As a child I loved the adventures of Peter Pan; the pirates, the mermaids, the belief that I could fly (if I only had some pixie dust). Now Peter Pan has returned with a new generation of animators and geared to a whole new audience.
Wendy (voiced by Kate Soucie) is grown up and living in war-torn London with her husband and children. When Edward (Roger Rees) is called into service for his country, he leaves implicit instructions with their daughter, Jane (Harriet Owen), to take care of her mother and brother. Tempered by the realities of war, it's a charge the little girl takes seriously. So much so that she no longer has time for her mother's childhood stories of the impish Peter Pan (Blayne Weaver).
But when Captain Hook (Corey Burton) and his sidekick Smee (Jeff Bennett) mistakenly kidnap the precocious little English girl (believing she is Wendy), Jane suddenly comes face to face with Peter and the Lost Boys. Far too grown up for the antics of these perpetual children, she makes plans to get back home to London until she discovers that flying is the only way out of Never Land. And to fly, she has to believe.
With the usual sailor savoir-faire, Hook hounds the elusive Pan. Even after all these years, the boy in green tights manages to outwit, out-fly and out-fight the salty old captain. There are still mermaids, pirates, and bouts of swordplay. But this time, an agitated octopus (instead of a clock-swallowing crocodile) stalks Hook, and modern sensitivities preclude a visit to the Chief and his warriors. More importantly, Jane, unlike her mother, is a miniature adult living in a child's body who organizes her life with the aid of a little brown notebook.
Racing from one scene to the next, the film preaches the need for faith, trust, and pixie dust while questioning the fate of youngsters who lose their childhood too soon. Lacking the magical charm of the prequel, this Return To Never Land seemed merely mediocre... but maybe I've just grown up.
Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...
Overall: B The adventures in Never Land continue when Captain Hook kidnaps Wendy’s daughter to use for bait in his feud with Peter Pan. While the younger crowd will likely enjoy the swashbuckling action, parents may find this Saturday-morning-cartoon style sequel lacks the charm of the original.
Violence: B- Scenes set in World War II include air raids, bombs, sirens and soldiers. Children are sent away from their families for safety. Character is kidnapped. Characters engage in swordplay, moderate rough-and-tumble action, punching and hitting with objects. Characters are shot at with cannons. A hungry octopus pursues character. Character falls from great height and hits ground. Characters are captured several times and threatened. Ship sinks.
Sexual Content: A- Mermaids wear scanty clothing. Jealousy is portrayed among females. Man’s underwear is revealed.
Language: A- Mild name-calling and insults.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A- Man shown with pipe.
Miscellaneous Concerns: Characters spit and burp. Animal passes flatus. Adult lies to child.
Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...
Would you like to go to Never Land and never have to grow up? What would be good about it? What things might you miss out on?
Like many children today, Jane seems to have lost the magic of being a child. Does our society allow children to have a childhood? What can parents do to help their own children avoid growing up too soon?
If it has it been a while since you have seen Disney’s 1953 version of Peter Pan (featuring Wendy and her brothers’ adventure in Never Land), then check out our review. Disney’s The Kid stars the un-animated Spencer Breslin (who voices the character of Cubby) along with Bruce Willis in another movie about a lost childhood dreams.
Home Video Notes
Home Video Notes: Peter Pan Return To Never Land Special Edition
Release Date: 20 August 2013
Return To Never Land re-releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) in a Special Edition. Bonus features include:
-Dust Up Volley Bug
-Hide And Tink
DVD Notes: Return to Never Land: Pixie Powered Edition DVD release Date: 27 November 2007
Return to Never Land with this Pixie Powered Edition. The DVD release features a boatload of bonus features including: Lost Treasures (deleted scenes), Tinker Bell’s Challenge: A Quest For Light (an interactive game), and Magical Fairy Moments (a trip inside Tinker Bell’s secret realm). Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French and Spanish) and DTS Surround 5.1 (English).