106 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2003
I have three children - ages 6, 4 and 2. I will be reviewing this movie from their perspective, not that of an adults. They really enjoyed the movie. Since they are not professional cartoonist, they did not care about the quality of the drawings. If anything, the 'old style' cartoon movie (similar to the first Peter Pan) kept the feel of the first movie. If they had used too many computer graphics, it would not have flowed well from the first movie. My children also liked the story. It was exciting, but not scary - even for the youngest. Each of the characters was reasonably developed, although Jane is the focus of the movie. She is Wendy's daughter, and Peter gets a supporting role in the plot. Hook is back and is mean without being frightening. Even the octopus, Hook's tormentor, is pretty tame. As for the quality of the music, my kids liked it and even asked for the soundtrack. (It is OK, but mostly instrumental takes from the movie. There are three good songs on it though...) Finally, some reviewers have critiqued the voices and complained they are not exact matches for the first Peter Pan. If you know him personally, then you might have a complaint. You have also grown-up way too much to ever enjoy this movie. (Go see the Exorcist or something!) Unless you have gone to bed every night since the 50's listening to Peter, you will not notice anything different on the voices. From a child's perspective, you won't be thinking of such things anyway. The story deals with typical Neverland topics: growing up, the pressures of being a kid, and the battle between carefree youth and grumpy people. By the way, this is all done without making adults or parents out to be the bad guys. The pace of the movie is great, keeping the kid's interest and being long enough to take them on a meaningful adventure without exhausting their attention span.
The best part of the movie is the end when Peter takes the kids home and is reunited with Wendy. It is a great scene and one that brings back memories of the first movie's magic to both young and old. I know my kids loved it. I thought this movie did not strike me as a lot of Disney movies do these days - shallow, trashy and money driven. This is a 1950's style Disney film, not the crud they also release these days with cussing, stupid adults and not too subtle adult themes.
My kids thought this movie was great and a real clean story. Appreciate a kid's movie through their eyes, not an adult's, and you will escape to Neverland with your children enjoying the trip along the way!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2003
...but it is actually very nice! I usually hate Disney sequels because they are cheesy and ruin the first film. We usually stay away from movies that say on the cover, "All new feature-length adventure", because that's a sure sign of a cheapo sequel. That's what I was expecting when we got this movie, but I was impressed with the computer animation, the soundtrack and with the way Disney tried hard to get actors that sounded very much like the ones in the first movie. The one thing I didn't like though was the lack of indians! They didn't even mention the word "indian". Sure, they showed the camp, but it was as empty as a ghost town. Oh well.
This is a good movie for the younger group, although the adults will probably enjoy it as well.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2002
How many good sequels does Disney put out these days? My answer would be: Not very good ones. A lot of them are direct-to-video, and not even worth renting from a local video store! But with "Return to Neverland", it's different. Disney has really pixie dusted this movie! It's a real family classic. Actually WORTH going to see!
It takes place during one of the darkest times in history...World War II. Jane is a young teenager, writing down everything that interests her, while her little 4-year-old brother, Danny, listens eagarly as his mother, the now-grown-up Wendy, tells him stories about Peter Pan and Neverland. Jane thinks them pure nonsense, and tells her brother that all the Peter Pan things he likes, is childish.
After a while, Jane lays down on her window seat in the nursery, and cries herself to sleep. Little does she know, that Captain Hook is about to kidnap her....
The whole movie is very interesting, funny, and great for the whole family! I am DEFINETLY buying it, when it comes out on video! :-)
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2002
My family and I can safely say THIS IS THE BEST MOVIE PUT OUT BY DISNEY FOR KIDS IN YEARS. Absolutely the best! My 3 year old is very easily frightened by characters like Cruella deVille (101 Dalmations, Ursula (Little Mermaid), the witch in Snow White, etc. She absolutely loved this movie.
While Capt. Hook is obviously the "villian", his humorous behavior and script is very suitable for her age. The crocodile has even been toned down a bit (it's now an octopus that wants Hook).
Several childrens movies I've seen have double-entendres, subtle sexual tension, even swear words (Shrek), but this film has none of that. All 3 of my kids loved this film (5,3, and 1 year olds), as did my wife and I. I am preordering it today on DVD.
So I ask again, why return from Never Land? It's a great trip, and my 3 year old daughter has been Peter Pan in my house now for weeks, and she calls me Hook and chases me around. Thank you Disney!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2007
I put this movie in the DVD player fully expecting the piece of crap movie that many of the reviews here talk about. After watching it ALL THE WAY THROUGH, I wonder if these reviewers actually watched the whole thing? Granted, it's not the caliber of the original, but it is definitely a more than pleasant family film to enjoy together with the children. The positives: the animation and backgrounds really amazed me; the characterization of Tinker Bell is especially faithful to the original. At times, the backgrounds slip into an almost too-perfect computer generated look, but overall, the animation is very good and better than what you normally see. Kudos also to the voices, especially the one of Captain Hook, who (again) is very faithful to the original. The story is also quite good; somewhat predictable, but definitely different enough to separate it from the original. I enjoyed the homage to the Mary Martin TV series (believing in Fairies/Tinkerbell getting weak) and the feistiness of the Jane character. The beginning of the film owes a little to the Narnia series, as it is set during the war when children were being shipped off for their own protection. Once in Neverland, it is back to fantasy and the realities of the war are not really dealt with again. The negatives are few; my biggest gripe is the potty/gross-out humor that I feel mars the film. The powers that be seem to be fascinated with snot; I could definitely do without the constant visual reference to this body fluid. In general, what this film really lacks is a strong plot-mover. It is entertaining, but not riveting; at no time would it be difficult to stop the movie and get a snack, makting this a great DVD to watch, but definitely not a movie to run to the theater to watch. The DVD itself has some nice extras; a few deleted scenes with commentary by the show's production team. There are also a few sneak peaks for the upcoming Tinkerbell movie (Tink looks better in traditional animation; not too swift in computer 3D style) and the obligatory game, "Quest for the Light." Overall, a good film to watch with the kids that is above the level of most of what's out there; if you are attempting to compare it to the original though, you will be slightly disappointed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2002
Well, the kids enjoyed it, and I thought it was nice for one viewing. We get to revisit the whole gang from the first movie, and they now throw in Wendy's kids, as she's now grown up and has popped out a few. Peter Pan has still not grown up, Captain Hook is still quite mean, especially for a kid's feature, Tinkerbell is still a babe, and The Lost Boys seem to have been lost when they were giving out brains.
However, it's basically the same plot all over again. Only substitute Wendy's daughter, who is at first mistaken for Wendy by those who don't understand the concept of aging. Virtually nothing new happens once we meet the old gang, except that Captain Hook has a new nemesis to replace the crocodile. And there is not one memorable song.
Not too bad, but not too good, either.
22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2002
There have been numerous Peter Pan movies, several of which take place AFTER the original story ("Hook" being the best rendition so far). However, Disney, with it's Direct to video roll, for some odd reason, decided to put this one on the big screen!
As an animator myself i can honestly say that this is far below disney's usual standard. The animaton is stiff and akward. The voices of the characters are not even remotely close to the original (especially the lost boys) and Peter Pan himself comes across as nothing more than a brat without his charm that has made him such a beloved icon.
Disney is also 'getting with the times' and instead of confrunting and trying to debunk the horrible stereotyped "injuns," the indian camp looks more like they were wiped out and aren't even mentioned in the movie, just to be safe.
As for the story, it had a lot going for it. The material was all there, it's just a shame the writers just took whatever came by first. Jane is non-empathetic, and her transition from wanting to grow up to being a kid is very downplayed.
This film is much more lighter than the original Peter Pan which was rather dark in places. The worse that happens in this is Peter Pan is thrown 5 feet to the deck of a ship. ow.
I must give them credit though for the ending. Peter and Wendy's reuniting was something i thought they wouldn't even bother with because it was too dissapointing, but they were somehow able to put a light spin on it. good job disney! at least you're not completely out of ideas yet!
Granted kids will enjoy it for there is enough potty humor to keep them entertained, but parents might suffer seeing their beloved childhood memories dashed into bits.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2008
Where do I begin? Disney has again put out another lousy sequel to a great classic. I never had high expectations for this movie when I decided to rent it, so I guess it was just a little bit better than I expected, but I still think it is a pretty dumb movie.
I won't waste my time summarizing the movie, so I'll just try to tell you what I liked and what I didn't like about it.
What I liked was most of the animation of this movie. The style of the background art seemed to stay true to the original movie from the 1950s, although there was quite a bit of CGI used throughout the film. Really, the animation was the only thing that I liked.
What I didn't like about the movie:
1. The Script
The dialogue of this movie is so boring to me. A child in grade school could have written a better script than this one. It seems like someone just made a rough draft and they just said, "Yeah, we'll just use that," instead of taking any time to make it better. Most Disney films are made for KIDS, but this one seems like it was just made for babies (who would probably also find it pretty boring). In the first movie, while Peter was a kid, he was also very brave and clever. In this movie, he just seems stupid.
2. The Music
There are absolutley no good songs in this movie. The song about the lost boys is horrible.
Obviously, when you do a sequel to a movie that is over 50 years old, many of the original actors are either dead or too old to reprise their roles, so new people must be found. With several characters, I feel that they made the wrong choice of actor. For example, the chubby lost boy who they call Cubby in this movie has a voice that is nowhere near the original voice. I feel that they should find people who can come close to doing the old voice and go with the person who does it best. Otherwise the voice doesn't fit the character. The person who did the voice of Smee sounded very much like the original, though.
So basically, this movie was a waste of time to me. It could have been a very good sequal, but Disney just decided not to put any real effort into it, which is why it falls very short. But like I said, I never had high expectations for it to begin with.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2002
Frankly, I was a bit suspicious about this new trend of sequels. Some are truly soulless moneygrabbers, bits and pieces put together to cash in on the title. THIS SEQUEL IS GOOD! It's a story of it's own, with reference to the original but not a copy or the much-used switching of the storyline. It's a brand new story, a new setting and has a few new characters. Jane and Daniel will become Disney characters as well know as Wendy, John and Michael. My 5 year old daughter loves this movie so much she has watched it over and over - I lost track of counting! The only thing I didn't like was that octopus. There is no reference to where he's come from or what his function is other than click-clack like the crocodile of the original movie and go after Hook. I'd have liked that octopus to have more of a defined character or not be there at all. Why not bring back the croc? He (or she?) is a classic, too! Never fuss about an octopus - or what?
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2002
After the Williams/Spielberg "Hook" fiasco, I wondered if even Disney could actually pull of a worthy sequel to their classic Peter Pan movie. I needn't have worried. Almost fifty years on, Return To Never Land fully recaptures the magic of the original.
One reason this works so well is that the modern animators have remained true to the original character and set designs. Add to this an inspired piece of voice casting, which was essential and entirely successful in the Hook, Pan and Smee characters, and you have a fairly seamless continuation of the classic story.
There are a few minor technical glitches, such as Wendy taking her son to the "bomb shelter" instead of the "air raid shelter" or "Anderson shelter", the appearance of Stuka dive bombers on a night raid, and the emergency vehicles using a type of siren that did not appear in Britain until the sixties. Still, this hardly detracts from what is a first class piece of entertainment.
The animation is superb throughout and at times, simply breathtaking, especially the aerial sequences and the arrival of Hook's ship. On the heels of the utterly superb Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Return To Never Land is yet another example of Disney stamping their authority on the world of animation.
The modern touches also work well in the mix, such as when Hook's ship passes through a mandala-laden stargate to reach the Never Land. The directions, "second star to the right and straight on till morning" were probably an allusion to Sirius, which was suspected of being a binary (twin) star even at the time of the original Peter Pan book.
I know some people were disappointed with the movie and I respect their opinions, but for me, it worked brilliantly, and the soundtrack contains some classic songs. My youngest daughter watched it four times in a row upon getting it home (we bought it this morning - the release date for Canada) and she's normally a pretty stern critic of anything "average".
A breathtaking first fifteen minutes and a beautiful ending sandwiching a highly entertaining middle section. Hey, that can't be so bad.