Disney (Wednes)Day: Return to Never Land

49 years after the release of Peter Pan, Disney made a sequel and well, maybe they shouldn’t have. Anyway, I have lots of opinions on this but onto the recap first.

A glowy light that my amazing deduction skills say is Tinkerbell takes us through the clouds. Those clouds have shapes and shadows of characters that were in Peter Pan, it’s like the previouslies on every TV show. At the end of this shot, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell appear.

A voice over voice overs about Wendy never losing her belief in Peter Pan, even as she grew up and started having a family of her own. This time of the century, England is at war because it’s the 1940s and basically everyone is at war with everyone. Wendy has two kids, a daughter and a baby boy when her husband gets called into the war.

WW2 carried on much longer than the British expected and we get a montage of parents saying goodbye to trains full of kids as they were evacuated to the much safer countryside outside of London. This was also a thing in Germany as all those who read The Bookthief can probably recall. Only, in Germany, kids were not sent to the countryside but from north to south or middle to south as a LOT of our war industry was set in the Ruhrgebiet. And with this I am done with the history infodump, who knew all that stuff I learned in schools would one day come in handy. Back to the story though.

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Nana2 (LOL remember Nana?!) and Wendy’s daughter are walking through destroyed streets in London. They are wearing metal helmets and this is super ridiculous. As was teaching kids to hide under their desks during atomic bombs. My Gran never talked about wearing a helmet so I guess this is either a British thing or completely fictionalised.

Just as Wendy and Nana2 are trying to find their way home, there is an air raid and they have to hide in the streets.

Meanwhile over at Wendy’s, she and her son go to the shelter which is a poor excuse for a bunker if I have ever seen one. Sorry, but that thing doesn’t look like it will protect you any better than your house. She worries over where Jane is, who in return is still wandering the dangerous streets of London.

In order to calm Danny down, Wendy suggests the bombs are canon balls and tells him Hook and Peter Pan stories because she is the best mother.

Jane comes back and hands Danny a gift which turns out to be a mismatched set of socks because kids needs socks. ¬†Well, look at who is SO GROWN UP! She even dismisses her mother’s Peter Pan stories because she is too cool for them.

Sometime later, back in the house, an old military guy knocks on the door informing Wendy that her kids are scheduled to be shipped to the countryside in the morning because of contrivance and plot reasons. She freaks a bit because she hasn’t even mentioned this possibility to her kids so far.

Jane is being a brat when Wendy tells her this news and while she is on a roll, she also tells Danny that Peter Pan isn’t real. YOU TAKE THAT BACK!

Then we get a song montage of Jane looking to the stars and later seeing the reality on her street. It’s supposed to be feels-y but I am not on board with these musical choices, sorry. They are way too 2000s for a story set in the 1040s or something. Maybe I’m just looking for reasons not to like it. Anyway Jane cries because she isn’t as tough as she wants to be seen. Because we all aren’t, no matter how much we pretend we have our shit together.

We see a gull and a ship hovering over the house, Hook and his guys attack the house while Jane is sleeping on the windowsill. Hook opens her window, enters and Jane wakes but she can’t find anything wrong and closes the window. Dun, dun, dunnnn. Obviously Hook was in her room and he traps her to bring her on board of his ship.

The ship is sailing through time and space en route to Never Land while we are treated to a weird vortex-kaleidoscopic montage.

Hook thinks he has taken Wendy hostage and uses her as a bait to draw out Peter Pan or that weird octopus. Not sure. But Peter comes to save her anyway. Peter and Hook fight because this is the only thing they ever do and Jane falls into the water so Peter goes after her and Hook thinks he has finally gotten rid off Peter only to have him airlift Jane out of the water. Whelp, that happened.

After the rescue, Jane thinks she is dreaming and Peter realises she isn’t Wendy. They start flying around and Tinkerbell gets jealous again because that’s what Tinker is supposed to do. Ugh. I hated this in the original Peter Pan and I still do.

Jane gets thrown into the Hollow Tree to meet the Lost Boys. But Jane is not happy to be there as she wants to go home. She has to take care of her mother and brother because that’s what her father told her to do when he left for the war and this child takes everything very seriously. Jane holds the youngest of the Lost Boys and is reminded of Danny. Peter calls her a grown up which is like THE insult in Never Land.

Meanwhile Hook has Croco flashbacks as the octopus is doing a weird tic-roc routine, because nothing in this movie is allowed to be original or too deviating from the original.

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Cut to Jane preparing a float to be getting back home like a little general. Peter scolds at her and when she leaves, the float had holes and drowns almost instantaneously.

Next up, Peter wants to teach Wendy how to fly because that is the only way out of Never Land but despite their best efforts she won’t move an inch because she doesn’t believe in any of this. And especially not fairies. BOOM! With that, Tinker loses her ability to fly. See what you did there, you insufferable little brat?!!!

Also, Hook has been lurking in the shadows of these failed attempts of flying and prepares himself for using it to his advantage.

We get another feels induced sad montage of Jane and her memories of home.

Cut to a Tinkerbell who is getting sicker by the minute. The only way to save her is by making Jane believe in fairies and since the Lost Boys believe in fairies, Jane needs to become a Lost Boy or Child, whatever. That is some weird logic but okay.

Crying Hook Trap. Jane walks in on a wailing Hook about being trapped in Never Land and she believes him because have I mentioned how dumb tho child is? He signs a contract to not hurting Peter which is another warmed up story idea. Child, if you had ever listened to your mother’s stories, all of this would not be happening. He hands Jane a flute to use once she has found his treasure.

The Lost Boys and Peter are out looking for Jane. They find her as she is jumping around a cave and finds the treasure. She decides to ditch the flute though as a sign of personal growth or something. She gets crowned a Lost Girl and just seeing that written out reminds me of that Canadian TV show. Anyway, one of the boys has found the flute and uses it in celebration so Hook and his merry men appear instantaneously because they were just lurking around?! IDK. They capture Peter.

Cut to Tinkerbell getting weaker and weaker as Jane is making her way towards her. When Jane finally finds her, the fairy is lifeless and Jane fires big tears over her and her own miserable situation. In return, this apparently reaffirms her belief in fairies and Tinker comes back to life and right in time to go safe Peter and the boys.

I hate this scene and don’t care so here is the short version. Tinker and Jane save the boys and Peter as the ship drowns and the octopus goes for Hook.

Wheee, Jane can fly now and also can go home, how convenient since this movie is also almost over. Thank God! They exchange we will miss you’s and fly home together.

Jane wakes up exactly where she left, on the windowsill. She runs to her Mom to tell her she now believes in Peter and makes things right with Danny again. Wendy meets Peter briefly and he disperses some pixie dust to make her fly a bit. It’s cute and Wendy really is gorgeous.

Then, her husbands returns from the war because obviously.

The End.

Thank the heavens this is over. I’m sorry but to me this was one giant rewarmed story. There was hardly anything original about it and Jane was so annoying at times. I guess the writers wanted to introduce kids to Peter Pan again but couldn’t they have found a a better way to do this? Maybe my own personal experience of playing Peter Pan in 2012 and having a PP hangover from it is also in play here but I really didn’t care about this sequel.

 

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