With this week's theatrical release of "Return to Never Land" and the video release of "Cinderella 2" on February 26, Disney has blatantly abandoned any and all pretense of making cartoons for love, for art or for the entertainment of children. Flimsy, forced, fabricated sequels to beloved classics are about one thing: money.
Disney has been doing straight-to-video sequels for years, but until recently the studio has had the decency not to desecrate its more timeless pictures. Now it seems anything is fair game -- even stories that end with the clear and definitive summation that "they live happily ever after."
"Peter Pan" has a little looser finale and has, of course, been sequelized once before. But while Steven Spielberg was reverential, funny and wonderfully creative in the liberties he took in "Hook" -- starring Robin Williams as an stuffy adult Peter who rediscovers his inner child -- "Return to Never Land" is nothing but a recycling of the same tired themes Disney has beaten to death in nearly every animated feature they've released in the last 15 years.
Continue reading: Return To Never Land Review
The actor plays the titular hero in the forthcoming adaptation.
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