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 i looks good, right? The animation is well done, so at least the visuals are worthwhile. I didn’t think much of Return to Never Land, but if you have young viewers, it might be worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Return to Never Land is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. As I mentioned before, this movie has some good animation and here, the visuals can shine. The print looks excellent, so debris or softness never become an issue. The image is sharp, but don’t expect too much. I found depth to be solid in all scenes, so detail is strong and like I said, softness isn’t a concern. As far as colors, the hues look bright and bold, quite pleasant to take in. No contrast issues arise either, so this is a solid transfer. I do wish Disney would have given this a Blu-ray release also, but this DVD edition looks great.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio here is impressive, thanks to the included Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. This movie has a lot of scenes of action, from swordfights to chases, so the surrounds have plenty of chances to show off. And that’s what happens, as the speakers burst with presence, of both the subtle and powerful varieties. The dialogue is clean and clear throughout, so vocals never become a problem in the least. This disc also includes French and Spanish language tracks, as well as English subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some deleted scenes, as well as a Tinkerbell themed interactive game.