Return to Never Land Movie Poster Image

Return to Never Land

(i)

 

Pleasant but forgettable sequel to Disney classic.
  • Review Date: May 3, 2004
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 73 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Theme that girls are as brave and capable as boys.

Violence & scariness

Mild peril, no one hurt

Sexy stuff

None

Language

None

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

None

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this movie is rated G, there is some peril, much comic but some a little scary. Children may want to know more about the Blitz (the movie never tells us who it is that is dropping bombs on London, we briefly see children being sent away from their families by train, and we can't tell from the end if the war is over or not).

What's the story?

In this sequel to Disney's Peter Pan, Wendy has grown up, and is married with two children, Jane and Daniel. She loves to tell them stories about Peter Pan and Captain Hook. But World War II is underway, and London is blasted by bombs. Wendy's husband leaves for the war, telling Jane to take care of her mother and brother. Jane is strong and brave in the face of war and she doesn't allow herself to believe in Peter Pan or fairies. Just before Jane and Daniel are going to be sent away to the countryside, where it is safer, Jane is kidnapped by Captain Hook. He thinks that if he captures Wendy, Peter Pan will come to save her. Because he lives in Never Land, he does not realize that Wendy has grown up. But then, neither does Peter, who does come to rescue her, and is just as happy when it turns out to be Jane. But she does not want to stay with the Lost Boys, even when they make her a Lost Girl. Before Jane can go home, though, she will have to learn to believe in "faith, trust, and pixie dust."

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This pleasant but forgettable sequel can't compare to the original. While it manages a couple of magical moments (especially the opening credit sequence and Captain Hook's pirate ship flying through London), the music, performances, animation, and story are strictly at the straight-to-video level.

For a story about the power of imagination, RETURN TO NEVER LAND is especially lackluster. The original story's crocodile has been replaced by an octopus for no particular reason, and the action sequences are replays of the first version. The sexism and racism of the original are excised (Jane rescues Peter in this one). But that is not enough to make up for a script that even at under 90 minutes, is just too long.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about "faith, trust, and pixie dust," and how even children have to be brave and helpful during difficult times. Some children may make a connection between the Blitz and the terrorist attacks.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 15, 2002
DVD release date:August 20, 2002
Cast:Corey Burton, Harriet Owen, Spencer Breslin
Director:Robin Budd
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Pirates
Run time:73 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:mild peril

This review of Return to Never Land was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Great handpicked alternatives

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old February 28, 2015

Not as Good a #1

Mild violence with Caption Hook. Caption Hook is also creepy at some points. There also is a mean octopus, who is funny but might scare little kids. Peter almost dies multiple times.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byNectaria December 18, 2009
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written bychargnar February 4, 2012

Forgettable

Terrible Sequel. Peter for sure hasn't aged in the last 50 years.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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