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Toon Talk: Return to Neverland
Page 2 of 3

Later that night, after restlessly falling asleep following her argument with her mother, Jane is awakened by visitors from that far-away land, but it's not the high-flying hero of her abbreviated childhood and his pixie sidekick. In his airborne pirate ship, Captain Hook (Corey Burton), along with Mr. Smee (Jeff Bennett) and his motley crew, has crossed into this world to kidnap Wendy as bait for a trap for Peter Pan. Not realizing that Wendy is no longer a little girl, he takes Jane instead.

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(c) Disney

Following the second star to the right, Hook and his captive return to Neverland, where his scheme, involving a giant octopus, is once again thwarted by Pan (Blayne Weaver), who rescues Jane with the help of Tinker Bell.

But Jane is none to thrilled to be there; she is anxious to get home to her family responsibilities and doesn't believe in all this fairy tale nonsense, even though she is smack dab in the middle of it all. Her stubbornness to believe though is the one thing holding her back: the only way for her to leave is to fly, a feat she cannot do until she has a little "faith and trust".

Nothing much has changed in Neverland. Peter has, of course, not aged, nor his Lost Boys, who get increased screen time in this outing, as well as their own names. Tink still has jealousy issues when it comes to other girls, as do the mermaids in their brief reappearance. The not-ready-for-PC Indian tribe from the original film are nowhere to be seen.

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(c) Disney

This paired-down story allows for further character development among the returning cast members, most notably Peter (not quite so self-centered) and Tinker Bell. They even manage to insert the original stage concept of "children believing in fairies or their light will fade" that was deleted from the original, although there is still no audience participation (I must admit though, I did want to clap at that point). The Lost Boys fare a little poorer; although further individualized, they still come off as refugees from Recess and other such animated juvenile gangs.

Saddled with a cartoony subplot involving a hungry octopus that smacks too much of his crocodile antics from the first film, Captain Hook nevertheless maintains his foppish menace, aided by Burton's near-flawless vocal impersonation of original Hook Hans Conried. Bennett also ably fills Mr. Smee's sandals, so memorably portrayed by Disney voice legend Bill Thompson in the first film.

 

 

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