The Peter Pan in the original is different from the one I knew from other people's various interpretations; he's more self-centered and domineering than I recall though he does have a strong sense of fair play and at least a fleeting sense of compassion despite his best efforts not to. Tinkerbell, usually presented as jealous and a bit ill tempered, is actually a foul mouthed, full busted little temptress with a truly dark side. Hook, on the other hand, is about what I expected--a suave, debonair villain of the aristocratic type.
I didn't expect so much violence from a children's book, but then again, this was written long before people needed safe spaces, and when the captain wants to use his hook to rip out someone's throat for a minor offense, that's exactly what he does. Literally. "Redskins" walk around with the scalps of little boys tied around their necks, and the female of the group is an amorous coquette who staves off marriage with a hatchet. My mind could not be more blown. But at the same time, I can picture little kids squealing with squeamish glee at the description of Smee wiggling his weapons in the wounds of conquered foe, or being devilishly delighted at the thought of the croc loving the flavor of Hook's arm so much that it followed Hook to the far corners of the world, licking his lips all the while, desirous of more of the same. Kids like being grossed out, so it's no wonder this book became an instant classic.
Peter Pan is full of adventure and danger and suspense at every turn, with bits of humor spread throughout, and I'm glad I finally took the time to get to know this classic for myself. Other people's interpretations are good, but nothing beats the original. The moments of heart tenderness and sweetness gladden the ol' heart and serve to remind of us of the value of a family and the place we each call home.