Blu-ray Review “Peter Pan: Return to Never Land”

neverlandActors: Blayne Weaver, Corey Burton, Kath Soucie, Harriet Owen, Jeff Bennett
Directors: Robin Rudd
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Run Time: 72 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Like the recently released “Planes”, “Return to Never Land” is a direct-to-video movie that was released in theaters back in 2002. I remember seeing it in theaters back then and actually quite enjoying it. The film is a direct sequel to 1953’s “Peter Pan” arriving nearly 50 years later. “Peter Pan” is easily one of my favorite Disney films ever, so this film has big shoes to fill. “Return to Never Land” does deliver though. It is not perfect but it is fun, packed some good jokes and has that same charm that we all loved from “Peter Pan”. It just makes you feel like a kid again while watching it. With the success of Disney Junior’s “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”, this would be great for today’s kids that weren’t born yet when this came out.

Official Premise: Let your imagination soar as your favorite characters from Peter Pan, Disney’s classic adventure, return to Never Land. Now, for the first time through the magic of Blu-ray, experience all the thrilling action with digitally restored picture and spine-tingling high-definition sound. Wendy’s very practical and no-nonsense daughter, Jane, begins the adventure of a lifetime when the infamous Captain Hook whisks her away to the enchanted island of Never Land. It’s up to Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys to help Jane believe in faith, trust and pixie dust. With the first-ever Lost Girl at his side, will Peter Pan finally defeat Hook and his swashbuckling band of pirates? Share the power of believing with your family in Return To Never Land—now more spectacular than ever on Disney Blu-ray.

Disney is releasing this film as a Special Edition combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy. I love that Disney has switched from just iTunes digital copies to streaming digital copies from Vudu and Amazon.  The 1080p transfer looks really amazing with this film.  Even though it has that certain direct-to-video look, Disney did a great job of giving this film a nice polish job. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track.  It works well the dialogue, the soaring through the sky, as well the action including the sword fights and all other aspects of swashbuckling.

Unlike the film, the special features are not very impressive. There are give deleted scenes included presented in various stages of the production but mostly in storyboards. Thought it might not excite many people, I watch Disney Junior quite a bit with our 15 month old daughter and she goes absolutely crazy for the “Pixie Previews” with the crew from the Tinker Bell movies.  So even though it is not directly related to “Return to Neverland”, I am pretty excited to see the five animated shorts including “Hide and Tink,” “Dust Up,” “Shooting Stars,” “Volley Bug” and “Just Desserts”. Lastly, there is a music video for the song “I’ll Try” performed by Jonatha Brooke and some trailers included.

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