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 by Robin Budd
Donovan Cook (co-director)
Produced by Cheryl Abood
Christopher Chase
Michelle Pappalardo-Robinson
Dan Rounds
Written by Temple Mathews (screenplay)
Carter Crocker (additional material)
Based on Characters created 
by J.M. Barrie
Starring Blayne Weaver
Harriet Owen
Corey Burton
Jeff Bennett
Narrated by Clive Revill
Music by They Might Be Giants
Joel McNeely
Edited by Antonio F. Rocco
Production
company
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • February 10, 2002 (2002-02-10) (premiere)
  • February 15, 2002 (2002-02-15) (wide)
Running time
72 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $109.9 million

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. The movie had a worldwide box office of $109 million.[1]

Plot[edit]

During the London Blitz of World War II, Peter Pan's former playmate, Wendy Darling, has grown up and has two children of her own: a 12-year-old daughter, Jane, and a 4-year-old son, Danny. Her husband Edward is serving in the army, and Jane is resentful of her mother's stories about Peter Pan, dismissing them as childish and believing she is too grown up to believe. The rift between the two widens when Wendy announces the evacuation of Jane and Danny to the countryside for their protection against the blitz.

Captain Hook sails through the skies of London on his pixie-dust-enchanted ship, and captures Jane mistaking her for Wendy, using her as leverage to gain revenge on Peter Pan. 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 British and German warplanes. Once in Neverland, Hook plans to feed Jane to the island's octopus in order to draw Peter out of hiding. 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 upon finding Jane as Wendy's daughter, assumes she would like to follow in her mother's footsteps. He takes her to his hideout to be mother to the Lost Boys, but Jane refuses, because she is more interested in getting back home. They try to make her have fun and to teach her to fly, but she fails because she does not believe. She blurts out that she does not even believe in fairies, which leaves Tinker Bell slowly dying.

Jane leaves them, and is approached by Hook, who tricks her with a deal. He promises to take her home and lies that he will not 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 will believe in fairies and restore Tinker Bell's health. When Jane finds the treasure, Peter and the Lost Boys make her the very first Lost Girl. She has a change of heart and throws Hook's whistle away, but Tootles finds it and, not realizing what it is for, blows it. Hook and his crew arrive, and captures Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, but lets Jane go. Before Peter and the Lost Boys are taken away, Peter warns Jane that Tinker Bell is dying.

Back at the hideout, Jane gets to Tinker Bell too late, but with her new-found belief, she revives her at the last minute. They hurry to Hook's ship, the Jolly Roger, where they find Peter about to walk the plank. 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, and is pursued away by the octopus, whom due to sight problem, believes them to be different kinds of fish.

Now that she can fly, Jane returns 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 on their trip. While Jane reconciles with Danny, Wendy and Peter meet again, for the first time in years. Though Peter is upset that she has grown up, Wendy assures him that she has not changed (which is confirmed when Tinker Bell sprinkles her with pixie dust, causing her to fly momentarily). Peter and Tinker Bell bid her fond farewell. As Edward returns home from the army and reunites with his family, Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Lost Boys flies back home to Neverland.

Differences from the novel[edit]

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 revelation that he remembers it from his own childhood.

Voice cast[edit]

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.[2]

Soundtrack[edit]

Joel McNeely composed the score of Return to Never Land.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Do You Believe in Magic?"
  2. "Main Title"
  3. "Second Star to the Right"
  4. "Tale of Pan"
  5. "I'll Try"
  6. "Jane Is Kidnapped"
  7. "Childhood Lost"
  8. "Here We Go Another Plan"
  9. "Summoning the Octopus/Pan Saves Jane"
  10. "Flight Through Never Land"
  11. "So to Be One of Us"
  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)"
  20. "Jane Saves Tink and Pan"
  21. "Jane Can Fly"
  22. "Flying Home"
  23. "Reunion"

Reception[edit]

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.[citation needed] 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."[3]

Accolades[edit]

Spencer Breslin, who lent his voice as Cubby in the film, was nominated for a 2003 Young Artist Award as Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role at the 24th Young Artist Awards.[4][5][6]

Home media[edit]

Return to Never Land was released on DVD and VHS in August 2002, and it took in only lukewarm sales. This version of the film went out of print in January 2003. 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 Pixie-Powered edition went out of print the following month.[7] The film was released on Blu-ray in August 2013, following the first Blu-ray release of Peter Pan.

References[edit]

External links[edit]