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Movie Review

In the midst of World War II, London is in ruins. A grown-up Wendy has two children: 12-year-old Jane and young Danny. When her husband is called to fight, he tells Jane to take care of her mom and little brother. Taking on the responsibility to help her family, Jane casts off childish things—especially the silly stories her mom tells about Peter Pan.

But when Jane is mistakenly kidnapped by Captain Hook (the pirate meant to nab Wendy) and taken to Never Land, she must quickly learn to be a kid again. If Jane doesn’t start believing in "faith, trust and pixie dust," she’ll never be able to return home, Tinker Bell will die and Captain Hook will kill Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.

positive elements: When Jane’s father asks her to watch over the family, she takes his request very seriously. The only thing she can think about when she’s taken to Never Land is getting back to London and taking care of her little brother. Likewise, the Lost Boys and Peter Pan are very committed to watching out for each other and helping Tinker Bell. Even better, Jane doesn’t turn against Peter Pan even though Captain Hook promises to take her home if she does. Jane apologizes to her mom in the end, saying: "I should’ve listened to you in the first place."

spiritual content: Wendy says, "We’ll win with faith, trust and pixie dust." Tinker Bell nearly dies because Jane says she doesn’t believe in fairies.

sexual content: None.

violent content: Several sword fights between Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Small children may be scared when Hook and his pirates (with swords drawn) kidnap Jane at night. A giant octopus pulls off Hook’s pants, revealing boxer shorts with hearts on them. Hook and Jane battle it out at the end of the movie.

crude or profane language: Jane exclaims, "Oh my gosh" three times. Not surprisingly, Captain Hook is called a "Cod Fish" on numerous occasions. And there’s various other childish name-calling.

drug and alcohol content: None.

other negative elements: A hippo passes gas (shown by bubbles in the water) and the Lost Boys hold their noses during their song.

conclusion: Fervent fans of Disney’s 1953 classic will enjoy many elements of Return to Never Land. The comical Smee and bungling pirates are back and good for a few laughs. And the giant octopus claps together a couple of its suction cups to make a "tick-tock" noise as it pursues Hook (just like the crocodile did in the original). Wendy and Peter also have a nice exchange of words at the end of the movie. Slightly jarring for classic film aficionados will be the modern-sounding songs, the use of computer-generated images and the new voice talent. Not that 21st-century kids will care one whit! Nor will their parents. All around me in the theater, children were yelling at the screen to root on familiar characters, while softly sniffling moms wiped away a few tears in their eyes. It’s obvious why Disney never said never again to Never Land.


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