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It's known that Peter Pan needed fairy dust to fly. He used it on Wendy, John, and Michael so they could fly with him to Neverland. (But in the books, there's no indication that the Lost Boys can fly -- if I misremember, please correct me!)

If a one-time dose of fairy dust was enough to let someone fly from then on, one would think we'd see the Lost Boys fly, since they would have had to fly to Neverland in the first place. (But it's also possible that, like the Indians and mermaids and pirates, they were native to Neverland all along.)

Does Peter (or anyone else) need repeated doses of fairy dust to continue flying, or is one dose enough to last for a lifetime?

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4 Answers 4

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Peter Pan is able to fly due to different reasons in different versions of the story (books, plays and movies). He was a part bird in one, used fairy dust in the other etc..

In the book The Little White Bird by Barrie, "[Peter] escaped from being a human when he was seven days old; he escaped by the window and flew back to the Kensington Gardens. ... All children could ... for, having been birds before they were human, they are naturally a little wild during the first few weeks, and very itchy at the shoulders, where their wings used to be."

Also from Wikipedia:

"Peter's ability to fly is explained somewhat, but inconsistently. In The Little White Bird he is able to fly because he – like all babies – is part bird. In the play and novel, he teaches the Darling children to fly using a combination of "lovely wonderful thoughts" (which became "happy thoughts" in Disney's film) and fairy dust; it is unclear whether he is serious about "happy thoughts" being required (it was stated in the novel that this was merely a silly diversion from the fairy dust being the true source), or whether he requires the fairy dust himself. In Hook, the adult Peter is unable to fly until he remembers his 'happy thought'. The ability to fly is also attributed to starstuff – apparently the same thing as fairy dust – in the Starcatcher prequels."

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Having just watched 'Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure' I can give you the Disney answer.

In the movie it's shown that fairies get a daily ration of fairy dust and at one point Tinker Bell has to try to get extra fairy dust in order to make a long journey. In the various Tinker Bell movies we see fairies using fairy dust to create other magical effects.

In the Disney Peter Pan movie Peter grabs Tinker Bell and gives her a spanking to shake the fairy dust off of her and onto Wendy and the boys.

Whenever someone flies using fairy dust they give off a distinctive trail of fairy dust. This is most noticeable when Tinker Bell flies over the Disney castle at the beginning of each Disney movie.

So we can deduce that a certain amount of fairy dust is required to fly and that it slowly wears off as it is used, and for fairies, is used up as part of their daily work.

Peter, being a friend of Tinker Bell, probably gets any fairy dust he uses from her. If she were to leave him, say in a fit of jealousy, he would eventually run out of fairy dust and be unable to fly. This will probably take longer than a day though, as in the Peter Pan movie she does leave him and yet he is still able to fly very well.

I'll leave analyzing his flight patterns and fairy dust usage statistics to the experts.

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In the original book, it is shown that fairy dust/pixie dust/starstuff/stardust (that's basically the same thing, but with different names) only works on children, as Wendy, when she meets Peter a second time when she has grown up, tells him to "don't waste his fairy dust on er" (I haven't got the book under my eyes, so perhaps these aren't the real words, but.). Also, the "happy thought" are really necessary, because when the Darling children come back to London and stop playing all the time, they progressively lose the ability of flying.

In Barrie's spirit, it seems clear that Peter Pan (as seen in The Little White Bird) doesn't need fairy dust/pixie dust/starstuff/stardust to fly because babies don't need it to fly (it's only that the majority of the babies don't want or don't think to… and whatever, don't search to much consistency in this book, because it is a nonsense book, exactly as "Alice in Wonderland", which doesn't have to always fit with itself. There's a bit more consistency in it than in "Alice", but still.) and that, as Peter Pan went to Neverland when he was only 7 days old, and then stopped growing up. Yes, just forget the 12-years-old teenager of the 1953 film: Peter Pan is a small baby, but who walks on his legs most of the time.

"Peter Pan and the Starcatchers" is a prequel to the book (and, by itself, a very good book, I think), but it only fits with the book, and not with "The little white bird", so it can't be considered as really canon.

But is it the same in the Disney series? Certainly not. But maybe that's because it's not the pixie dust, but something else. Evidence:

  1. Boy, look at the EARS of Peter Pan in this films; it seems that Peter Pan is not entirely (and maybe even not AT ALL) a real human, he has something of the nature of a leprechaun!
  2. Yes, it's true, in the "Tinker Bell" spin off, pixies themselves need pixie dust to fly. But, wait a minute...

    • If that's true, what is the use of their WINGS ?
    • And in the 1953 film, it seems that Tink doesn't live with the other fairies anymore. In that case, how, but tell me HOW, does she get her pixie dust to fly ? And, in addition to that, the very large quantity of dust that Tinker Bell leaves behind her when she flies in the film seems extremely superior to the quantity that can obviously be found in the bags that the pixies daily receive in the spin off series.

That being said, the spin off is a prequel, which seems to take place around the XVIIIth century (as we can see the young Captain Hook in one of the films). It is possible that between this films and the 1953 film (which happens around 1900/1910, according to the sequel in which we see Wendy as a adult woman in 1939), "something" (but what ?) happened who makes that at least Tink and Peter can have as much pixie dust as they want.

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There is an article on how the fairy dust works and if that's true then I guess it wears off as soon as you bathe.

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