Plot: What’s it about?
When she was a child, Wendy enjoyed an adventure like no other, complete with a trip to Never Land with Peter Pan and his Lost Boys. But that was many years ago and now, she has grown into a beautiful woman with children of her own. As World War II rages on around London, Wendy tries to keep her young ones in good spirits with stories of her adventures. She tells her son Danny and her daughter Jane about Peter, Captain Hook, and Tinkerbell. While Danny adores the tales, Jane is hesitant to believe her mother, but soon she discovers all the stories are true. Captain Hook returns and kidnaps Jane, who he thinks is Wendy and plans to use her as bait for Peter Pan. The plan seems like it will work, as Peter indeed shows up, but he rescues Jane and takes her to Never Land. Now that Jane is face to face with the magical land that her mother told her about, what adventures lie ahead?
These days, sequels are common even for movies with mediocre box office performance, but to do a follow up to Disney’s Peter Pan, that seems odd. The original Peter Pan was released in 1953 and it has become a Disney classic, but why the need for a sequel, especially after almost fifty years after the original? Return to Never Land doesn’t capture the same magic as Peter Pan, thanks to five decades of time between the films and no real spark to build on. Had this movie had a killer concept or hook, it could have been justified, but instead, Return to Never Land feels like a retread. The story is thin and never has the kind of magic we want, but at least it looks good, right? The animation is well done, so at least the visuals are worthwhile. I didn’t think that much of Return to Never Land, but if you have young viewers, it might be worth a rental.
Video: How’s it look?
Return to Never Land is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen. The visuals are well represented here, with a bold and bright treatment that lets the animation shine. The image is clean and crystal clear, as expected, with the kind of depth we’ve come to expect from high definition. I found colors to be vivid and rich, but never overly so, while contrast sports deep black levels and always on the mark contrast. The visuals were the best part of Return to Never Land for me, so I was pleased to see them look this good.
Audio: How’s it sound?
A DTS HD 5.1 option is on deck and the movie sounds terrific. This is an adventure with plenty of action, so the surrounds are able to flex some muscle often. I wouldn’t call the mix explosive, but the surrounds are active a lot and there is a good amount of presence here. The music has good life and sounds great too, while dialogue is clear and never hard to understand. So an active, rock solid soundtrack in all aspects. This release also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This release includes some Tinkerbell previews, as well as some deleted scenes.