Return to Never Land

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Return to Never Land
A silhouette of Peter Pan was shown in a green background casting a glow.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobin Budd
Produced by
  • Christopher Chase
  • Michelle Pappalardo-Robinson
  • Dan Rounds
Screenplay byTemple Mathews
Based onCharacters created
by J.M. Barrie
Narrated byClive Revill
Music by
Edited byAntonio F. Rocco
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution[1]
Release date
  • February 10, 2002 (2002-02-10) (New York City)
  • February 15, 2002 (2002-02-15) (United States)
Running time
73 minutes[4]
CountryUnited States[4]
Budget$20 million[5]
Box office$115.1 million[5]

Return to Never Land (also known as Peter Pan in: Return to Never Land and later retitled Peter Pan II: Return to Never Land on current home video release) is a 2002 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Disney MovieToons and Walt Disney Television Animation. A sequel to Walt Disney Feature Animation's 1953 film Peter Pan (in turn based on J. M. Barrie's 1904 stage play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up), the film follows Wendy's daughter who refuses to believe in her mother's story during the Blitz in London, only to be mistakenly brought to Neverland by the pirates. In order for her to get home, she meets Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys who encourage her to fly and make her believe. The film stars the voices of Blayne Weaver, Harriet Owen, Corey Burton, Jeff Bennett, Kath Soucie, Spencer Breslin, and Bradley Pierce.

The film was released on February 15, 2002 by Walt Disney Pictures,[6] and grossed $115 million against $20 million. The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes says it has "forgettable songs and lackluster story".[7]


Many decades after the events of the first film, Wendy Darling is now grown up, married to a man named Edward, and has two children, Jane and Danny. With World War II raging, Edward leaves to fight, leaving Wendy to take care of the children. Jane becomes a very serious girl and, unlike her younger brother, refuses to believe in stories about Peter Pan and Neverland, referring to them as "childish nonsense". This ultimately leads to a furious argument with her mother and brother.

One night, Wendy tells Jane and Danny that all the children in London will soon be evacuated to the countryside for safekeeping due to the German bombing of the city. Later that night, Peter's arch-nemesis, Captain Hook, sails through the sky on his pixie-dust enchanted ship and mistakes Jane for Wendy. He kidnaps her, then evades an air raid alert and escapes back to Neverland. There, he plans for his crew to feed "Wendy" to an octopus in order to lure Peter into a trap. However, Peter rescues Jane, and Hook escapes from the disgruntled octopus, returning to the ship. After Jane tells Peter she is Wendy's daughter, Peter takes her to his hideout to be the mother of the Lost Boys as Wendy once was, but Jane refuses. The next day, as the boys fail to teach Jane about flying, she upsets them and says that she does not believe in fairies, making Tinker Bell sick. This gives Hook an idea to lure Jane to him, and then kidnap Peter.

That night, Hook finds Jane and lies to her that he will not harm Peter if she will help him find treasure that the Lost Boys stole. Hook gives Jane a whistle to signal him when she finds it, and leaves. Jane asks Peter and the boys to play a game of "treasure hunt", and they teach Jane to act like a Lost Boy, hoping to get her to believe in fairies and save Tinker Bell. Jane finds the treasure and changes her mind, discarding the whistle. The boys make her a "Lost Girl", before Tootles finds and blows the whistle. As the pirates arrive and capture the boys, Hook reveals Jane was an accomplice. Jane tries to tell Peter it was a misunderstanding, but Peter berates her for her treachery and tells her that her disbelief in fairies will cause Tinker Bell's light to go out.

Horrified, Jane rushes back to the hideout to find Tinker Bell's body. Jane is distraught, thinking the fairy is dead, but with Jane's new belief, Tinker Bell revives. They head to the ship and see Hook forcing Peter to walk the plank. With Tinker Bell's help, Jane learns to fly. As Peter uses the anchor to sink the ship, the pirates, riding on a rowboat, are pursued by the octopus. After saying goodbye to the boys, Peter escorts Jane back home, where she reconciles with Wendy and Danny. Peter and Tinker Bell meet Wendy again, though she is an adult, and they say goodbye to each other. As Edward returns on leave and reunites with his family, Peter and Tinker Bell fly back to Neverland.

Voice cast[edit]

  • Harriet Owen as Jane, Wendy and Edward's daughter, and Danny's older sister who refuses to believe in stories, but Peter changes her mind. Lianne Hughes served as the supervising animator for Jane.
    • Owen voiced Young Wendy.
  • Blayne Weaver as Peter Pan, the leader of the Lost Boys, and friends of Wendy and Jane. Pieter Lommerse and Andrew Collins served as the supervising animators for Peter Pan.
  • Corey Burton as Captain Hook, the captain of the pirates. Bob Baxter served as the supervising animator for Captain Hook.
  • Jeff Bennett as Mr. Smee, Hook's first mate.
    • Bennett, along with Burton would reprise his role in the TV series Jake and the Neverland Pirates
  • Kath Soucie as Wendy Darling, Jane and Danny's mother, Michael and John's older sister and Edward's wife. Ryan O'Loughlin served as the supervising animators for Wendy Darling. Kathryn Beaumont, who voiced Wendy in the original, recorded all of her dialogues for the sequel, but Soucie replaced her.[8]
  • Andrew McDonough as Daniel, nicknamed Danny, Wendy and Edward's son and Jane's younger brother.
  • Roger Rees as Edward, a surviving soldier, Wendy's husband, and Jane and Danny's father.
  • The Lost Boys, Peter's best friends:
    • Spencer Breslin as Cubby, a lost boy in a bear costume.
    • Bradley Pierce as Nibs, a lost boy in a rabbit costume.
    • Quinn Beswick as Slightly, a lost boy in a fox costume.
    • Aaron Spann as Twins, the lost boys in a raccoon costume.
    • Tootles, a mute lost boy in a skunk costume.
  • Frank Welker as The Octopus
  • Additional Voices: Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Dan Castellaneta, Clive Revill, and Wally Wingert


Disney MovieToons/Disney Video Premiere developed the project and then assigned the work for Peter and Jane to Disney Animation Canada. The film was a Peter Pan sequel originally designed as its first theatrical release. In fall 1999, the Canadian unit stopped work on what was then a video release. With Canada's closure, the work on Peter and Jane was instead moved to the Walt Disney Animation Australia and Walt Disney Animation Japan units.[9] Cornerstone Animation was then contracted to do animation direction.[10] The film moved back to a Disney MovieToons theatrical release.[11] There were many changes made for this movie. Due to the controversy, the Native-Americans are completely absent in this movie, but it does show their teepees and totem poles in one sequence. Also following these changes, the mermaids are given brassieres since their appearances in its predecessor were considered sexualized.


All tracks are written by Joel McNeely.

1."Do You Believe in Magic"BBMak 
2."Main Title"  
3."Second Star to the Right"Jonatha Brooke 
4."Tale of Pan"  
5."I'll Try"Jonatha Brooke 
6."Jane Is Kidnapped"  
7."Childhood Lost"  
8."Here We Go Another Plan"Jeff Bennett 
9."Summoning the Octopus/Pan Saves Jane"  
10."Flight Through Never Land"  
11."So to Be One of Us"They Might Be Giants 
12."Meet the Lost Boys"  
13."Now That You're One of Us"  
14."Longing for Home"  
15."Hook and the Lost Boys"  
16."Hook Deceives Jane"  
17."Jane Finds the Treasure"  
18."Pan Is Captured"  
19."I'll Try (Reprise)"Jonatha Brooke 
20."Jane Saves Tink and Pan"  
21."Jane Can Fly"  
22."Flying Home"  


Box office[edit]

The film opened at the third position at the box office behind Crossroads and John Q, earning $11,889,631.[12] Return to Never Land grossed $48,430,258 domestically and $61,432,424 overseas, for an approximate worldwide gross of $109,862,682. With an estimated budget of $20 million, the film made a modestly successful theatrical release.[13] It was before DVD sales, which had been the initially planned market for the film.

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 46% based on 96 reviews and an average of 5.41/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "With its forgettable songs and lackluster story, this new Pan will surely entertain kids, but will feel more like a retread to adults."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 49 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[14]


Breslin was nominated for a 2003 Young Artist Award as Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role at the 24th Young Artist Awards.[15][16][17]

Home media[edit]

Return to Never Land was released on VHS and DVD on August 20, 2002,[18] and it took in only lukewarm sales. In November 2007, the film was released in a "Pixie-Powered Edition" and was also released in a Peter Pan trilogy, along with the Peter Pan Platinum Edition and Tinker Bell in December 2008.

The film was released on Blu-ray in August 2013, after the first Blu-ray release of Peter Pan. It was reprinted on Blu-ray in June 2018 as a Disney Movie Club Exclusive.


  1. ^ a b "Return to Never Land". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  2. ^ Baisley, Sarah (June 16, 2003). "DisneyToon Studios Builds Slate Under New Name and Homes for Needy". Animation World Network. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Return to Never Land (2002)". AllMovie. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Return to Never Land (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  6. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2009). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons (3rd ed.). New York: Checkmark Books. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-8160-6600-1.
  7. ^ a b "Return to Never Land (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  8. ^ Animated Views: Beaumont and Kerry: Peter Pan’s Leading Ladies, interview with Kathryn Beaumont
  9. ^ Poirier, Agnes (February 15, 2000). "Disney pulls plug on Canadian animation studios". Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  10. ^ Bloom, David (August 13, 2002). "Cornerstone Animation Takes Hit". Animation World Network. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  11. ^ Baisley, Sarah (June 16, 2003). "DisneyToon Studios Builds Slate Under New Name and Homes for Needy". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  12. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for February 15-17, 2002". Box Office Mojo. February 19, 2002. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  13. ^ "Return to Never Land (2002)". Box Office Mojo. June 13, 2002. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "Return to Never Land Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Rowan, Terry. Pirates, Buccaneers & other Scallywags & Swashbucklers a Complete Film Guide. ISBN 9781312146006.
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Peter Pan's Return to Never Land Flies To Video Aug. 20". April 9, 2002. Archived from the original on April 22, 2002. Retrieved September 10, 2019.

External links[edit]