Mr. Smee is one of the most complex characters in one of Disney's early films. Unlike previous villain sidekicks, the filmmakers felt that Smee was the first sidekick to have a truly memorable part in the story. When Walt Disney began character development on the film, animator Ollie Johnston was given the job to animate. He once said that Smee was one of his favorite characters to animate because he wasn't just the villains' lackey, but because he had a solid role in the story and that he was useful as a personality.
In spite of serving a feared captain, and a crew of brutal pirates, Mr. Smee is, ultimately, a kind-hearted character. Though he makes attempts to perform villainous acts, his gentle nature often gets in the way of this; his ultimate agenda usually focusing around keeping peace and some form of stability within Captain Hook's life.
Overly eager to please, Smee can easily be described as a chronic bumbler and appears to have minimal intelligence, overall. Because of this, he often annoys Hook and often finds himself facing the latter's wrath. While Smee clearly fears Hook, mostly as a result of his dangerous temper, he has shown to be outrageously loyal, to the point of unabashedly jumping into action to protect the captain, specifically from the jaws of the crocodile, who is surprisingly docile when dealing with Smee.
Aside from his loyalty and relationship with Hook, Smee was shown to have his own agendas throughout the original film, such as convincing Hook to leave Never Land as he, and the rest of the crew, long for the days of plundering the seven seas, which has been put to a halt as a result of Hook's obsession with killing Peter Pan. Notably, however, this stemmed from the harassment and threats from the crew, who saw Smee as a means to communicate with the captain, as the latter is far more tolerable of his first mate. Even so, Smee has shown to support the idea, for the "health and happiness" of the captain.
According to Jeff Bennett, the current official voice actor for Smee:
|“||Smee has that bumbling way about him. He’s always trying to keep up and wants to try to make everybody happy—like the Mom who wants everybody to stop fighting and be friends and make nice and for the world to be every color of the rainbow. But every once in a while, you’ll hear—and I try not to do it too often—that little edge of “Boy, this job is really hard and I am a little tired of it."||”|
Smee was animated by one of Walt Disney's Nine Old Men, Ollie Johnston. Smee is a diminutive, portly gentleman with an odd, hourglass-shaped head. He has shoulder-length, white hair (though the top of his head is bald) and thick, black eyebrows. His eyes are black and close-set, and they are often half-closed. His nose is round, large and pink (much like the Dwarfs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), and the rest of his skin is slightly pink as well. In terms of attire, Smee wears what seem to be very simple, brown sandals, a short-sleeved shirt with alternating sky blue and white horizontal stripes, and teal shorts. He also wears half-moon glasses and a red stocking cap with a red pom-pom ornament on top.
Smee's first appearance was in the original Peter Pan movie. He is Captain Hook's first mate and henchman. However, he doesn't seem to be much liked by the rest of the crew. At the beginning of the film, Smee comes out of the cabin, he wishes the Crew a good morning, but the Crew grab him by the shirt and tell him that there's nothing good about the morning because they're stuck on the island of Neverland and not pirating. Wishing to give up the quest for Peter Pan, they bully Smee into trying persuade their Captain to comply with their demands to go back out to sea again. Smee fails to help Hook forget about his obsession with Peter Pan so that the crew can go to sea like they wish. When Tick-Tock the Crocodile appears, Captain Hook becomes frightened and begs Smee to save him from the creature. Smee shoos off the animal and decides to soothe Hook with a shave. Soon, Peter appears with the Darling children and Hook orders Smee to gather the crew for an attack.
Smee is later seen rowing a rowboat with Captain Hook and a captive Tiger Lily past the Mermaid Lagoon as they make their way to Skull Rock. Smee is fooled by Peter's imitation of Hook and begins to free the Indian Princess, before being corrected by the real Hook. As Hook uncovers Peter's identity, Peter offers Smee a pistol with the dare of trying to hit him. He misses, and instead, Smee apparently hits Hook. Hook, however, turns out to be alive, much to Smee's joy, but Smee is forced to rescue Hook when he is being attacked by the crocodile. Captain Hook jumps onto Smee's rowboat and orders Smee to row for the ship before falling back into the water. Smee rows back to Jolly Roger himself, leaving Hook to frantically swim away from the pursuing crocodile.
At some point, Smee learns of Tinker Bell's banishment through the talk from the crew and suggests to a now despondent Hook that they leave. His reasoning is that "an island with women trouble is no place for a respectable pirate". This gives Hook the idea to play on Tinker Bell's jealousy of Wendy. Smee captures Tinker Bell, and Hook is able to convince the fairy to reveal Peter Pan's hiding place (with help from a drunken Smee). Smee then accompanies Hook and assists in the capture of the children. During the final battle, Smee quietly attempts to escape by going aboard a rowboat. As he lowers himself and the rowboat onto the sea, the rest of the pirate crew fall on the rowboat. He is last seen calling for Captain Hook, who swims past them as he tries to flee from the crocodile.