Captain James Hook is the villain of J. M. Barrie's play and novel Peter Pan. Hook is a pirate captain and Peter Pan's nemesis. It is said that he was Blackbeard's boatswain, and that he was the only man Long John Silver ever feared.
Hook wears an iron hook in place of his right hand which was cut off by Peter Pan and eaten by a crocodile. The crocodile liked the taste so much, he follows Hook around constantly, hoping for more. Luckily for Hook, he also swallowed a clock, so Hook can tell from the ticking when the Crocodile is near. Hook hates Peter obsessively and lives for the day he can make Peter and all his Lost Boys walk the plank.
Hook did not appear in early drafts of the play, with the capricious and coercive Peter Pan as the closest thing to a "villain" in it. The pirate captain was created for a front-cloth scene to be staged in front of the curtain while the set was changed from Neverland back to the Darling nursery, depicting the children's journey home. Barrie expanded the scene and the role of the captain as the play developed. The character was originally cast to be played by a woman: Dorothea Baird, the actress also playing the mother figure of Mary Darling. Gerald du Maurier, who was already playing the father figure of George Darling (and the brother of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies), persuaded Barrie to let him take the additional role instead , a casting decision that has since been replicated in many stage and film productions of the Peter Pan story.
Lest anyone think Hook's name too convenient, Barrie notes that "Hook was not his true name. To reveal who he really was would even at this date set the country in a blaze." Barrie also suggests through several clues that the Captain was an Old Etonian — this was confirmed in Barrie's speech delivered to the first hundred at Eton College, "Captain Hook at Eton". In the stage play Peter Pan, Hook's final words are "Floreat Etona", the College's motto.
In a published speech by J.M Barrie titled "Captain Hook at Eton", given to pupils at Eton College in 1927, Barrie describes Hook's love of poetry, particularly that of the Lake Poets, and also his sporting and academic achievements whilst at school. According to Barrie: "his sympathies were with the classical rather than the modern side. In politics he was a Conservative". As in Peter Pan, Hook is described as lonely, regretful and depressed, writing in the ships' log: "Better, perhaps, for Hook that he had never been born". Hook also displays narcissistic tendencies, although he recognizes this trait in himself, and rather scolds himself for it.
In stage appearances and films, George Darling and Captain Hook are often played by the same actor. This is based upon the belief in the book that "All grown-ups are pirates."
Ravello, a circus man in a constantly ragged woollen coat, is revealed to be James Hook, who escaped the crocodile, when the muscle contractions meant to crush and digest him broke the vial of poison he kept with him at all times. The poison killed the crocodile, and Hook used his hook to claw out, but he was a changed man. The scarred visage that emerged from the crocodile's belly was not the noble pirate who went forthwith from the deck of the Jolly Roger, he was changed into Ravello, the travelling man. Only upon receiving Wendy's kiss, and five weeks' worth of sleep, does the real James Hook again reveal himself.
Hook gives another clue to his true identity when one of the Lost Boys asks Ravello his name: He thinks for a while, as if trying to remember, and finally says the name his mother gave him was Crichton, but that names given by mothers don't mean anything.
One of Ravello's trophies is an Eton trophy dated 1894. If Hook was 18 - the last year of an Etonian - in that year, then he was born in 1876, a full one-hundred and one years after his appearance at The Pirates' Conference [see below], and even further after the times of Blackbeard and Long John Silver, but this could be an extension of the magic of Neverland.
James strives to reach the top of his class at Eton. He is an avid reader of the Shakespeare and Shelley, and his motto is "Knowledge is Power". He describes many things as first rate - "Topping Swank", and he punctuates his sentences with "The End." He is very interested in the French Revolution.
In the novel James has only a few friends - Roger Peter Davies, whom he nicknames "Jolly Roger" and later names his ship after; and his pet Electra, a fatally poisonous spider with a hook-shaped marking on her abdomen. However, James Matthew has many enemies, particularly Arthur Darling, a seventeen-year-old Colleger, whom he rivals in studies, fencing, sports, and the attentions of the visiting Ottoman Sultana Ananova Ariadne. Although James successfully woos Ananova, their mutual affection sets off a chain of political outrage that affects the noble position of Lord B. Lord B selfishly arranges for James to leave Eton on his trading ship, the Sea Witch. But the deeply hurt James doesn't leave without defeating Arthur in a final fencing duel, terrifying him with a home-made guillotine. He also burns his own school records so there would be no traces of his well-liked "notorious" behaviour.
James leaves Eton with Jolly Roger. Once on the trading ship, he meets the boatswain Bartholomew Quigley Smeethington, generally called Smee. Smee and all the other sailors live in terror of their ruthless captain, who, in a cruel twist, also happens to be a Christian priest. James, as always, is able to empathize with the underdogs. When James discovers in horror that his father is a slave trader, he frees the slaves on the ship and overthrows the ship's captain (who then is killed by Electra), and then murders the quartermaster with a metal hook.
Throughout Capt. Hook, author J.V. Hart relates events in James Matthew B's life to events in James Matthew Barrie's life and the lives of the Llewellyn-Davies children; including naming James' arch-enemy after the Llewellyn-Davies' father. But the author mainly expands upon details in Barrie's original play and novel, while changing a few key points - he ascribes James' strange colouring and yellow blood to a blood disorder; James' long dark hair is natural, rather than the usually suggested wig; James is christened "Hook" after murdering the quartermaster of the Sea Witch, rather than in reference to his iron arm (in the original novel, Hook was known as "Hook" before he lost his hand, so this is consistent).
The version of Captain Hook who appears in the Disney animated film adaptation of Peter Pan is a cowardly fool, prone to crying out for help as well as being called a codfish and having his clothes repeatedly ruined (always starting with his hat), and had the hook in place of his left hand instead of his right (supposedly, the animators wanted Hook to be able to do things that are usually simpler to do with the right hand). Though he has his evil moments, Hook is overall a comically inept villain compared to other Disney villains such as Jafar, Scar or Maleficent. He apparently loves loopholes in contracts or deal — after he promises Tinker Bell that he will not lay a finger (or a hook) on Peter, he then lays a bomb in Peter's hideout, since he didn't say he wouldn't do that. Fortunately, Tinker Bell gets wind of this and manages to warn Peter at the very last second. Peter defeats Hook, who begs for mercy and promises to leave Neverland forever (after Peter forces him to admit he's a "codfish"). However, Hook tries to attack Peter again, but finds himself having to escape from the crocodile again, with his crew following. In the film, Hook is voiced by and modelled after Hans Conried, who provided the same talents for Mr. Darling. Frank Thomas was the directing animator of Hook.
According to Disney's Platinum release bonus features, Hook was modelled after a Spanish King.
The crocodile, though not referred to by name in the film, was named Tick-Tock the Croc in early press material.
Hook subsequently appeared in a number of other Disney productions, such as the 2002 film Return to Never Land. There, Hook had finally managed to get rid of Tick-Tock somehow, but he was replaced by a just-as-hungry octopus, who, in fact, actually (and quite ironically) mistakes Hook for a codfish after having him in his mouth for a few seconds. Even though the crocodile doesn't appeal in this sequel, the octopus uses his arms' suction cups as the "tick tock" of a clock while popping his eyes separate up and down at the same time. At the end of the film Hook and his crew were in a row boat and got chased by the octopus, who mistakes all of them as codfishes. Hook also appeared frequently on Disney's House of Mouse, and was one of the main villains of Mickey's House of Villains. In Mickey's House of Villains, he is portrayed as Jafar's (leader of the villains) second-in-command. He also appeared in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse. In modern animation, Hook is voiced by Corey Burton.
He stars in the Disney Interactive computer game, Disney's Villains' Revenge. He stole the happy ending of Peter Pan and altered the story. Peter was reduced to an elderly man and lost his fighting touch. The player went against Hook in a duel and won, defeating Hook. Captain Hook fought the player again in the final battle, but saw his ship destroyed. He retreats to Skull Rock where he fires cannonballs. Unfortunately, one is deflected and sends him flying into the sky.
Captain Hook appears in the Action/RPG game Kingdom Hearts, in cooperation with Maleficent and other villains. He uses his pirate ship to get himself between worlds. He takes Riku along with him, where Kairi is being held. However, he does not like Riku's bossiness and regrets taking him along. When Sora, Donald, and Goofy arrive in Neverland, Riku throws them in the hold where they meet and escape with Peter Pan, who is searching for his friend Wendy. Captain Hook believed that Wendy was a "Princess of Heart" and that is why he captured her. However, Riku reports to him from Maleficent that Wendy is not a Princess of heart at all, irritating Hook. After defeating the Heartless below deck, Sora fights a copy of himself summoned by Riku in Hook's office. After confronting Hook on the deck, Sora and company realize that Riku escaped to Hollow Bastion with Kairi. Hook then flees to his office. Using a voice imitation of Smee, Hook's right hand man, Peter Pan tricks Hook into thinking everything is all clear. Hook returns to the deck and is thrown into a fight with Sora and others. He proves a powerful swordsman and bomb expert, but no match for the Keyblade. Hook is thrown overboard and is chased into the horizon by his arch nemesis the Crocodile, as usual. He later reappears in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories as a figment of Sora's memories, but is absent in Kingdom Hearts II. His Japanese voice actor was Chikao Ōtsuka.
Captain Hook was released in the Disney Store exclusive toyline Disney Heroes, a slightly stylized version of the classic animation model, replacing the small hook with a metal forearm and larger, more angular hook. This new hook has been commented by some online review sites to resemble the mechanical forearm the character Ash builds in Army of Darkness.
Something worth noting, although Peter Pan is themed around a hatred of mother-figures, in nearly every Disney film and sequel there is a mention of Hook's "mommy". In Disney's Return to Neverland the Captain holds a portrait of his two-hooked mother, and in Disney-published Peter and the Starcatchers, Hook is said to have marooned his mother.
Captain Hook also appears at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meetable character.
Hook's personality was far closer to the original character from Barrie's novel. Rather than the clownish and cowardly Hook portrayed in the Disney version, Hook was an aggressive strategist, feared by his crew and everyone else, except Peter. Besides his first objective, which is to destroy Peter Pan, he also is eager to become Neverland's first king. Hook also had a second hook-hand that both looked and functioned in a similar fashion as a crab claw.
He was voiced in the Japanese version by Chikao Ōtsuka, who also did his Disney incarnation in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories along with Doctor Eggman in the various Sonic games.
At the same time, Hook tries to attempt to brainwash the children by saying the father never loved them, and he is successful with Peter's son, Jack. Peter does return and gets his children back, and to give Hook the final battle he desires. In the end he magically "disappears", ironically "eaten" by the croc who seems to temporarily come back to life; His final words were: "I want my mummy!". But knowing Hook, he always comes back.
In the film, Hook's hook is on his left hand due to Hoffman being right-handed.
Jason Isaacs plays also the role of George Darling, Wendy's father, following a tradition which apparently comes from the original play. In this version Jason Isaacs has the hook on his right hand. Even though Isaacs is right-handed this allowed him to have more mobility with the hook which the film-makers believed was more important.Cyril Ritchard played Captain Hook in the 1954 musical adaptation which starred Mary Martin as Peter Pan.