Return To Never Land
Alternate Title: Peter Pan II: Peter and JaneReturn To Never Land (Peter Pan II: Peter and Jane, Peter Pan II: Return to Neverland) (2002) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film
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- Walt Disney Television Animation.
- Animated Characters: Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, Wendy, Jane, Captain Hook, Mr. Smee Starkey, Wibbles, Danny, Edward, the Lost Boys (Slightly, Cubby, Mullins, Turk, Danny, Nibs, Twins), Nana Two, Timmy.
- Originally Released in 2002.
- Production Number: 4352-500.
MPAA #: 38494
- Running Time: 72 minutes.
Cartoon Production Information:
Lately, Disney Pictures has a bad habit of overhyping its hugely budgeted flicks while sliding their back-burner numbers into theaters and hoping the critics won't notice. But in the past few years, I've gotten more pleasure out of Disney's overlooked cartoons (A Goofy Movie, Disney's Recess: School's Out) than I have from the gazillion-dollar specials, and so it is with Return to Neverland, a long-overdue and entirely worthy sequel to Disney's Peter Pan (1953).
The film's story is that Wendy grew up to be the mother of an overly sensible daughter named Jane, who poo-poos her mom's old Pan stories. This proves to be a problem for Jane when Captain Hook himself kidnaps Jane under the mistaken impression that he got Mommy instead.
Though the movie is said to have been aided by computer animation, it has the old hand-drawn cartoon style down pat, with brightly painted colors and caricatured faces. (Captain Hook's pointy mustache, stubbly chin, and glistening hook are as vivid as before.) The story seems just right- not too much exposition, not too little plot- and at 72 minutes, the movie zips along like Tinkerbell the fairy on a tear.
And as with the classic Disney cartoons, much of the fun is in the little details. The Lost Boys are still a boyish gang, and most of their deals are sealed with spit-globbed handshakes. Captain Hook's seaborne nemesis is an octopus this time around, but he rhythmically clicks his entrances just like the crocodile that terrorized Hook before. And Tinkerbell pulls off some pathos when it looks as though her light will go out for good when Jane refuses to believe in her.
If you're looking for an old-fashioned, charming cartoon for the kids, you'll do just fine with Return to Neverland. Many critics have already taken swipes at the film, as though it's not right to enjoy a movie that hasn't been hyped to death. Me, I just prefer to think that some people don't believe.
Review By: Steve Bailey
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