Return To Never Land

Return To Never Land

**

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Like The Lion King and Aladdin spin-offs, this should have landed in the straight-to-vid kiddies' bin. It doesn't have any excuse to be filling a cinema when there's so much else waiting.

Let's call it by its proper name - Peter Pan 2. Originality is sorely lacking. All the clich├ęs of pre-Toy Disney are here, except the animation is less polished and the songs less memorable.

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Instead of Wendy, the heroine is her daughter Jane, who is exactly the same - strong-willed, bossy, incredulous, sweet. It's London during the Blitz and Jane's dad has gone to war. She has a cuddly big dog and a baby brother, who speaks with an American accent.

Wendy tells Peter Pan stories to them about "faith, trust and pixie dust", while the bombs drop, and then suddenly Capt Hook's galleon flies in and the pirates kidnap Jane and they're off to the second star on the right. Peter and The Lost Boys are American. Hook is voiced by a Californian (Corey Burton), who does the Old Etonian vowels pretty well. It's a great part, of course, all smarmy charm and double cross. Tinkerbell is a lap dancer with a Barbie expression of vacant devotion.

Instead of the gator, there's a giant octopus, that doesn't swallow a clock. Otherwise, no surprises. The Boys are puke cute. Peter is annoyingly perky - "C'mon, we gotta get outta here!". Hook hams it up. The pirates haven't shaved for a couple of days. Tinkerbell gets jealous and Jane is so sensible you wonder if she's ever going to have a childhood.

Undemanding rugrats who were scared by Monsters Inc will be gently entertained by such an old-fashioned mindwash of a movie. It's not terrible. It doesn't light the fires in the forest of your imagination, that's all.

If you listen closely you can hear the voice of J M Barrie. "Never return," it says.

Reviewed on: 21 Mar 2002
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Half-hearted sequel of pirates and pixies.
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Director: Robin Budd, Donovan Cook

Writer: Temple Mathews

Starring: voices of Harriet Owen, Blayne Weaver, Corey Burton, Jeff Bennett, Kath Soucie

Year: 2001

Runtime: 72 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US

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If you like this, try:

Peter Pan: Special Edition