Another Peter Pan cast-member!
Ever since I was a kid, and keep in mind, I probably saw this movie for the first time when I was around two or three, he was one of my favorite characters. Mr. Smee, like Trusty, doesn’t seem like much at first, but instead of totally disarming the audience towards the end, glimpses of what make him awesome come all throughout the movie. And he has them chuckling the whole time.
First and foremost, yes… Mr. Smee is none too bright. In fact, he’s pretty dim. But he’s very brave. He’s the one who shoos away the Crocodile when it comes too close to the ship, and the beast listens to him!
He’s quick to forgive. When we first meet him, the other crew members threaten him with various weapons, but in his interactions with them throughout the rest of the movie, it’s obvious that he doesn’t hold any grudges. Given the knives and swords involved– that’s pretty impressive.
Smee also has a code of honor that the rest of the crew, especially Captain Hook, utterly lacks. He tells off the captain for shooting an off-key singer.
“Oh dear, dear, dear Captain Hook. Shooting a man in the middle of his cadenza? Ain’t good form, you know.”
Later he wants to leave Neverland rather than become entangled in the Peter Pan-Tinkerbelle-Wendy conflict. “This is no place for respectable pirates like us!”
He also thinks that Hook’s obsession with killing Peter Pan is unhealthy– which it is.
But more interestingly, Hook knows that Smee is indispensable. The captain is perfectly willing to kill just plain crewmen for minor infractions like singing off key, but when Smee does the same thing he only gets shushed or smacked on the head. The pirate knows he can’t keep things together without his dim-witted assistant, which is saying something, considering Hook’s arrogance.
Oh, and he loves his mother. It’s a villain cliche, but very funny here. Comic-yet-effective villains are great, and Smee juggles his efficiency with his ineptitude, as well as serving a nice counterpoint to Hook’s hysterical ruthlessness. It’s a win-win for audiences.