Return to Never Land



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




Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking


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?


This pleasant but forgettable sequel can't compare to the original, and 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 The original story's crocodile has been replaced by an octopus for no particular reason, and the action sequences are replays of the first version.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

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • A clumsy mishmash of a comedy.
  • Live-action version keeps its thrill and charm.
  • Stereotypes mar otherwise jaunty Disney adventure classic.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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 bychargnar February 4, 2012


Terrible Sequel. Peter for sure hasn't aged in the last 50 years.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old July 27, 2010

Pretty bad, but is nothing compared to the classic original

I used to watch this on television, I remember on Disney Channel at 8 years old and I really loved it and got the DVD. But I'm 11 and I sort of... grew out of it. I'm not that into it anymore. I think Return to Never Land is more for younger viewers despite its mild action and inappropriate behavior. Thus, it's not the worst sequel ever, but pretty much the worst Disney sequel so far. Almost close to Son of the Mask. It's just too 'kiddie' and it's very sad for older viewers to understand.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide