Wendy Darling is an imaginative, mature and very maternal 12-year-old English girl living in London during the Edwardian era. She loves to care for others and tell stories to her younger siblings. Though her imagination is vivid and praised by her brothers Michael and John, Wendy's storytelling was initially looked down upon by her father, George, who found Wendy's stories and childlike nature to be immature and ridiculous, and voiced his desire to have her abandon her childhood as soon as possible to prepare herself for eventual adulthood. Because of this, Wendy grew a fear of growing up, and found comfort in the stories of Peter Pan and Neverland.
Nevertheless, upon visiting the island of Neverland for the first time, Wendy found her maturity growing and becoming a more prominent part of her character as the overly adventurous and somewhat eccentric events on the fantasy island took place. This led her to finally accepting the fact that she will inevitably become an adult, one day. Even so, the young girl didn't allow this revelation to destroy her wondrous imagination.
As an adult (seen in Return to Never Land) Wendy hasn't lost her belief in Peter Pan, and tells stories about him to her two children, Jane and Danny. She has grown into a caring, smart, kind, and beautiful woman.
Wendy is introduced as the eldest child of George and Mary Darling. According to the narrator, she is an expert on Peter Pan, and the source of stories about him. However, when the practical George learns that she is once again telling stories to John and Michael, he disciplines her. He angrily tells Wendy that it's time for her to grow up, and that night will be her last night in the nursery; the next, she will be forced to have a separate room. (Dialogue between Wendy and her father strongly suggests that this has been going on for a while now, and him punishing her is an indication that he is fed up with his daughter's childish stories.) As her mother is tucking her into bed, Wendy tells her mother that she does not want to grow up. As Mary goes to close the window, Wendy warns her not to lock it. According to Wendy, she has Peter's shadow, and she is certain that he will come back for it.
Later that night, Wendy is awakened and startled when Peter is trying to get his shadow on. Wendy offers to sew it on for him (as he is trying to reattach it with a bar of soap). Through conversation, Wendy learns that Peter likes to hear her stories. However, when Peter learns that she is to "grow up" and leave the the nursery for good, Peter offers to take her to Never Land where she would never have to grow up. There, she could be the mother to the boys who live there and tell them many stories. Wendy tries to kiss Peter out of gratitude, but Tinker Bell, who is jealous, pulls Wendy's hair causing Peter to chase her around the room trying to shove her with his hat. By this time, Michael and John awaken, and are allowed to go with them. Peter sprinkles the three with pixie dust, and after a few false tries, they are able to fly by thinking happy thoughts. The children then fly to Never Land. When they reach the island, the group is attacked by Captain Hook. Tinker Bell is asked to lead Wendy and her brothers to safety, but soon leaves them behind. By the time Wendy catches up, she is shot at by the Lost Boys, mistaking her as a bird (also called a Wendy-Bird by the Lost Boys). Though she is not hit, she falls towards the ground before being saved by Peter. After scolding the boys, Peter introduces Wendy as their new mother.
Later, Peter takes Wendy to meet the mermaids in the lagoon. However, the mermaids take a jealous dislike for Wendy and begin to mock and tesse her, even attempting to pull her into the water and drown her. An angered Wendy picks up a sea shell and is about to hit the mermaids in defense but she is stopped by Peter who asures her that the mermaids were only playing. Suddenly, the lagoon darkens and Peter spots that Hook is close by. Terrified, the mermaids dive into the water and hide. Peter and Wendy follow Hook to Skull Rock and discover that the pirate has captured Tiger Lily, the Indian Princess. Wendy watches as Peter defeats Hook and rescues Tiger Lily, but is left behind when Peter flies off with Tiger Lily but tries to keep up. Wendy attends a celebration at the Indian encampment in honor of Peter's rescue of Tiger Lily. However, Wendy is soon put to work gathering firewood and is not allowed to join the festivities. Wendy leaves in a huff when she sees Tiger Lily flirting with Peter. At Peter's hideout, Wendy decides to go home in the morning with Michael and John, much to the anger of Peter. After talking to Michael, she realizes that he is forgetting what home is like, and sings to him about their mother. After hearing her song, the Lost Boys decide to return with her, infuriating Peter, who believes they are going back to grow up, never to return.
As they go to leave, Wendy and the boys are captured by Hook. Wendy remains faithful that Peter will save them, until Hook reveals that he has placed a bomb in the hideout. Hook gives the children the option of joining his crew, but they refuse. He then forces Wendy to walk the plank. As she drops, she is rescued in secret by Peter, who had been saved from the bomb by Tinker Bell. Peter frees Wendy and the boys, and Wendy watches them as they take on Hook. After the battle, Peter reveals that he will take Wendy, Michael, and John back to London, which pleases Wendy. Peter uses Tinker Bell's pixie dust to make Hook's ship fly. Wendy is next seen asleep on the window seat, where her parents find her when they return home. Wendy happily announces that she is ready to grow up, but her father reveals that he has changed his mind and that Wendy can stay in the nursery. George then notices a ship made of clouds sailing across the moon, and realizes that he saw it when he was young. Wendy is last seen looking at the pirate ship through the window with her father and mother, as the wind breaks it into clouds itself.
Wendy reappears as an adult in the sequel. By this time, she has married a man named Edward and has two children: Jane and Danny. Wendy still tells her children stories about Peter Pan. However, when World War II hits, Edward leaves with the British army, leaving Wendy alone with the children. Eventually, the war takes its toll on Jane, and she stops believing in her mother's stories. One day, Wendy reveals to Jane and Danny that they must be sent to the countryside for safety, and asks Jane to tell stories to Daniel. An angry Jane ridicules Wendy's stories and their faith in them, in very much the same way as her grandfather did in the first movie. Wendy appears again at the end of the film, when Jane returns with Peter. While Jane is with Danny, Wendy is able to meet Peter again. Peter is distraught that she has grown up, but Wendy assures Peter that she hasn't changed. Wendy is last seen reuniting with Edward, who has returned home from the war.
A younger version of Wendy makes a cameo appearance as a little girl in the Peter Pan prequel starring Tinker Bell. In the middle of the film, Tinker Bell finds a ballerina music box. At the end of the film, Queen Clarion, the queen of the fairies, allows Tinker Bell to travel to the Main Land to return the music box. When Tinker Bell arrives in London, she leaves the music box by a window, where Wendy, as a little girl, arrives and takes it in.
Wendy made a special appearance in the special, Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book. In the special, Captain Hook learned of Wendy's beloved stories revolving Peter and his adventures, which inevitably end with Hook's defeat and humiliation. Embarrassed by his betrayal in the stories, Hook, Smee, and his crew traveled to London and steal the book in an attempt to destroy it. However, more urgently, the book served as the connection between Wendy and Never Land, and as a result, the more the book is damaged, the more Wendy's memories of Peter and Never Land as a whole are obliterated, prompting Peter to rally a crew of wholesome NeverLandpirates to help battle Hook and save Wendy's memories. To help further the success, Wendy, Michael, John, and Nana, tag along on the adventure, as well.
Wendy and her family made an appearance on the second season of the fairy tale drama, Once Upon a Time. She was played by Freya Tingley. She was dressed in a nightgown that is far more elaborate and frilly than the Disney version, having a yoke and colored in white instead of blue; it more closely resembles the version from the 2003 film.
One day a boy named Baelfire comes to the Darlings' house to steal some bread. Wendy catches him but lets him eat as much as he likes. The two of them soon become very good friends. Wendy lets Bae stay in her house in secret, but her parents soon discover him. However, they decided let him live with the family after Wendy convinces her father to let him stay. During this time, a shadow comes to the Nursery window and takes Wendy away to Neverland. The following morning Wendy returns home after realizing how Neverland was not such a happy place after all. The Shadow also let her return home because he wanted to take a boy instead of a girl. Wendy worries through tears that the Shadow will take John or Michael away and she will never see them again. That night, after Mary tucks them in for the night and leaves Bae and the Darling children try to prevent the Shadow from coming but they are unsuccessful. The Shadow is about to kidnap Michael but Bae tells the shadow to take him instead. The shadow agrees and Wendy and her brothers then see Bae leave their home forever.
Some time later, despite Wendy's previous escape from Never Land, she had somehow become Peter Pan's prisoner when she and her brothers had returned to Never Land. In exchange for her safety, John and Michael agreed to become servants to Pan. Due to imprisonment on Never Land, Wendy never aged while John and Michael returned home and grew older throughout the years. In present day, she is used by Pan to cement Henry's loyalty to Pan by posing as an ill member of Pan's Lost Boys in order to make Pan's goals appear benevolent by trying to help her and Never Land. While this does motivate Henry, Wendy dislikes lying to him, but Pan states it is necessary for the truest believer to believe in a goal, his goals. Pan quickly places Wendy back in her prison after she plays her part, indicating that this version cruelly mistreats Wendy unlike the original story or the Disney version.
Wendy is eventually freed from Never Land and reunited with her brothers in Storybrooke.
In the orginal Kingom Hearts, Wendy was mistakingly believed to be one of the seven "Princesses of Heart", and kidnapped by Captain Hook as a result. However, upon learning from Maleficent that Wendy is not one of the chosen ones, Riku ordered Hook to leave all deadweight behind on Never Land, including Wendy, though Hook refused as a result of how much trouble it was to capture her. Meanwhile, Peter Pan arrives on the ship to rescue Wendy, and does so after finding her unconscious in the middle of the Jolly Roger.
After being escorted to London, Wendy awaits Peter's arrival at the Big Ben clock tower, where the two share a moment, with Wendy asking Peter to stay with her in London, though she eventually agrees that Never Land is where he truly belongs, and accepts his departure.
Although Wendy does not physically appear in Disney INFINITY: 2.0 Edition as a playable character or a townsperson, there are specific items in the Toy Store that can be unlocked which allude to her character (i.e. Wendy's Bedroom).
Wendy appears as a meetable character at the Disney Parks around the world, dressed as she appeared in the original film (blue hair tie holding her ringlet ponytail, light blue nightgown, black bedroom ballet slippers). A longer-sleeved variation of her nightgown is worn during the cold winter months, more resembling a blue bathrobe than a nightgown or pajamas. She used to be rare to meet at Disneyland, but would appear semi-often at Walt Disney World (occasionally explaining that she often comes back from the nursery or Neverland) and very often at Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
In summer 2013, an inside source at Disney Parks reported that Wendy was appearing at all of the parks on a regular basis. In Spring 2014 however, Wendy announced that she would not be making appearances during the daytime at Disney World as often due to her mother and father sending her back to school. Wendy can be seen in Disneyland Paris' nighttime show Disney Dreams!. Here, Wendy and Peter are about to take a flight when Peter's shadow escapes and releases the magic from the Second Star to the Right. After Peter finds it and restores the magic, he and Wendy enjoy their postponed flight.
Wendy appeared in the former castle stage in the Magic Kingdom park. She, along with Peter, help fulfill Goofy's dream in becoming a pirate, and battles Captain Hook and Mr. Smee. She is last seen during the finale "Any Dream is Possible". In this show, Wendy's nightdress was much more elaborate, resembling an actual nightgown and having frills and lace.
Wendy shares some traits with Alice. They both live in England, wear blue clothing, are pre-teens, and are originally both voiced by Kathryn Beaumont. Both of them also go on adventures to their respective fantasy worlds (Alice with Wonderland, Wendy with Neverland).
Wendy's name comes from one of J.M. Barrie 's friends, a girl who died at five-and-a-half years-old, who always called him her "friendy," which came out pronounced "fwendy".
In some Disney storybooks Wendy's nightgown and hair tie are pink instead of blue.
Her facial features are extremely similar to Alice from Alice In Wonderland. It makes sense, because her film movements and voice were taken from actress Kathryn Beaumont.
Wendy is one of the few Disney heroines to have children, others include Esmeralda and Ariel.
Despite being grown up and married to Edward in the sequel, Wendy and Peter Pan have been considered to be one of Disney's recgonizable couples by fans.
Wendy's design was inspired by both Alice (as both are played by Kathryn Beaumont) and an early illustration of the character in J.M Barrie's Peter Pan.
While most illustrations of Wendy show her and her brothers as being barefoot, the Disney version is the only one that depicts her with shoes. However she was seen barefoot for a split-second when Peter Pan arrives at the Darling residence to get his shadow back.
Most illustrations and depictions of Wendy show her wearing nightgowns that have long sleeves; the Disney movie and Once Upon a Time are the only two known versions that have her wearing short-sleeved/hemmed nightgowns.