Peter Pan & Wendy

image for Peter Pan & Wendy

Short takes

Not suitable under 9; parental guidance to 11 (violence, themes, scary scenes)

classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Peter Pan & Wendy
  • a review of Peter Pan & Wendy completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 May 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 9 Not suitable due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 9–11 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes and scary scenes.
Children aged 12 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Peter Pan & Wendy
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild violence and sense of peril (OC)
Length: 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Wendy Darling (Ever Anderson) does not want to go away to boarding school, she does not want to be trained to become a lady and she certainly does not want to grow up. When Peter Pan (Alexander Molony) hears these words, he and Tinker Bell (Yara Shahidi) come to collect Wendy and bring her to the fabled world of Neverland, a place Wendy believed only existed in stories. Their plans to take the sleeping Wendy go somewhat awry when Wendy’s younger brothers, Michael (Jacobi Jupe) and John (Joshua Pickering), capture Tinker Bell and Wendy awakens. With the promise that she will never have to grow up and that things will never change, Wendy and her brothers (with the help of a little pixie dust) learn to fly and are soon on their way to an unbelievable adventure. They have not yet set foot in Neverland when they are blasted out of the sky by Captain Hook (Jude Law). Peter is missing, Michael and John are taken captive and Wendy washes up on a shore, all alone. She soon encounters Peter’s friend, Tiger Lily (Alyssa Wapanatahk), and the ‘lost boys’, who agree to help her find Michael and John. They arrive at the scene of the brothers’ execution and Peter is already there, ready to thwart Captain Hook once again. Captain Hook, however, is relentless. He pursues the children to their secret hideout, captures them all and, in his endless rage, mortally wounds Peter. Held captive with the rest of them, it is Wendy’s lullaby that stirs something deep inside Hook’s memory and helps her see the sad little boy hidden within the ruthless Captain. With her newfound knowledge and a little help from Tinker Bell, Wendy sets the others free, inspires Peter to learn from the past and discovers that growing up may just be the greatest adventure of all.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Fear of change; Children separated from parents; The desire to never grow up; Regret; Loss of friendship.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Michael and John play fight with wooden swords. Wendy soon joins them and soon a mirror is broken.
  • Captain Hook shoots a door off its hinges and walks over a man who is pinned beneath the door.
  • Hook’s pirate crew fire cannon balls at Peter and Wendy and her brothers. They miss the first few tries but then blast them off a rocky cliff top.
  • One of the lost boys shoots arrows at Wendy. They land right by her feet as a warning.
  • Captain Hook orders his men to execute Michael and John.
  • A pirate tries to cut off Peter’s head.
  • Peter kicks numerous pirates into the water.
  • There are numerous sword fights aboard Captain Hook’s ship.
  • Pirates try to stab Peter.
  • Captain Hook and Peter fight on a small rowboat and then on the rocky shore of a cave.
  • Peter slaps Captain Hook on the butt.
  • Captain Hook grabs Peter’s shadow, yanking him down a steep incline and threatening to cut off his head.
  • Captain Hook discovers he is standing on an enormous crocodile as it opens its mouth to eat him.
  • A pirate tries to stab the crocodile in the tail but he is knocked off and thrown through the air while another man gets eaten.
  • The kids fly out of the cave while the pirates try to fight off the crocodile.
  • Wendy slaps Peter.
  • Captain Hook and his pirates hold all the children hostage at sword point.
  • Captain Hook blasts a door open with his sword and tries to stab Peter.
  • Captain Hook slashes Peter across the chest with his sword. Peter falls backwards in shock, off the top floor and lands with a crash on the ground level in front of the other children.
  • Tinker Bell is kidnapped and held captive by the pirates.
  • Captain Hook threatens Wendy and orders that all the children be executed.
  • Wendy is forced to walk the plank.
  • Peter and Captain Hook duel again on the ship, but this time Peter’s heart is not in it.
  • A pirate is hit on the head with a sling shot.
  • The lost boys fight against the pirates, attacking in any way they can.
  • One of the lost boys shoots an arrow through the hand of a pirate who is about to attack Peter.
  • Pirates are knocked out by falling rocks.
  • Wendy and Tiger Lily tilt the ship so that the pirates will fall out of it.
  • Captain Hook continues to fight against Peter even after Peter apologises.
  • Peter tries to save Captain Hook from falling in to the ocean but Hook falls anyway and Peter is left holding the Captain’s hook in his hand.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are creepy things in jars along one wall inside the pirate ship and a skeleton strapped to a rock where the boys are told that they will be executed. The pirates themselves are quite menacing, while John and Michael appear innocent, incredibly young and completely terrified.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Michael and John are strapped to a rock with chains and will drown when the water rises. Wendy is terrified at their predicament and the boys are surrounded by the skeletons of others who have perished before them.
  • Peter Pan is killed by Captain Hook. Peter looks on their relationship as a game but Hook harbours unrelenting rage and delights in the fact that he has finally ended Peter once and for all. His sword slashes Peter across the chest as they duel near an open staircase. Peter falls backwards from the uppermost landing and lands unceremoniously at the feet of the lost boys who are horrified and distraught, as are Wendy and her brothers. The children are all kidnapped and Peter is left motionless on the floor, their screaming and crying echoing into the night.
  • The children are all held captive in Captain Hook’s ship and are threatened repeatedly before Hook decides to execute them all, Wendy begs for their lives, especially those of her brothers, offering to sacrifice herself in their place. Hook orders his men to kill them all, saying that Wendy will die first. She is forced to walk the plank while draped in chains, the pirates forcing her forward with sharp spears. She keeps looking back at her brothers who are terrified and devastated and eventually steps over the edge. Tinker Bell helps save her at the last second but there are a few moments where her brothers believe she is gone. Hook’s general desire to kill children may be frightening for some viewers.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Peter does not know what a kiss is, yet at Michael and John’s suggestion, he tells Wendy that he needs one. (She had accidentally stabbed his foot with a needle while attempting to attach his shadow to his shoe.) Wendy looks very uncomfortable and gives him a thimble while telling him that it is a kiss.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A couple of pirates have their pants cut down by Peter’s sword. Their boxer shorts and bare legs are shown.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Peter Pan & Wendy is a fantasy adventure featuring a diverse cast which includes a powerful Native American woman, a racially diverse Tinker Bell and a lost boy who appears to have Down syndrome. Additionally, some of the ‘lost boys’ are actually girls with dialogue indicating that gender should not matter. The film is darker than most other versions of Peter Pan and it takes an empathetic look at the reasons behind Captain Hook’s anger to paint a more in-depth and humane picture of a man who is traditionally portrayed as a monster. This is not a family film but one that will be better suited to tween and older audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that the greatest adventure in life is growing up; that mothers are irreplaceable; and that thinking happy thoughts can help you even in the darkest and most difficult of times.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship
  • Compassion
  • Forgiveness
  • Maturity
  • Courage.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Leaving home without telling anyone.
  • Holding onto the past and refusing to grow or change.
  • Allowing feelings of anger, rage and resentment to define your every move.
  • Refusing to forgive or accept forgiveness.