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Disney created an animated film in 1953 based on the character of Peter Pan, who became a mascot for the company, and expanded upon what we knew of the "Never Fairies". Sir James M Barrie's original play traditionally stages Tinker Bell as a flying point of light beamed from offstage. Barrie's 1902 novel, The Little White Bird, introduced the mythos of Peter Pan and the fairies to the world. He wrote, "When the first baby laughed for the first time, his laugh broke into a million pieces, and they all went skipping about. That was the beginning of fairies."
The Disney Fairies are based on a similar idea: every time a newborn baby laughs for the first time, the laugh travels out into the world and makes its way to Never Land to visit Home Tree in Pixie Hollow. There it turns into a fairy. The Home Tree is a quite a huge tree situated within the heart of Pixie Hollow.
Trivia: Disney animator Marc Davis personified Tinker Bell as a winged pixie with a very womanly figure. Her shape was widely criticized as too suggestive, even more so when it was rumored she was modeled after actress Marilyn Monroe. Tink, however, was actually modeled after actress Margaret Kerry. Male fairies are known as "sparrow men" even though the term "fairy" can be applied to both gender. Feel free to look around a bit.