Return to Neverland - DVD movie review

From April 21, 2013

Overall I liked it.
This movie is from 2002. This is actually the second time I’ve seen this film. I didn’t see it in theaters. The first time I saw it was in various parts posted on youtube. So I ended up buying the DVD from a seller on eBay.
The animation is good. I particularly liked Hook, Tinkerbell, and Jane (Wendy’s daughter). Also there’s a scene of a crown rolling in the sand that was done very well.
I instantly love anything from 1940s/WWII era.
I LOVED the surrealistic kaleidoscope as they enter Neverland. I liked it so much that backed it up and watched it twice in a row. I’m sure it was inspired by the art of Mary Blair, who worked on the original “Peter Pan”
I like that Jane punches Peter Pan, then favors her hand.
The film score is by Joel McNeely… That’s right! “Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire’s Joel McNeely. That’s cool.
I liked the scene where Jane sneezed on Tinkerbell.
I liked seeing Peter Pan meet the older Wendy.

The film relies too heavily on past glories (as all DisneyToon films do). There’s nothing NEW. The opening is all a suite from the first Peter Pan film.
Seeing bomber raids on London and sending British children into the countryside (while historically accurate) made me feel like the DisneyToon people were ripping off C.S. Lewis.
The dog’s name is Nana 2? Please…
I hate, hate, HATE the inclusion of CGI in 2D animated films, and MANY things are CG in this film, from doors to trains to Captain Hook’s ship to Big Ben. Oy vey
I hate music by contemporary Pop musicians in 2D films, like Jonatha Brooke, BBMAK, and They Might Be Giants in this film (although TMBG never sing in the film, they just wrote one of the songs). Did Disney have Shirley Temple sing songs in “Snow White”? No, because that would have been stupid. (Although, I’m not sure how people at the time felt about Dinah Shore, the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, etc showing up in films like “Make Mine Music” and “Ichabod and Mr. Toad”.)
An octopus/kraken is used in this film in the exact same role as the crocodile in “Peter Pan”. Lame.
I think it’s sad that DisneyToon continued to make decent 2D animated films like this one while the main Disney Animation studios made shit like “Home on the Range” and “Chicken Little”.
I didn’t like the scene where Jane falls through the ground, leaving a silhouette of herself. It was an all-too-toonish move that made me think I was watching a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Captain Hook coming to the real world and Tinkerbell dying because Jane doesn’t believe in her reminds me too much of Steven Spielberg’s “Hook”. This film is subdued. The kids’ cheering doesn’t inspire a goosebump moment like a similar rooster-crowing scene in “Hook”. (btw, I think “Hook” is a wholly underrated film by movie critics)