Return to Never Land

Return to Never Land (also known as Peter Pan in Disney's Return to Never Land and later retitled Peter Pan: Return to Never Land on current home video release) is a 2002 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, and released by Walt Disney Pictures and distributed by Buena Vista Pictures. The film is a sequel to Walt Disney Feature Animation 1953 film Peter Pan, It is based on J. M. Barrie's novel Peter and Wendy. The film received mixed reviews and had a worldwide gross of $109 million.[3]

Return to Never Land
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobin Budd
Produced by
  • Christopher Chase
  • Michelle Pappalardo-Robinson
  • Dan Rounds
Screenplay byTemple Mathews
Based onCharacters created
by J.M. Barrie
Narrated byClive Revill
Music by
Edited byAntonio F. Rocco
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • February 10, 2002 (2002-02-10) (New York City)
  • February 15, 2002 (2002-02-15) (United States)
Running time
72 minutes
CountryUnited States[1]
Budget$20 million[2]
Box office$109 million[2]

The film follows Wendy's daughter who refuses to believe in her mother's story during the Blitz in London, only to be mistakenly brought to Neverland by the pirates. In order for her to get home, she meets Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys who encourage her to fly and make her believe.


Decades after the events of the first film, Wendy is now grown up and married to a man named Edward and has two children, Jane and Daniel "Danny". With World War II raging, Edward leaves to fight, leaving Wendy to take care of the children. Jane refuses to believe in stories about Peter Pan and refers to them as "childish nonsense", which leads to an argument with her mother and brother one night (after Wendy is informed and tells Jane that she and Danny, along with the other children in London, are being evacuated to the countryside for safekeeping due to the German bombing of the city). Later that night, Captain Hook and his crew, sailing through the sky on their pixie-dust enchanted ship, kidnap Jane, mistaking her for Wendy, evade an air raid alert and escape back to Neverland.

There, Hook plans to feed Jane to an octopus in order to lure Peter into a trap. However, Peter rescues Jane and Hook escapes from the octopus, returning to the ship. After recognizing and asking Jane to follow Wendy's footstep, Peter takes her to his hideout to be the mother of the Lost Boys, but Jane refuses and gets stranded. The next day as the boys fail to teach Jane about flying, she upsets them and does not believe in fairies, making Tinker Bell sick. That night, Hook tricks Jane by lying that he will not harm Peter and she agrees to help him find the treasure. Hook gives Jane a whistle to signal him when she finds it and leaves.

Jane asks Peter and the boys to play a game of "treasure hunt", and they wish Jane to believe in fairies and save Tinker Bell. As Jane finds the treasure and changes her mind into discarding the whistle, the boys make her the "Lost Girl" before Tootles finds and inadvertently blows the whistle. As the pirates arrive to capture the boys, Hook reveals Jane was an accomplice. As Jane tries to tell Peter she never agreed to anything, Peter berates her for her treachery and tells her that her disbelief in fairies was causing Tinker Bell's light to go out. Horrified, Jane rushes back to the hideout to Tinker Bell's body, thinking the fairy is dead, but with her new belief, Tinker Bell revives. They head to the ship and see Hook forcing Peter to walk the plank. With Tinker Bell's help, Jane learns to fly. As Peter drops the anchor on the ship and sinks into the sea, the pirates, riding on a rowboat, are pursued by the octopus.

After saying goodbye to the boys, Peter escorts Jane back home, where Jane reconciles with Wendy and Danny. Peter and Tinker Bell meet Wendy again, though she is already an adult, and they say goodbye. As Edward returns home from the war, Peter and Tinker Bell fly back to Neverland.

Voice cast

  • Harriet Owen as Jane, Wendy and Edward's daughter, and Danny's older sister who refuses to believe in stories, but Peter changes her mind. Owen also voiced Young Wendy. Lianne Hughes served as the supervising animator for Jane Darling.
  • Blayne Weaver as Peter Pan, the leader of the Lost Boys, and friends of Wendy and Jane. Pieter Lommerse and Andrew Collins served as the supervising animators for Peter Pan.
  • Corey Burton as Captain Hook, the captain of the pirates. Bob Baxter served as the supervising animator for Captain Hook.
  • Jeff Bennett as Mr. Smee, Hook's first mate and sidekick.
  • Kath Soucie as Wendy Darling, Jane and Danny's mother, Michael and John's older sister and Edward's wife. Ryan O'Loughlin served as the supervising animators for Wendy Darling. Kathryn Beaumont, who voiced Wendy in the original, recorded all of her dialogues for the sequel, but Soucie replaced her.[4]
  • Andrew McDonough as Daniel, nicknamed Danny, Wendy and Edward's son and Jane's younger brother.
  • Roger Rees as Edward, a surviving soldier, Wendy's husband, and Jane and Danny's father.
  • The Lost Boys, Peter's best friends:


Disney MovieToons/Disney Video Premiere developed the project and then assigned the work for Peter and Jane to Disney Animation Canada. The film was a Peter Pan sequel originally designed as its first theatrical release. In fall 1999, the Canadian unit stopped work on what was then a video release. With Canada's closure, the work on Peter and Jane was instead moved to the Walt Disney Animation Australia and Walt Disney Animation Japan units.[5] Cornerstone Animation was then contracted to do animation direction.[6] The film moved back to a Disney MovieToons theatrical release.[7] There were majority changes made for this movie. Due to a legal dispute, the Native-Americans are completely absent in this movie, but does show their teepees and totem poles in one sequence. Also following these changes, the mermaids are given brassieres since their appearances in its predecessor were considered sexualized.


Joel McNeely composed the music for the film.

  1. "Do You Believe in Magic?"
  2. "Main Title"
  3. "Second Star to the Right"
  4. "Tale of Pan"
  5. "I'll Try"
    • Jonatha Brooke
  6. "Jane Is Kidnapped"
  7. "Childhood Lost"
  8. "Here We Go Another Plan"
  9. "Summoning the Octopus/Pan Saves Jane"
  10. "Flight Through Never Land"
  11. "So to Be One of Us"
  12. "Meet the Lost Boys"
  13. "Now That You're One of Us"
  14. "Longing for Home"
  15. "Hook and the Lost Boys"
  16. "Hook Deceives Jane"
  17. "Jane Finds the Treasure"
  18. "Pan Is Captured"
  19. "I'll Try (Reprise)"
    • Jonatha Brooke
  20. "Jane Saves Tink and Pan"
  21. "Jane Can Fly"
  22. "Flying Home"
  23. "Reunion"


Box office

The film opened at the third position at the box office behind Crossroads and John Q, earning $11,889,631.[8] Return to Never Land grossed $48,430,258 domestically and $61,432,424 overseas, for an approximate worldwide gross of $109,862,682. With an estimated budget of $20 million, the film made a modestly successful theatrical release.[9] It was before DVD sales, which had been the initially planned market for the film.

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 45% based on 95 reviews, with an average of 5.41/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "With its forgettable songs and lackluster story, this new Pan will surely entertain kids, but will feel more like a retread to adults."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 49 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[11] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[12]


Breslin was nominated for a 2003 Young Artist Award as Best Performance in a Voice-Over Role at the 24th Young Artist Awards.[13][14][15]

Home media

Return to Never Land was released on VHS and DVD on August 20, 2002,[16] and it took in only lukewarm sales. In November 2007, the film was released in a "Pixie-Powered Edition" and was also released in a Peter Pan trilogy, along with the Peter Pan Platinum Edition and Tinker Bell in December 2008.

The film was released on Blu-ray in August 2013, after the first Blu-ray release of Peter Pan.


  1. "Return to Never Land (2002)". AllMovie. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  2. "Return to Never Land (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 24, 2017.
  3. Animated Views: Beaumont and Kerry: Peter Pan’s Leading Ladies, interview with Kathryn Beaumont
  4. Poirier, Agnes (February 15, 2000). "Disney pulls plug on Canadian animation studios". Retrieved March 23, 2013.
  5. Bloom, David (August 13, 2002). "Cornerstone Animation Takes Hit". Animation World Network. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  6. Baisley, Sarah (June 16, 2003). "DisneyToon Studios Builds Slate Under New Name and Homes for Needy". Animation World Network. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  7. "Weekend Box Office Results for February 15-17, 2002". Box Office Mojo. February 19, 2002. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  8. "Return to Never Land (2002)". Box Office Mojo. June 13, 2002. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  9. "Return to Never Land (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  10. "Return to Never Land Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  11. "CinemaScore". Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Peter Pan's Return to Never Land Flies To Video Aug. 20". April 9, 2002. Archived from the original on April 22, 2002. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
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