Return to Never Land
|Return to Never Land|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robin Budd
Donovan Cook (co-director)
|Produced by||Cheryl Abood
|Written by||Temple Mathews (screenplay)
Carter Crocker (additional material)
|Based on||Characters created
by J.M. Barrie
|Music by||They Might Be Giants
|Edited by||Antonio F. Rocco|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
(adjusted by inflation: $26,223,867)
|Box office||$109.9 million
(adjusted by inflation: $144,051,217)
Return to Never Land (also known as Peter Pan 2 or Peter Pan 2: Return to Never Land) is a 2002 American animated fantasy comedy-drama film produced by DisneyToon Studios in Sydney, Australia and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film is a sequel to the 1953 film Peter Pan, based on J. M. Barrie's most famous work Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up.
During the London Blitz of World War II, Peter Pan's former playmate, Wendy Darling, has grown up and married, and has two children of her own: a 12-year-old daughter, Jane, and a 5-year-old son, Danny. However, her husband Edward is serving in the army overseas, and Jane is resentful of her mother's believe stories about Peter Pan, dismissing them as childish. The rift is increased between the two when Wendy announces her plan to evacuate the two to the countryside for their own protection against the Blitz.
Captain Hook, still seeking revenge against Peter Pan, sails through the skies of London on his pixie-dust-enchanted pirate ship, finds Jane sleeping by the window, and, mistaking her for Wendy, binds and gags her. However, the ship is mistaken for a Nazi warplane, and triggers the air raid alert. Hook narrowly escapes back to Neverland while being chased by English and German warplanes. Once in Neverland, Hook plans to feed Jane to the island's octopus in order to draw Peter out of hiding.
However, Peter rescues Jane, and Hook is eaten instead. Though Hook manages to escape, the octopus enjoys his taste (much like Tick-Tock the Crocodile, whom he had finally managed to get rid of long before), and begins hunting him down.
Peter rescues Jane, and, upon finding she is Wendy's daughter, assumes she would like to follow in her mother's footsteps. He takes her to his home to be mother to the Lost Boys, but Jane refuses, because she is more interested in getting back home (so she can try to make amends for her cold behavior towards her brother, who Tootles reminds her of). They try to make her have fun and to teach her to fly, but she fails because she doesn't believe. She blurts out that she doesn't even believe in fairies, which leaves Tinker Bell slowly dying (Peter stating that if Jane doesn't believe, Tink's light is going to go out).
Jane leaves them, and is approached by Hook, who tricks her with a deal. He promises to take her home and lies that he won't harm Peter, and she agrees to help him find his treasure. He gives Jane a whistle to signal him when she locates it. She returns to the Lost Boys to play a game of "treasure hunt", and they try to win her into becoming one of them, so she'll believe in fairies and restore Tinker Bell's health. When Jane finds the treasure and Peter and the Lost Boys make her the very first Lost Girl, she throws Hook's whistle away (before she becomes a Lost Girl), but Tootles finds it and, not realizing what it is for, blows it. Hook and his crew arrive, and capture Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, but let Jane go as thanks for "helping" them.
Back at the Lost Boys' home, Jane gets to Tinker Bell too late, but with her new-found belief, she revives her at the last minute. They hurry to the Jolly Roger, where they find Peter about to walk the plank (he can't escape because Hook attached him to an anchor). Jane saves him, and with the help of "faith, trust, and pixie dust", she learns to fly. Hook grabs Jane, but Peter saves her. He also sinks the ship by sending Hook through the many floors of the ship with the anchor to which he had been tied. Hook and the pirates exit via a rowboat, pursued by the giant octopus who, due to a major sight problem (and possible concussion issues inadvertently caused by Hook when he crashed into it), believes them to be different kinds of fish.
Now that she can fly, Jane is able to return home to Wendy and Danny. After a tear-filled farewell to the Lost Boys, Peter and Tinker Bell escort her home, with the Lost Boys joining them for their trip. While Jane reconciles with Danny, Wendy and Peter meet again, for the first time in years. Though Peter is disappointed that she has grown up, Wendy assures him that she hasn't changed. Edward returns from the army, the family is reunited, and they watch as Peter Pan and Tinker Bell quietly fly home.
Differences from the novel
The final chapter of Barrie's Peter and Wendy briefly introduces Wendy as an adult, and her daughter Jane, serving as the premise for Return to Never Land. In Peter and Wendy, Peter returns to take Wendy back to Neverland for their annual spring cleaning, but finds that many years have now passed and that she is now a grown woman with a daughter, Jane. The heartbroken Peter's mood changes when Jane offers to go in place of Wendy, and Jane now becomes his new mother.
Disney's Jane is tomboyish and less trusting, while Barrie's Jane agreed to play the part of a new Wendy without question. In the film, Jane refuses to believe her mother's stories about Peter Pan, and is brought to Never Land by force (by Hook); in the book Jane is eager to believe in Peter Pan, and she meets and flies away with Peter much as Wendy did (but with her mother's knowledge and permission). Wendy's son Danny and husband Edward are new characters created for Return to Never Land; they are not in the novel.
The film is more properly a sequel to Disney's 1953 animated film rather than the novel, and reflects the ending of the film instead. For example, Captain Hook was not killed by the crocodile, and Tinker Bell has not died as explained by Barrie. In the novel, the Lost Boys returned to London with Wendy and grew up like normal children, but in Return to Never Land they have stayed as young as Peter Pan himself. However, they are all somewhat different characters than they were in the original film. Like the pirates, they have become even less serious and far less competent, designed almost completely for comical purposes only. The sequel also deviates from the original film in claiming that Wendy's adventures with Peter ended with Peter and Wendy calling out their final farewells to each other as Peter sails away in Hook's ship. In the original film, no indication is given that such a scene took place, and the story ends with Wendy and her parents watching the ship sail away as her father, in awe, has a revalation that he remembers it from his own childhood.
Because nearly five decades had passed since the original Disney film, a new cast of voice actors was used for this sequel. Kathryn Beaumont, who provided the voice of Wendy in the original, recorded all of the now-adult character's dialogue for Return to Never Land, but Disney Studios later had Kath Soucie completely rerecord the role.
- Blayne Weaver as Peter Pan
- Harriet Owen as Jane
- Corey Burton as Captain Hook
- Jeff Bennett as Smee and the Pirates
- Kath Soucie as Wendy Darling
- Andrew McDonough as Danny
- Roger Rees as Edward
- Spencer Breslin as Cubby
- Bradley Pierce as Nibs
- Quinn Beswick as Slightly
- Aaron Spann as Twins
- Frank Welker as Nana II and Giant Octopus
- Dan Castellaneta, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Clive Revill, and Wally Wingert as additional voices
Joel McNeely composed the score of Return to Never Land.
- "Do You Believe in Magic?"
- "Main Title"
- "Second Star to the Right"
- "Tale of Pan"
- "I'll Try"
- "Jane Is Kidnapped"
- "Childhood Lost"
- "Here We Go Another Plan"
- "Summoning the Octopus/Pan Saves Jane"
- "Flight Through Never Land"
- "So to Be One of Us"
- "Meet the Lost Boys"
- "Now That You're One of Us"
- "Longing for Home"
- "Hook and the Lost Boys"
- "Hook Deceives Jane"
- "Jane Finds the Treasure"
- "Pan Is Captured"
- "I'll Try (Reprise)"
- "Jane Saves Tink and Pan"
- "Jane Can Fly"
- "Flying Home"
The film opened at the third position at the box office behind Crossroads and John Q. Return to Never Land grossed $48.4 million domestically and $61.4 million overseas, for an approximate worldwide gross of $109.9 million. With an estimated budget of $20 million, this made Return to Never Land a modestly successful theatrical release. This was before DVD sales, which had been the initially planned market for the film. Critical reaction was mixed, with a total score of 45% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the general consensus: "With its forgettable songs and lackluster story, this new Pan will surely entertain kids, but will feel more like a retread to adults."
Return to Never Land was released on DVD August 20, 2002, and it took in only lukewarm sales. This version of the film went out of print on January 31, 2003. On November 27, 2007, Return to Never Land was released in a "Pixie-Powered Edition"; the movie was also released in a Peter Pan Trilogy, along with the Peter Pan Platinum Edition, and Tinker Bell, on December 18, 2008. The Pixie-Powered edition went out of print on January 31, 2009.
- Animated Views: Beaumont and Kerry: Peter Pan’s Leading Ladies, interview with Kathryn Beaumont
- Ultimate Disney's Out Of Print DVD List.
- Return to Never Land at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Return to Never Land at the Internet Movie Database
- Return to Never Land at Rotten Tomatoes