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Home > Culture and Society

The TFT Guide to... Children's Classics Updated

6 October 2006

This week an authorised sequel to the children's classic 'Peter Pan' was published. The story is set 20 years after the original, and Wendy has now got children of her own, while the Lost Boys have grown up. The book may be new, but, it's actually an idea that was explored by JM Barrie in the original novel, which includes a scene where Peter returns to Wendy's house, not realizing that she is now married with a daughter, and breaks down in tears. (It's a scene which many adaptations have strangely decided to omit, probably because it's so distressing that it would have Nicholas Van Hoogstraten blubbing like a child.) But the new Peter Pan book got us thinking: what's happened to the other beloved children's characters of our youth?

....

1) The Hungry, Hungry Caterpillar is found dead on the toilet after a massive heart attack. An autopsy reveals 14 different types of drugs in his bloodstream and 16 deep-fried books in his upper colon.

2) The Famous Five turn out to be archetypal middle-class fuck-ups: George is found to be living with a crack dealer in Stockwell, Dick is serving three years in Belmarsh for handling stolen credit cards, Julian is currently in rehab for heroin addiction and Anne is unhappily married to a Tory MP who is desperately trying to conceal his homosexuality. Timmy, meanwhile, has been put down after savaging a child.

3) Charlie, of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' fame, is found to be bankrupt and living in a hostel after Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory went into receivership thanks to Charlie's total lack of board-level management experience.

4) The Railway Children's Bobbie finds it difficult to make the transition into adulthood, embarking on a series of abusive and/or doomed relationships with unsuitable men, including an American werewolf. In London.

5) Noddy and Big Ears appear in court charged with incitement to racial hatred after handing out inflammatory literature about golliwogs at a football match.



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