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Captain Hook

Captain Hook

"Captain Hook" is also a nickname for former baseball manager Sparky Anderson.
"Captain Hook" is also a nickname for the Islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri.

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.

Smee is Captain Hook's boatswain and right-hand man, so to speak, not to mention his best friend. Contrary to popular belief, however, Smee was not First Mate; Starkey was.

Background

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.

Peter and Wendy

In Peter and Wendy, Captain Hook is the main villain. Captain Hook is both admirable and detestable, being a villainous gentleman in that he understands that there is a right and wrong way to commit evil deeds. In Barrie's play and novel, Hook captures Wendy Darling, the girl who loves Peter and whom Peter views as his surrogate mother, and challenges the boy to a final duel. When Hook is beaten Peter Pan kicks him overboard to the open jaws of the waiting crocodile below. Just before his defeat, however, he takes a final jab at Peter by taunting him about his "bad form". Peter, with the callousness of youth, quickly forgets Hook and finds a new nemesis, but as Hook made a stronger impression on the public, most sequels brought him back one way or another.

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.

Personality

Hook has a somewhat double-sided nature: although he is a ruthless pirate captain, at times he seems almost compassionate, most commonly with Wendy; being a lady, most on the island are polite and attempt to be proper around Wendy. Hook, while usually hard towards the Lost Boys, is strangely gentleman-like when concerning Wendy, thus possibly developing a soft spot for her. He is hurt by the fact the children despise him, even though he has caused their hate himself. Barrie says Hook is often melancholy; the only time he is thrilled is when he is "plunging" his hook into a victim. Barrie also says Hook is a wonderful storyteller - he loves flowers and sweet music. He is also a talented musician, playing the flute in the stage play and the harpsichord in the novel and Disney film. He apparently smokes, as he devised a special double cigar-holder. There are many suggestions that Barrie based the character of Hook on himself, and they share the same first name.

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.

Appearance

In Peter Pan and Wendy, Hook is described as "cadaverous" and "blackavised", with blue eyes and long dark curls which look like "black candles" at a distance; in the film Hook, Captain Hook's hair is simply a wig. He has a hook in place of his right hand (this is often switched to his left hand in film adaptations). He is also described as tall, with an air of elegance, and lovely diction. Captain Hook is often portrayed wearing a large feathered hat, a red or blue coat, and knee breeches. This pertains to the novel's description of him "In dress he somewhat aped the attire associated with the name of Charles II". Barrie also later wrote of him as "In a word, the handsomest man I have ever seen, though, at the same time, perhaps slightly disgusting" (J.M Barrie, "Captain Hook at Eton" in Mconnachie & JMB Speeches By J M Barrie).

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."

Peter Pan in Scarlet

Geraldine McCaughrean's authorized sequel to Peter Pan gives Peter a new nemesis, while bringing back the old favourite.

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.

Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth

According to the novel Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth, Captain Hook was born the illegitimate son of a nobleman, "Lord B", and an unnamed woman Hook has never met. Denounced by Lord B, James Matthew is brought up by a Shakespearean actress he calls Aunt Emily. When he is fifteen he unwillingly attends Eton College as an Oppidan scholar.

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).

For some more about the real Capt. Hook, go here:

Peter and the Starcatchers

In the novel Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Captain Hook is at his nastiest - he is described as greasy and filthy, with terrible breath, beady black eyes, and a pock-marked face. He eats raw meat in his room, often leaving the food on his bed. This grotesque image of Hook contrasts strongly with J. M. Barrie's Etonian gentleman. In Peter and the Starcatchers, which takes place before the captain meets Peter Pan, Hook is called "Black Stache" because of his moustache, and his ship is called the Sea Devil - he obtains the Jolly Roger after using a corset-shaped sail to attack a British ship named the Wasp. In this prequel, although Peter cuts off Hook's hand, he does not throw Hook's hand to the crocodile; the animal simply gobbles it up in passing. Black Stache is renamed Captain Hook in the second instalment, Peter and the Shadow Thieves. In both novels, Hook is the lesser villain; second to the seaman Slank in Peter and the Starcatchers, and third to Slank, who is second to Lord Ombra in Peter and the Shadow Thieves. He becomes a major villain, however, in Never Land Books. His hands being severed differ highly. In Barrie's adaptation, his right hand was purposely cut off by Peter. In Barry and Pearson's adaptation, his left hand was accidentately cut off by Peter.

Disney

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.

Occasionally, Hook appeared in the Scrooge McDuck universe of comic books as the nemesis of Moby Duck, a whaler cousin of Donald Duck.

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.

Kingdom Hearts

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.

Other Appearances

''Peter Pan - The Animated Series (no boken)

In 1989, the Japanese Nippon Animation produced 41 episodes of Peter Pan - the Animated Series; this was aired on World Masterpiece Theater and in several other countries.

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.

Peter Pan and the Pirates

In 1990, Fox produced the television series Peter Pan and the Pirates. Appearance wise, Hook was more early 18th century rather than the classic Charles II Restoration period. He also had white hair, rather than black. Hook's personality however was again far closer to Barrie's original character. Fox's Hook was much more complex again. He terrified his crew, was brutal towards his enemies, had no fear (except where the crocodile was concerned), showed great intelligence and was passionate about plays by William Shakespeare. He was voiced by Tim Curry, who won an Emmy Award for this part. While the original version of Hook was said to have learned the pirating trade as the cabin boy of Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, this version learned it as the Midshipman of his elder brother, a notorious pirate who commanded a frigate called the Rake. Originally engaged to a young woman, one Christmas Day raid saw the Hook brothers (Hook's name in this account is given as "James Hook") capture a ship transporting Hook's fiancee, Cecilia. Also on a Christmas day, perhaps the same day, the two brothers had a disagreement over the sharing of the loot, fighting a duel which saw Hook leave the ship after gouging out his brother's eye, thus earning him the moniker of "Captain Patch". While Hook eventually found his way to Neverland, and thus a form of immortality, Patch perished somewhere, his treasure eventually ending up in Neverland. One episode involved Hook finding the treasure, and unwittingly awakening the malevolent ghost of his elder brother.

Hook

In the film Hook, Captain James Hook is played by Dustin Hoffman. Hook kidnaps Peter Banning's children to lure his arch-enemy back. He then negotiates with Tinkerbell to let the out-of-shape Peter have three days to rekindle his spirit. He is somewhat depressed since Peter Pan, now named Peter Banning (played by Robin Williams), has left Neverland, and worries he has nothing left to accomplish, having killed the crocodile and made it into a foundation for a clock tower. He wants to have a grand war with Peter to end all wars on Neverland, but is upset to learn Peter has grown up and has forgotten everything. He also has grown tired of killing Lost Boys. In one scene, he attempts to shoot himself, after which he comments, "Death is the only great adventure I have left." He keeps a clock museum full of broken clocks, since he becomes gripped with fear when he hears one ticking, possibly because of the crocodile. Ultimately, this phobia is one of the factors that leads to his defeat.

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.

Peter Pan (2003)

In this recent film version of Peter Pan, Captain James Hook is portrayed by British actor Jason Isaacs. The film co-stars Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan and Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy.

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.

Peter Pan (1954 musical)

Most notably, Cyril Ritchard played Captain Hook in the 1954 musical adaptation which starred Mary Martin as Peter Pan.

Fantasmic! (Disney)

In Fantasmic! at Disneyland, there is a scene in which we see Captain Hook and Peter Pan duelling aboard the Jolly Roger (portrayed by the Sailing Ship Columbia). This is replaced by a short re-enactment of Disney's Pocahontas at Disney MGM studios.

Dream-Along with Mickey (Disney)

At Disneyworld's Dream-Along with Mickey show, Hook, along with Smee, is one of the villains that crashes Mickey's party. This happens when Peter and Wendy appear to make Goofy's dream for some adventure come true and play a game of "Pretend to Be Pirates" with Donald Duck, who pretends to be the captain until the real Hook appears and challenges Peter to a duel. At first, Hook's appearance seems to take place for no reason other than to add some action to the show, but is revealed to actually be working for Maleficent, who is insulted after not being invited to the party. He is defeated by Mickey, who leads the audience in a chant of "Dreams come true!", and scares off the villains.

Villains Mix and Mingle (Disney)

At the Disney Villains Mix and Mingle Halloween Dance Party at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Hook is summoned up by Maleficent along with the other villains (Cruella De Vil, Judge Claude Frollo, Jafar, The Queen of Hearts, The Evil Queen) and co-hosts along with her, revealed by him being the only one of the villains beside her to sing and also being the villain that dances with her.

Cameos in other Media

  • Captain Hook appears briefly in the animated film Shrek 2, as the piano player in a tavern, and in the karaoke scene at the end, sings "Hooked on a Feeling". He is voiced by and partly modeled on Tom Waits, who wrote and performs his song "Little Drop Of Poison". He appears as a speaking character in Shrek the Third (voiced by Ian McShane) as a minor antagonist, and still plays the piano even while his men fight Shrek and co.
  • Captain Hook appears briefly in the comic book The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen at a "pirate conference" that featured other notable characters such as Long John Silver, Doctor Syn and Captain Pugwash.
  • One poem in Shel Silverstein's poetry book, Where the Sidewalk Ends, is about the pirate, but there are no references at all to Peter Pan; it's more of a humorous description of the disadvantages of having a hook.
  • In the pirate themed RTS Tropico 2, Captain Hook is listed as one of the historical figures the player can choose from. The game even refers to Hook's fear of crocodiles and questions whether Hook really lost his hand in combat or cut it off intentionally. However, he is listed as a Spanish character, not English.
  • In the Japanese manga One Piece, the character of Sir Crocodile seems to be inspired by Hook. The idea behind Crocodile's hook seems to have come from this famous fictional pirate, especially considering the fact he is the only pirate so far in One Piece to have a hook. Other aspects about Crocodile come from Peter Pan in general, such as his name which is from the beast that hunted Captain Hook. Unlike Hook however, Crocodile did not fear crocodiles and even kept several unusually large ones as pets. Crocodile also uses a clock tower to hide a bomb that he intended to kill his enemies with. Crocodile also smoked cigars, though not in the same way as Hook did. Like Captain Hook's main enemy, Peter Pan, who was a young boy living in a dream world, one of Sir Crocodile's enemies was Monkey D. Luffy, who is also a young boy full of dreams.
  • The song "Captain Hook" by the band Chipz features Peter and the "King of the Pirates" in a story told in song of when the band members "jump into the book".
  • In the novel Treasure Island, Long John Silver is referred to as 'the only man whom Flint ever feared'. In JM Barries' novel Peter and Wendy, it is said that Captain Hook is the only man "the Sea-Cook" (ie, Silver) ever feared. At the end of Barrie's novel, Smee claimed that he was the only man Hook ever feared.
  • The film Surf Nazis Must Die features a villain named hook who like Hook bears a prostethic hook hand.
  • Captain Hook features prominently in The Wendy Trilogy, a song-cycle retelling of the Peter Pan story in which Wendy Darling accepts Hook's offer to become a pirate instead of refusing as in the original story.

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