" If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one, you might see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness; then if you squeeze your eyes tighter, the pool begins to take shape, and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze the colours must burst and go fire. But just before they go on fire you see the lagoon. This is the nearest you ever get to it on the mainland, just one heavenly moment; at the very end of that moment, one may even hear the mermaids singing... " - Peter Pan (1911)
The Mermaids are mysterious and seductive aquatic creatures living in the waters that surrounds the mystical island of Neverland. They first appeared in J. M. Barrie's classic children's novel titled Peter and Wendy published in 1911. The mermaids appear in many books and movies based on Peter Pan and are usually given a brief cameo appearance due to having a small but memorable and important part in the story. The mermaids can only be found in Neverland's lagoon and never speak a civil word to anyone besides Peter. They love to pamper themselves and play the "mermaid games" all day long. However, at nightfall they transform into dark creatures who can be as dangerous as they are beautiful.. At midnight the mermaids begin to utter strange, melancholy wailing noises and call to the moon. They have even been known to liure mortals into the waters to drown them as it is their given nature..
- In the book it is stated that Peter gifted Wendy one of the Mermaids hair combs.
"Mermaids are sweet, they'll sweetly drown you, if you get too close..." -Peter Pan
In the NovelEdit
"The most haunting time at which to see the mermaids is at the turn of the moon, when they utter strange wailing cries; but the lagoon is very dangerous for mortals then."- Peter Pan
In the original Peter Pan story, the mermaids who inhabit Neverland all dwell in the shallow waters of the lagoon. They enjoy the company of Peter Pan but they are malevolent towards everyone else. They possess an enchanting beauty and gifted singing voices yet are unfriendly and vain to the point of being irritating. They play many games all day long, treating their bubbles as balls under rainbows. Whenever an interloper tries to take a closer look at them (apart from Peter), the mermaids deliberately splash them with their tails in defiance before diving back into the water and disappearing.
"On sunny days after rain, when the mermaids come up in extraordinary numbers to play with their bubbles. The bubbles of many colours made in rainbow water they treat as balls, hitting them gaily from one to another with their tails, and trying to keep them in the rainbow till they burst. The goals are at each end of the rainbow, and the keepers only are allowed to use their hands. Sometimes a dozen of these games will be going on in the lagoon at a time, and it is quite a pretty sight. But the moment the children tried to join in they had to play by themselves, for the mermaids immediately disappeared." - Peter Pan
They occupy the rock pools and the ocean around Marooners' Rock, and their homes are coral caves beneath the waves. They retire to their caverns at sunset and rising tide, as well as in anticipation of storms. Captain Hook is initially terrified of the mermaids—he calls them the "loreleis"—and considers the lagoon the most treacherous place in the Neverland.
"Suddenly they heard a musical voice like no other, and it was the most melancholy in the world: a mermaid calling out to the full pale moon." -Peter Pan
The mermaids change when the moon is out and transform into darker creatures compared to their daytime persona. They utter and wail strange calls and cries under the moonlight. The mermaids maybe the sole reason why the lagoon is so dangerous at night. Even Peter stays away from the mermaids once the sun has set.
Physical attributes Edit
The mermaids are very beautiful and attractive women with long hair and lovely singing voices but their bodies end in that of a fishes.
In Disney's version they are all civilized creatures who are all seemingly shallow and very vain and enjoy pampering themselves. These mermaids are not nearly as dark as they are in the book, but represent teen-aged girls at the beach. The mermaid who seems to be in charge would be the red head with golden seaweed around her head. In the first movie she has no top but in the second she wear yellow seashells. The next mermaid would be another red head, but she has some seaweed rapped around her head in a bun with some on her shoulder. The last red head is seen playing a harp at the top of the rock with her hair in a ponytail and white clams as a top, later joining the leader to splash Wendy. The first blond to be seen has long hair with pink sea stars in her hair and white clams as a top. The second blonde to be seen has long hair with an orange sea star right above her ear. She wears a frilly flower necklace. One brunette is seen playing a conch shell on a rock. She wears two orange sea starts as a top.
In the 1991 movie HOOK, the mermaids who save an adult Peter from drowning have glittering skin and bright hair that matches their tails. The first mermaid shown is blue and purple, the second is red and pink and the last mermaid shown is green and yellow. When they come together it represents an underwater rainbow as described in Barrie's novel.
Unlike most adaptations, In the Peter Pan 2003 version, it solely focuses more on the dark aspects of the mermaids. They are haunting creatures with slippery skin, webbed hands that end in claws, thin red hair, sharp teeth and long shark-like tails. They hiss, faintly sing and speak a strange language by clicking their tongues that only Peter Pan can understand.
In Pan 2015 these mermaids are shown as having electrical eel tails that protect them from other creatures. They are all identical with white hair and silvery-blue fins.
Appearances in Adaptions Edit
Peter Pan (1924)Edit
Mermaids appear in the 1924 silent film of Peter Pan starring Betty Branson as Peter. The mermaids in this version are seen basking and sunbathing on rocks near the shores of Neverland. They also have a leader, known as the The Mermaid Queen.
Disney's Peter Pan (1953)Edit
Mermaids appear in the film when Peter takes Wendy to their lagoon to meet them. They happily welcome Peter and gather around him to hear his stories. However, when they see Wendy, they become jealous and attempt to drown her.
They assault her by splashing her with their tails. A furious Wendy threatens to throttle them with a seashell but Peter prevents her, stating they were only having fun. Hook comes with his prisoner, Tiger Lily, and the mermaids dive below to hide.
Disney Peter Pan 2: Return to Neverland Edit
The mermaids make a cameo in this film. When Peter and Jane are flying over Neverland, the mermaids grab her. Jane is enchanted by them as they dress her in mermaid garb. Just as one tries to pour water on Jane, Peter comes and takes her away, causing the water to pour on two of the blonde mermaid's friends.
In Steven spielberg's 1991 unofficial sequel to Peter and Wendy titled Hook, mermaids make a brief cameo appearance. When a grown Peter has fallen off Captain Hook's ship and into the lagoon below, three beautiful mermaids come to his rescue to save him from the mysterious deep. They provide oxygen for him to breathe while underwater and put him inside a giant sea shell before raising it up to The Lost Boys hideout.
Peter Pan (2003) Edit
In Peter Pan 2003 the Mermaids are dark, mysterious and uncivilized creatures as in the book. They possess a haunting beauty but their lips hide sharp teeth, their skin is unearthly pale and their webbed hands end in sharp claws. One tries to sneakily drown Wendy, but Peter stops her and she hisses at him in anger. Their language consists of hisses and clicking of the tongue. They are in touch with all things mysterious and seem to know about everything that occurs in Neverland. This could mean that they are psychic or have some type of telepathy. They informed Peter where Hook was holding John and Michael hostage.
Peter Pan and the Pirates Edit
These mermaids are just like the ones in the Disney version. They are beautiful, love Peter Pan and hate Wendy and the Lost Boys. However, they are much more powerful and dangerous. Their beautiful voices can mesmerize listeners and they have powers over the sea and water.
Only one mermaid is friendly; Crooked Tail. She was once the most beautiful mermaid of them all but an experiment to enhance her loveliness and beat a rival changed her into a green-skinned hag with pink hair and a moustache.
"The Ruby" Edit
Two mermaids steal a map from Crooked Tail but half of it is torn off and left behind. A pirate enters the lagoon but grows fearful as the mermaids nearly topple the boat. They then mesmerize the pirate and give him the map to the Neverland Ruby. As they planned, Peter Pan takes the map and sets off to find the ruby with his lost boys and the Darlings. At Marooner's Rock, Peter triggers the mermaids' trap which sends him into the depths of Mermaids' Lagoon. The two mermaids save him by encasing him in an air bubble but they refuse to let him go. A huge shark scares them off but the beast's teeth is unable to break through the mermaids' magic bubble. The shark is scared off by Crooked Tail and she takes him to find the ruby.
"Vanity, Thy Name is Mermaid" Edit
"Nibs and the Mermaids" Edit
The New Adventures of Peter Pan Edit
These mermaids are beautiful and colourful creatures with the tails of tropical fish. Despite their innocent and lovely appearance, they are dangerous creatures who should not be trifled with. They will grab anyone who comes to the lagoon into the watery depths, even Peter Pan who, in this version, they show no love or fondness towards. The waters of their lagoon can turn anyone evil. The mermaids' power does not reach beyond the boundaries of the lagoon. The episode "Peter's Choice" shows that these mermaids are stronger than any mortal and are capable of lifting a metal cage with a girl inside it or a caged fairy and a boulder.
"Girl Power" Edit
Two mermaids try to lure Wendy into the water but she refuses, well aware of their motives. Tinkerbell pesters Wendy and the latter accidentally hits her, sending the fairy falling. One mermaid, seeing the fairy's fall, wastes no time in trying to drag her under. However, Wendy catches Tinkerbell before she hits the water. The mermaid swims away.
"Peter's Choice" Edit
The mermaids are instrumental in Hook's latest, if flawed, plan. The pirates capture Wendy and Tinkerbell and held them in two cages suspended over the Mermaids' Lagoon. Hook's plan is to make Peter choose which girl to save. If one cage is opened, the other one falls into the mermaids' clutches and becomes evil. The point of the plan was to make Peter grow up to make the choice but he has to make his choice quickly before the tide comes in and the mermaids grab the girls. Peter and Wendy use the mermaids' anger to save them by giving him his choice. He says that the girl who falls into the lagoon will make one of them a big loser. Peter cuts the ropes that hold the cages but the two mermaids hold the cages before they can fall into the water. While the mermaids fight, Peter unlocks the cages and frees his friends.
Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell and Tiger Lily set out to gather ingredients for a potion to save Neverland. On of the ingredients is water from the Mermaids' Lagoon. Wendy and Peter distract the mermaids but the blue mermaid notices Tiger Lily taking some water and swims in to attack. The princess manages to leap out of the way before the mermaid can catch her.
Pan (2015) Edit
There are two or three mermaids seen in this movie. They are all identical and played by Model/Actress Cara Delevinge. They have long white-blonde hair, pale white skin and long eel-like tails with long thin fins. Their tails are bioluminescent and glow with blue and silver light. Their tails are also electric, making the mermaids the only creatures that the crocodiles fear and the only beings capable of keeping the huge reptiles at bay.
When Peter is dragged underwater by a crocodile, three mermaids sense him and his good heart. They use their powers to frighten the croc and deliver Peter back safely to his companions.
Once Upon A Time Edit
Like the classical mermaid, these sea nymphs are beautiful women with fishtails covered in glowing scales which shimmer blue, green, purple and silver. However, they are the most dangerous creatures in all the seas; worse than sharks, whales or even a kraken.
Their fins are very strong and in swarms, mermaids can sink a ship by hitting its hull with their flukes. They can open water portals and travel to any realm. They can manipulate the weather and summon terrible storms by using conch shells as trumpets. Some mermaids have voices lovely enough to enchant the toughest pirate, distract him from his hatred and pain and lure them onto the rocks or to a watery grave.
Disney's Ariel herself appears in the waters of Neverland but she is much kinder than her sisters. Ursula was once a mermaid before her siren song was stolen and she became the dreaded Sea Witch.