PETER PAN: RETURN TO NEVERLAND Blu-ray Review
Peter Pan: Return to Neverland has arrived on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time. The 2002 sequel to Peter Pan is a lackluster follow-up to the original. Just like pizza, even bad pizza is pretty good, and the same is true for Disney movies. Peter Pan: Return to Neverland would have been much better if it had been released closer to the original.
Directed by Robin Budd, the film features the voices of Blayne Weaver (Manic, 6 Month Rule), Harriet Owen (TV’s Relative Strangers, Castles), Kath Soucie (Beauty and the Beast, Wreck it Ralph), Corey Burton (Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame), and Jeff Bennett (Enchanted, Bolt).
Written by Temple Matthews, the story takes place during WWII in London. Wendy is all grown up and has kids of her own. She shares stories of her adventures with Peter Pan in Neverland. Her young son Danny is enamored with the stories and believes they are real. Wendy’s daughter Jane does not feel the same as her brother, that is until she is accidentally kidnapped by the evil Captain Hook and taken away to his lair in Neverland. Hook has been plotting revenge against Peter Pan for all of these years, and meant to kidnap Wendy because he’s sure Peter Pan will try to rescue his old friend Wendy. Hook realizes too late that he’s taken Wendy’s daughter instead. As expected, Peter comes to rescue with the help of the Lost Boys.
I think that every boy wanted to be Peter Pan and every girl wished they were Wendy growing up. I certainly did after seeing the first film. The skill and details that went into animating a film during Disney’s early years is simply amazing. The artists painstakingly took hours to complete a few moments of screen time. Animation has gone downhill since Aladdin. Classic films like the original Peter Pan are leaps and bounds above some of the recent animated films, Pixar ones aside.
The Blu-ray features a 1080p/AVC-encoded video transfer resulting in a clean and vibrant picture quality. The audio may be a 5.1 surround mix, but feels low caliber compared to a bigger Disney release. The special features might as well have been nothing because the ones included leave a lot to be desired.
- Deleted Scenes
- Pixie Previews
- Music Video
- Sneak Peeks
Peter Pan: Return to Neverland is a trip I wanted to take, but I wish it had been done much sooner instead of 50 years too late. The story is unique, but does not push the envelope with the characters. The Blu-ray features iconic characters, but fails to capture the same magic as the original. It is available in stores now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy for a limited time.