are reunited. They both wear leopard hats in the animated version.

In the book and Disney film[edit]

Disney's Peter with the Lost Boys.

The Lost Boys play smaller roles and are less characterized in the Disney movie, appearing more as a group than individually. In some related Disney material, they are named with the inspired animal costumes: Foxy/Slightly, Rabbit/Nibs, Skunk/Tootles, Cubby/Curly and the Raccoons/Twins, while in Return to Neverland, they are again named as their book counterparts (with the exception of Cubby/Curly). Tootles is the only Lost Boy not to speak in either of the films, in Return to Neverland he communicates with a pad and pencil. Cubby/Curly is voiced by Robert Ellis, Slightly is voiced by Stuffy Singer, Nibs is voiced by Jeffery Silver, and the Twins are voiced by Jonny McGovern. Their singing voices were provided by Tony Butala.

A big difference between the book and the movies is that, in the book, the Lost Boys leave Neverland and grow up, but in the Disney movies, they are merely tempted to do so, and change their minds eventually, choosing to remain with Peter Pan. In Return to Neverland, which takes place many years later, they are still with Peter, and have remained children.

Hook[edit]

In Hook, a film about a grown-up Peter Pan, there are at least two dozen Lost Boys of various ethnicity living in Neverland, whose clothes suggest that they left civilization at various times over the past century. They live in a giant tree on a tall rocky outcropping just offshore of the island. Two twins are seen in this film wearing Boy Scout uniforms, although it is unclear if they are intended to be the same twins as in the Darling's original adventure. The Lost Boys named in the film are Rufio (Dante Basco), Thud Butt (Raushan Hammond), Pockets (Isaiah Robinson), Ace (Jasen Fisher), Don't Ask (James Madio), Too Small (Thomas Tulak), Latchboy (Alex Zuckerman), and No Nap (Ahmad Stoner).

The boys are led by Rufio, who was hand-chosen by Peter as leader when he left Neverland to grow up as "Peter Banning". Initially, Rufio refuses to believe that Peter Banning is their former leader, as do most of the boys. However, Tinker Bell and the glimpse of Peter Pan that Pockets finds in Peter Banning's face convince them to train him for a showdown with Captain Hook. The Lost Boys gradually come to believe in Peter, a turning point being when he manages to beat Rufio in a heated name-calling match. When Peter finally relearns how to fly, Rufio finally realizes who Peter is and gives Peter the Pan sword as a sign of apology and respect. The Lost Boys follow Peter into a climactic battle with Captain Hook and the pirates, armed with improvised childlike weapons. Rufio valiantly takes on Hook while Peter rescues his daughter, Maggie. Hook manages to stab Rufio, whose dying words to Peter are "I wish I had a dad… like you." Peter's son Jack, witnessing Rufio's death at the hands of Hook, turns away from the life of a pirate and reunites with his father. Peter and Hook engage in a duel which culminates in Hook apparently being eaten alive by the momentarily resurrected crocodile that had eaten Hook's hand long ago. Before leaving Neverland, Peter selects Thud Butt to be their new leader, telling him "I want you to take care of everyone who is smaller than you," to which Thud Butt agrees.

Tootles appears as an old man. He was one of the many "orphans" whom Granny Wendy is said to have found homes for over the decades. He now seems senile, and lives with Wendy because she could not bear to send him to a retirement home. However, he is the first to recognize that Hook has returned to London and supposedly witnesses him abduct the children. He also knows that Peter Banning is Peter Pan and remembers him just as much as Granny Wendy. After Peter and his family arrive at Wendy's house, Peter sees him crawling on the floor, and explains "I've lost my marbles," which Peter Banning readily agrees with. Later in Neverland, Thud Butt gives Peter a small bag containing Tootles' marbles, revealing that they were his happy thoughts and he lost them literally rather than metaphorically. Once Peter and his children return home, Peter gives Tootles his marbles and rejoices. With the help of some fairy dust that spills out of the bag, he flies out of the window toward Neverland.

In the Starcatcher books[edit]

In the prequel Peter and the Starcatchers book series, an earlier group of Lost Boys are presented. They include boys whom Peter knew from St. Norbert's orphanage, and who return to England with the heroine's family at the end of the prequels. This description does not agree with the canon explanation for Lost Boys, who are only orphaned when lost as babies.

  • Prentiss – A rather new boy at St. Norbert's.
  • James – James seems to be closer to Peter then any other boy at St. Norbert's. He serves as the leader to the Lost Boys when Peter is not around, making him the second-in-command (similar to Nibs).
  • Tubby Ted – As a running gag, Tubby Ted is always hungry.
  • Thomas – A boy from St. Norbert's.

In Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, some other boys from St. Norbert's end up going to Neverland with Peter. Their names are:

  • Tootles
  • Slightly
  • Nibs
  • Curly
  • The Twins

By the end of novel, Prentiss, James, Tubby Ted, and Thomas decide to go back to London with Leonard Aster because they realize they would become men some day and cannot keep up with Peter forever. They leave for the real world and all grow up. Peter and Tinker Bell take in the new, more familiar Lost Boys. However, Peter is reunited with James, who has grown up, in the fourth novel, "Peter and the Sword of Mercy.

In other media[edit]

Two of the Lost Boys, Cubby and Slightly, appear alongside Peter Pan and Tinker Bell in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Before that, the Lost Boys appeared in the Kingdom Hearts manga as comic relief, fighting Donald over some treasure they found in Captain Hook's ship.

The title of the 1987 film Lost Boys is a reference to Peter Pan's Lost Boys. In the film, the characters retain their youth and gain their powers, including flying, by becoming vampires.

They are also mentioned, along with the island of Neverland and the character Wendy, in the chorus of the song Somewhere in Neverland by All Time Low, written by Alex Gaskarth.

Ed Sheeran sings in his song 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You' the lyrics "Truly broke, never growing up, call me Rufio" seemingly in reference to the Lost Boys character in Peter Pan.

In the British reality television show Made in Chelsea, three characters (Jamie Laing, Oliver Proudlock and Francis Boulle) frequently refer to themselves as "The Lost Boys."

The Lost Boys appear in the Season 2 finale and in the first episodes of Season 3 of Once Upon a Time. They are the murderous inhabitants of Neverland and servants of Peter Pan/Shadow, portrayed by Robbie Kay. The death of Rufio is briefly mentioned by Hook during a fight in the second episode.

References[edit]

  1. ^ King, Steve. "J. M. Barrie, Lost Boys, Peter Pan". Today in Literature. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Lost Boys". Neverpedia. Retrieved April 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]