Mary is a very kind, beautiful and understanding mother and wife of George Darling. Although she didn't entirely believe in Peter Pan until the end of the movie, she believed in the spirit of him. She was deeply concerned about her children's well-being, especially Wendy's, who was being forced to grow up too soon by George. She always tried to keep the peace in the household, shown when she tried to keep her husband from losing his temper with the children.
Mary Darling, referred to as Mother by the children appears at the opening and ending of the film. She does play an indirect role in the film, as she is alluded to throughout the picture. She is shown to be very caring and loving. She doesn't seem to agree completely with her husband's overly-practical ways, however.
The opening narration tells that Mary believes that Peter Pan was a "spirit of youth," showing that she believe in him to some extent, in contrast to her more practical husband (and, in Peter Pan and the Sword of Mercy; a book from the Starcatchers series that ties in with the original Barrie novel, it is revealed that she and George went to Neverland themselves as children, but the time of the movie, George has forgotten about those times). She is shown getting ready to attend a party alongside her husband and attempts to calm him down as he grows more angry and impatient due to his children's antics. She fails, though, as George Darling grows so annoyed at the make-believe (and thus impractical) games his children are playing, he abruptly decides that Wendy must move into her own room. This visibly shocks Mary, and as he leaves, she puts the children to bed, comforting each child about their father's behavior. As Wendy falls asleep, she asks that the window is left unlocked, as Peter Pan will want the shadow that Wendy had been keeping. This worries Mary a bit, and as the parents leave for the party, she mentions it to George.
During the film, Wendy alludes to her several times, most importantly during the song sequence, "Your Mother and Mine," where she reminds the Lost Boys of their mothers, after she realizes that her brothers are forgetting their own mother. She also notes that should the Lost Boys decide to return home with them, that Mary would most likely be glad to have them.
Mary appears at the end of the film, having returned from the party. She is shocked to find Wendy asleep on the window seat rather than in bed. She calms Wendy down as the young girl excitedly begins to recount her dream and what it has taught her. As the film closes, she watches a cloud, shaped like a galleon, along with Wendy and George, after George recognizes it from his childhood.
Mary and her husband George don't appear in the sequel, Return to Never Land. It is presumed that they have either moved into another house or they are dead since their daughter, Wendy, son-in-law, Edward, and grandchildren, Jane and Danny, are living in the Darling home.
At the end of the film, Wendy was given her lost ballerina and rushed to show her mother. Mrs. Darling is then heard.
Mary and the rest of the Darling family appear in the second season of the ABC fairy tale drama, Once Upon a Time. She is portrayed by actress Karin Inghammar. Mary's attire differs vastly from the Disney portrayal of her character. In the OUaT version, she wears a yellow colored dress, whereas she wears a light pink one in Peter Pan. Her facial structure and hair color make her look similar to Olivia Williams, who portrayed Mary in the 2003 Universal film. She is the one that says good night to her children every night when they go to sleep. She was briefly Baelfire's adoptive mother until he went to Neverland.
The fact that her sons grew older and that Wendy was made a prisoner in Never Land sadly suggests that she grew old and passed away.
- Heather Angel, who provided the voice of Wendy's mother Mary, voiced Alice's sister in Alice in Wonderland. Kathryn Beaumont, who voiced Wendy, also voiced Alice.