Jane, Wendy's grounded and over-grown-up daughter, is kidnapped by Hook and taken to NeverNeverLand, where she meets up with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, and learns a number of valuable lessons.
It's World War II. A grown-up Wendy and her two children Daniel and Jane are alone in their London home, where their only comfort are the Peter Pan stories Wendy keeps churning out for them. Daniel is a firm believer in Peter Pan, and is always excited to hear his stories, while Jane is more cynical and claims to be uninterested, when actually a part of her is.
The thing about Jane is that she grew up too quickly. When her father was drafted into the army, she took it upon herself to look after her mother and Daniel, and because of that she was quick to discard "childish things" and forced herself to become responsible and grown-up waaaaaaaay before her time. Needless to say, she's not a believer. She just doesn't understand why Peter Pan is important, and chides Daniel for believing in him so. ("Those are just words in your stories! They don't mean anything!")
But then Hook appears, and he kidnaps Jane (thinking she was Wendy), in yet another plan to trap Peter Pan. He sails off to Neverland, where Peter Pan foils his plan, saves Jane and shows her the way of Neverland and the Lost Boys. Jane, in all her grown-up-ness, does not settle well into Neverland, being too awkward with the innocent game-playing of the Lost Boys, and insists that she needs to "go home" and that she doesn't "believe in any of this".
So it's up to Peter and the Lost Boys to make her believe, in order to save Tinkerbell, to get her to learn how to fly (in order to get home), and to just help herself.
First of all, I absolutely loved the opening sequence. The whole Tinkerbell-cloud sequence was a stroke of sequel genius, and a wonderful way of "recapping" what happened in Peter Pan. For a brief moment I forgot that it was a Disney Sequel.
And then, the first fifteen minutes of the movie... brilliant. The entire World War II setting, the reintroduction of Wendy, the building up of Jane's character (she wasn't as annoying as the trailers had made her out to be) and the whole dilemma of the Child Who Grew Up Too Quickly And Subsequently Forgot How To Believe.
But then the setting went to Neverland, and the real-world effect disappeared to be replaced with the fantasy world setting that, while a tad bit distracting as the jump is a bit jerky, I thought was quite a good effort on their part in trying to combine the seriousness of J.M.Barrie's original tale with the carefree-ness of the first Disney movie. However... I did get a tad bit itchy about the whole Hook sub-plot. Don't get me wrong, I love Hook. But they just didn't give him much to do than hang around and act villainy. He wasn't much of a threat, so I was kinda disappointed there. And for crying out loud, what was up with That Octopus Thing? I much prefer the Crocodile. Whatever happened to Mr Crocodile? Don't tell me Hook killed him?!
But on the whole, I was pretty impressed. I don't know how many people actually got the message, which I think was along the lines of, "Don't be in such a hurry to grow up." Jane had to realise that Peter Pan was important because his magic was in being able to see the world through the eyes of innocence and fantasy. There is no point in wrapping yourself up in all that responsibility if you don't know exactly what it is that you're living for. Wendy knew, of course. ("You think you're so grown up. But you have a great deal to learn".)
Peter Pan himself was pretty cool. I don't know when he got all sensitive (in the original movie he was a clueless insensitive kid, wasn't he?) but that's the modern touch for you. I think he's changed from the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up to the Pre-Teen Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Speaking of modern touch, the humour used in this movie was exactly that. ("Don't let them see you cry." LoL) Tinkerbell was, of course, Faboo, but she didn't get enough screentime, or more importantly, important screentime. I guess too much plot effort was given to Jane, so they couldn't really do much elsewhere.
The whole "faith, trust and pixiedust" thing I guess was a way to show how Jane needed to learn to regain her faith and trust in things magical in order to fly (literally and figuratively). Of course, anyone who's watched the original Peter Pan and read the book would know that all you needed to fly was "happy thoughts and pixiedust", since the actual "faith, trust and pixiedust" was a simply line from the song You Can Fly. I guess it's a classy nod to the original Disney movie more than anything else. ;) Oh, and the scene where Jane finally learned to fly was pretty nicely done, too. I consider the appearance of goosebumps on my arms to be an indicator of whether a scene is powerful enough, and sure enough -- goosebumps!
My favourite character is, without a doubt, Wendy. She was an amazing mother, I just can't emphasize that enough. While upon first sight it may seem that Jane was the one in charge, it was actually Wendy who was holding their family together. I think it's another measure of how cool Wendy is that even when she was a child (and a believer) she was far more mature than Jane could ever hope to be. Imagine that... mature and a believer.
The animation was Superb. I'm thankful it's a theatrical release, and not a straight-to-home-video.
As for the songs... they were err... so so. I love I'll Try very very much, but the Lost Boys song was err... Oh heck, it wasn't catchy, it wasn't that cute, and I thought it only served as an excuse to speed up the time. Whatever the case, the other songs crooned by Jonathan Brooke totally made up for it. :D
My favourite scene in the whole movie was this (warning: massive spoilers!): + click +
Favourite scene: The Wendy and Peter reunion
When I watched the movie for the first time, for a brief moment (just before this scene) I actually thought Peter and Wendy weren't going to meet face to face. Peter was doing the whole "hiding on the roof and taking secret glances at Wendy in disbelief", while Wendy was doing the whole "hearing something outside but looking out the window and not seeing anything then going back in"... I was just about ready to throw something at the screen screaming, "How could you?! How could you?! They have to meet again!" when... they did. Heeee. I'm happy.
And did anyone notice how they used certain plot points of the original book in the movie? Someone? Anyone? By the way... they never did explain what happened to John and Michael... Off at war, I suppose, but I would've liked to find out what happened to them.