The Disney Review: Return To Never Land and Winnie The Pooh

Written by Jeff Heimbuch. Posted in Disney, Disney Movies, Features, The Disney Review

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Published on August 31, 2013 at 1:00 am with 3 Comments

The past two weeks, two more Disney films were released to Blu-Ray, to add to the high definition vault that they are starting to amass. One is quite good, and the other is quite…not. But, we’ll get into that in a second!

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First up is Peter Pan: Return to Never Land (Special Edition) (Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)! I first saw this film when it was released in 2002, and wasn’t too keen on it. When revisiting it again in 2013, I found that my feelings hadn’t changed much. The story follows Jane, the daughter of a now-grown up Wendy, and her journey to Never Land. Hook mistakes the girl for Wendy, and whisks her away in an effort to get revenge on Pan. Of course, Peter saves the day, saves the girl, and in the process, helps Jane to discover that she does believe all of the “nonsense stories” that her mother filled her head with.

To me, this was one of cash grabs of the earlier 2000s, where a few direct to video sequels of classic films were made. Though almost 50 years after the original film, Return to Never Land attempts to recreate the style of the original, and stops just short of achieving it. Not to mention the fact that the voice cast is somewhat unbearable (especially Peter, unfortunately), and the story is incredibly lacking. It was also borderline depressing, with part of the story set in World War 2 torn London.

One of the few saving graces of the film is that it does look quick nice on the Blu Ray, and sounds spectacular. However, you know the old saying, that despite how much you shine something terrible, it still is something terrible.

The special features don’t add much to the disc, offering a few (forgettable) deleted scenes, previews for the Tinker Bell movies, and a music video.

Nothing to see here, move along…

Winnie-The-Pooh-Box-Art

Really standing out, though, is The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy). Though it is just a compilation of three previous featurettes, it is full of the old school charm we know and love from Pooh. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) and, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) are joined together by a single narrator as their framing device.

There is a slight problem with the look of the films, as each one was made at various times in the Company’s history. This provides a slightly disjointed look between them. However, the charm wins you over and is enough to overlook any visual problems.

Though some of the extras included are rehashed from previous releases, they are still a welcome addition. The making of the film is wonderful, and really gives you some insight into it. New to the disc, though, are another short film about Eeyore, and some 3-5 minute short films.


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By Jeff Heimbuch

The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor

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About Jeff Heimbuch

Jeff has been in love with all things Disney since a very early age. He writes From The Mouth Of The Mouse and The 626 every week for MiceChat. He also collaborates on The Disney Review every weekend. Aside from that, he is one half of the devastatingly good looking duo of the weekly vid/podcast Communicore Weekly (the other half being fellow MiceChat columnist George Taylor), which you can find at www.communicoreweekly.com Jeff is also writing a book with former Imagineer and Disney Legend, Rolly Crump. You can find out more about the book at www.itskindofacutestory.com

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3 Comments

Comments for The Disney Review: Return To Never Land and Winnie The Pooh are now closed.

  1. While, I do love Winnie the Pooh making its way to Blu-ray, the video itself is not showing all of the animation. I’ve seen pictures around showing the top and bottom of the picture has been cropped and it disappoints and frustrates me. Its not the first Blu-ray release to do this and not the first to come out with a fixed transfer. Disney seems to care more about the main and more popular films than their other projects. Quite sad really.

  2. Was the short about Eeyore “Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore”? That was released in 1983.

  3. Return to Neverland, a terrible film, was not actually released direct-to-video; it received a theatrical release prior to being released on DVD. It was produced by DisneyToons, not by Walt Disney Animation Studios, so therefore is excluded from the list of “official” Disney Animated features. Definitely a cash grab.

    Winnie the Pooh, on the other hand: all-time classic!