Plot: As always, Captain Hook has a plan to take over Neverland and also as always, Peter Pan and his friends are prepared to make sure he fails. As Peter and the others celebrate the longest day of the year with games and such, Hook uses this distraction as a chance to unfold his latest plot. This includes stealing relics and kidnapping princesses, his usual routines and while Peter is ready for such schemes, a new wrinkle puts Hook at the advantage. The pirate is able to control the Never Book, which grants him access to immense power and in his evil grips, that can include unleashing all kinds of monsters and problems into Neverland. As Hook enjoys a powerful position than ever before, can Peter and his friends regain the book and restore order?
Entertainment Value: As a fan of both Peter Pan and animated movies in general, I was excited to check out The Quest for the Never Book, an all new adventure with Peter, Hook, and the rest of the crew. The narrative here is competent, with all the characters we want to have on hand and a lot of potential for adventure, humor, and pirate antics, with some new twists thrown in. So this is not another reboot of Peter Pan that takes us back to his origins, instead this gives us a quick overview of how the characters wound up in their current situations, then it launches into a new story, one that centers on the powerful Never Book. I think young viewers will appreciate this new tale, but of course it doesn’t hold up next to the original and with good reason, as few stories ever can hold a candle to Peter Pan. I think it is clear The Quest for the Never Book is designed with kids in mind and that audience should have fun here, as they’ll be able to overlook some of the film’s shortfalls.
As you can tell from the movie’s promotional elements, this was a small studio project, so the animation isn’t as polished or smooth as Pixar or Dreamworks. I’d compare the basic look here to a television cartoon that uses computer graphics, as it looks good, but not theatrical level presentation. I like the character designs though, with a classic style approach taken to most of the characters, so Peter looks like Peter, Hook looks like Hook, so on and so forth. Tinker Bell looks a quite a bit different than her Disney counterpart, but that is to be expected, given Disney’s legal squads. The animation is a little shaky and doesn’t look refined, but I think younger audiences will forgive that, since the visuals have a bright, fun texture. The voice cast has some familiar talents involved and most of the performances are fine, if not overly memorable. Again, I would compare the voice work to a television cartoon in that regard. The cast includes Michelle Creber, Matt Hill, Michael Dobson, and Sarah Natochenny.
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