(jingle): I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid. They got a million toys at Toys ‘R’ Us that I can play with. I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid– (news): After 70 years of business, Toys ‘R’ Us announced yesterday it’s closing its doors in America. Looks like everyone has to grow up sometime, hey Peter? Hello Internet, welcome to Film Theory! The Never Never Land of the Internet. Uh, thats Peter Pan’s Never Never Land not the creepy Michael Jackson Neverland. If you haven’t guessed it yet, today we’re exploring the world of Disney’s favorite narcissistic, tween heartthrob, Peter Pan. As you’re probably aware, ’cause I say this literally every Disney episode, growing up I loved all the Disney movies. Except for Pinocchio. But, who didn’t want to be Peter Pan? He had the ladies fighting over him constantly, which is kinda inexplicable when you think about what a creeper he actually is in his own movie. (imitating Wendy): Ooooh, here’s a mystery boy who sneaks in my bedroom at night and talks only about himself! GIMME A PIECE OF THAT! (normal): But really, the big draw here is obvious. Everyone wants to be able to stay a kid forever and play video games, and avoid the IRS ’cause taxes suck. But you can’t be Peter Pan and stay young forever unless you figure out where Neverland is. And also grab some fairy dust, and fly there, and defeat some pirates, but The geography is clearly the hardest part. Until today. That’s right! The mission for today is to find the geographic location of Neverland. Sounds absurd, right? But we’re actually given plenty of hints throughout the movie and books: and all that jazz? Even J.M. Barrie’s original book describes Peter and the Darling children flying over the ocean to get to Neverland, but he just never specifically says where they choose to land. In the original versions there’s no mention of a star at all. He just says, But I’m not talking hints, I am telling you today that I have definitively located Neverland to the point that you can actually book your next vacation there and partake in all the swashbuckling and Native American themed racism you want. So sprinkle yourselves with ”Theory Dust” and think happy thoughts, next stop is Neverland. To start, we need to remember that Wendy, John and Michael Darling live in London. When Peter tells them that Neverland is the… (Peter Pan): “Second star to the right and straight on till morning.”, it seems really vague, but actually the scene gives us plenty of clues to determine which direction they’re headed. First, I compared this frame of the movie to constellations that could reasonably appear in the London night sky. Well, we don’t get anything too conclusive. We can actually speculate that these stars here might be and which are in similar positions to what we see in the movie, though in real life they should appear to be a part of the Big Dipper constellation. Anyway, there’s no need to get out your astrolabes just yet, [Sorry, Neil.] because the good news is we actually don’t need the exact stars that they’re looking at. We can tell which direction the kids are facing just from the landmarks around them. After flying out of the nursery, the kids and Peter land on one of the sides of the Elizabeth Tower clock– the east side, to be specific. Now, I already hear you “but actually…” people cracking your knuckles preparing for a wave of comments saying, “But actually, that’s not that’s But, uh, fun fact: is the nickname of the bell inside of the Elizabeth Tower. So feel free to annoy all your friends with your pedantic knowledge of London landmarks. Anyway, how can we tell that they’re facing east? Well, look at this shot of Peter and the Darlings flying up to the clock. In the bottom right we can see a statue of a horse rearing up. And that is in fact the statue known as the statue, which commemorates an ancient Celtic queen who drove the Romans out of London. Yaaasss, queen! That statue is located to the northeast of the tower, so they’re landing on the east side. Going to the right would be them flying south, but we get an even more specific idea of the direction by tracking their flight. They fly over facing east and they make a sharp turn over the bridge, so sharp that the camera has to rotate to follow Peter to head southwest. And that’s the direction the camera follows them until they get to Neverland. TLDR, they’re going south and west of London, which indicates that they’re making a transatlantic flight towards the Americas. So now that we know they’re headed to North or South America, we can look at a few other factors to help us narrow down the search for Neverland. Judging by the map that we see of Neverland, we’re looking at a island that’s fairly small and features a number of inlets and lagoons. Typically there are two types of lagoons in the Americas: which are connected to the coastline of a much larger landmass and which are more isolated and formed by coral reefs. By the looks of it there are no major landmasses in the waters around Neverland, so we can conclude that Neverland is an Now, atolls require coral reefs and tropical waters, so that narrows our search a lot; from the southern tip of Florida, throughout the Carribean and down through the coast of Brazil. But geography is just the beginning; we also know a lot about what’s on that island, notably crocodiles. Assuming this crocodile didn’t escape from the zoo or from Suicide Squad– though who could blame him for wanting to escape that movie!– we can pinpoint Neverland’s location if we know the species of crocodile. There are only two species of crocodile indigenous to the waters around Latin America: and the While both can take your hand off pretty darn well, Morelet’s crocodile is a lot smaller than the American crocodile; at about to Considering the fact that Captain Hook fit entirely inside this crocodile’s mouth, we’re much more likely to be looking at the American crocodile. Additionally, Morelet’s crocodile is only found in fresh water environments while the American crocodile is most often found in saltwater, like you’d find off the coast of an atoll. The only downside here is that the American crocodile is pretty widespread as far as man-eating reptiles go. So we’re looking at pretty much the entire Carribean in our hunt for Neverland. There are also a few other animals that I thought might narrow things down a bit more. J.M. Barrie says that there are sea turtles and flamingos in Neverland, but those are also found all around the Carribean. The seagull that we see Smee shave? Doesn’t narrow it down. The mermaids, for these I even looked at the habitats of manatees which, believe it or not, are historically the animal most commonly associated with mermaid sightings. And that still didn’t narrow things down. So at that point I ran out of animals and wasn’t sure if I was looking at a dead end here. But it turns out that the last part of the theory doesn’t hinge on the animals in Neverland, it hinges on the people. According to the source material for Peter Pan, Captain Hook was originally a boatswain [say: “bosun”] for Blackbeard the Pirate. Now Blackbeard was very busy pirating all over the east coast of America and the Carribean from to which–when you stop and think about it, for carrying the title of the most famous nonfictional pirate in history– is actually not that long of a timespan to pillaging and searching for booty. But what Blackbeard lacked in longevity, he made up for in volume. Blackbeard had a ton of instances over that two year period stealing wine, burning ships and blockading ports. So where does Captain Hook fit in to all of this? Well, in the spring of 1718 Blackbeard captured a few ships in the Gulf of Honduras, right off the Yucatan Peninsula, and added those to his fleet. Specifically, he was off the coast of the Turneffe Atoll, just east of Belize, which–wouldn’t you know it–just happens to be a little tropical atoll with lagoons, crocodiles, flamingos, sea turtles, the whole shebang. As a boatswain in Blackbeard’s fleet, there’s actually historical precedent that Captain Hook would have actually graduated up to the role of captain on one of those commandeered ships in the Turneffe Atoll. In the Peter Pan story it’s specifically the Jolly Roger. And then from there he drops anchor in Neverland and then gives up his life of pillaging in exchange for swordfighting little boys and then outrunning a single crocodile. Probably would have been better off if he just stayed a boatswain. There is, though, one kind of glaring hole in this that we can’t really ignore. If we’re going the history route, wouldn’t we also have to ignore the timelines? I mean, Blackbeard died in but the Darling family is clearly from the early 1900’s. And we even see things in the movie like the statue of Boudicca which wasn’t installed until Well, it turns out we don’t have to ignore the timeline–even that works out under this theory. We know that once you land in Neverland, you never, never grow old, right? That’s kinda the whole shtick of this place. Well it turns out that Neverland a.k.a. the Turneffe Atoll is the exact historical region believed to contain the Fountain of Youth. The one geographic feature in the entire world that would actually behave and function like a real-life Neverland. Though most of the stories you hear about the Fountain of Youth in history class talk a lot about who mostly looked for it around Florida, the older and much more accurate historical hunt for it was actually performed by an earlier Spanish explorer than old Ponce who spent all of his time looking for the Fountain of Youth in the Gulf of Honduras. Due mostly to really bad Spanish historical recordkeeping, Ponce de Leon was actually a thousand miles off the mark of the area that he was looking for, leaving the Fountain of Youth squarely off the coast of Honduras and in exactly the location we predict for Neverland. So there you have it, everyone. Book your spring break for the Turneffe Atoll now, because it’s the real location for everlasting childhood. Talk about your once in a lifetime vacation. But hey, that’s just a theory–a Film Theory! And…cut!