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Hook
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FAQ for
Hook (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Hook can be found here.

What is 'Hook' about?

Corporate lawyer Peter Banning (Robin Williams) doesn't know that he is really Peter Pan, now grown up and married to Moira Whitehall (Caroline Goodall), granddaughter of Wendy Darling Whitehall (Maggie Smith), now also grown up. When Peter and Moira's two children, Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott), are kidnapped by the nefarious Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) fetches Peter and helps him get back to Neverland to rescue his children.

Indirectly. Captain Hook is a character introduced in Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up (1904), a play by Scottish author Sir James M Barrie [1860-1937]. The play was subsequently novelized as Peter and Wendy (1911) and is now usually published under the title Peter Pan. Although Barrie's notes did suggest ideas for another play based on the idea that Peter did grow up, screenwriter James V. Hart admitted to getting the idea for Hook from a comment made by his son asking the same question...'What if Peter did grow up?'. The movie was subsequently novelized in 1991 by American author Terry Brooks.

It is explained in the movie that, when Peter was 12 or 13 years old, Wendy arranged for his adoption by Hank and Jane Banning, who lived in America. Presumably, Peter then got the schooling to become a successful corporate lawyer. Wendy was instrumental in finding homes for many of the lost boys and today runs an orphanage in London in which she continues her work.

The identity of the 'mean scary window washer' is never revealed. Many viewers conclude that it was Captain Hook, since later in the movie, Hook knows that Peter did not attend Jack's baseball game and gives Jack back what looks like his baseball. Others point out that Hook doesn't think Peter Banning is Peter Pan, so the window washer might have been a spy for Hook, maybe Smee (Bob Hoskins) or some other pirate. The night that Jack and Maggie are abducted, however, Tootles (Arthur Malet) and Granny Wendy both seem to sense Hook's presence. The most likely scenario is that the window washer was a spy, Smee or some unnamed pirate, who relayed back to Hook that Peter's children were in the bedroom, and Hook appeared in person to kidnap them.

Who is Tootles?

Tootles was one of the lost boys in Barrie's original story. Tootles returns to London with Wendy and is the first orphan for whom she finds a home. In Hook, he claims to have lost his marbles (his happy thoughts).

The Banning family lives in America. Apparently, Hook and/or his spy were looking for Peter at the Darling house in London. When Peter and his family show up to attend the dedication of a new wing in Granny Wendy's orphanage, Hook's plans for his long-awaited revenge are set in motion.

Travel between Neverland and London seems to have that effect. The longer you stay in one place, the less you remember about the other. For example, Jack forgets about Peter and 'adopts' Hook as his father and Neverland as his home after being there for just three days. Interestingly, this same phenomenon does not seem to affect girls. In Barrie's original story, Wendy asks Peter why there are no 'lost girls', and Peter explains that girls are too smart to fall out of their prams and become 'lost'. This would explain why Wendy never forgot Neverland and why Maggie didn't lose sight of her parents while she was held captive in Neverland.

Tootles was the first to leave Neverland with Wendy. Peter didn't choose to leave Neverland until many years later, when he fell in love with Wendy's granddaughter Moira. In the interim, Tootles grew older in the real world but Peter didn't grow older in Neverland. Consequently, when they meet again in Hook, Tootles is much older than Peter.

In Barrie's story, Hook lost his right hand when Peter cut it off and a crocodile swallowed it. The croc also swallowed a clock so Hook is alerted by the ticking whenever the croc gets near.

How does the movie end?

Peter and Hook's swordfight leads them to the stuffed statue of the crocodile in the village square. Just as Peter is about to strike the killing blow, Maggie and Jack request to go home. 'He's just a mean old man without a mommy,' says Maggie. Peter is about to take his children and leave when Hook attacks one more time. He corners Peter against the croc, but his hook hits the statue, causing it to fall over and engulf him in its mouth. When the lost boys check under the croc, they find that Hook has disappeared. Peter realizes that it's time for him to return home. He has Tinkerbell sprinkle Maggie and Jack with fairy dust. As they fly off, Peter hands over his sword to Thud Butt (Raushan Hammond), placing him in charge. Maggie and Jack arrive home first, surprising their mother. Peter, still in his dress apparel from Wendy's dedication ceremony, wakes up outside on the snow-covered lawn. He notices a man who looks a lot like Smee sweeping up some empty bottles. He sees Tinkerbell sitting on a tree branch. She promises to always be waiting for him in 'that place between waking and sleeping.' Tink suddenly disappears into the glow of the sun. Peter climbs up the drainpipe to the window, enters the house, kisses Moira, and tosses his cellphone out the window. He gives Tootles back his marbles and hugs Wendy. In the final scene, Tootles sprinkles himself with fairy dust and flies out the window, while the Banning family stand on the porch watching him go.

Hook is a movie about believing...believing in fairies...believing that an empty bowl is full of delicious food...believing that you can fly if you think a happy thought. How each viewer interprets the movie depends upon his/her beliefs. Some viewers believe Peter's experience was a dream brought on by too much drink after Granny Wendy's dedication party, that Hook's comment to Peter ('This is all a dream...You're really not Peter Pan... just a man who is obsessed with work and drinks too much'), and that the neighbor who looks like Smee was simply a figure in Peter's dream. Others choose to believe that Peter really was the Pan from Neverland, just as Wendy tells him and evidenced when Tootles flies back to the second star to right and straight on till morning after finding his marbles. The answer to the question is 'What do YOU believe?'

Yes. Peter Pan, as well as Peter and Wendy, are in the public domain and may be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 2 months ago
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