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Tear Jerker / Return to Never Land

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Hoo boy, where do you even start? Considering the main plot is kicked by a heavy subject matter for a Disney film and the main character Used to Be a Sweet Kid, Return to Neverland has a reputation for breaking hearts-a-plenty.

  • The opening setting of the movie. It's the middle of the London Blitz, during the darkest days of WW2, and there is no more room for fairy tales. There's a reason for why Jane has turned her back on imagination and is bitterly trying to stamp out her baby brothers beliefs as well, thinking her father lies dead in some trench in Europe.
  • Jane ranting at her mother while refusing to leave her house for her own safety and snapping at her brother's belief in a rage.
    Wendy: Jane, dear. Will you promise me something? Promise me you'll watch over Danny, whatever might happen.
    Jane: What?
    Wendy: (sighs) You and your brother...are going away for a while.
    Jane: Away? W-where?
    Wendy: All the children are being evacuated to the country. It's so dangerous here, but you'll be safe there, both of you.
    Jane: No! I'm not going! I'm staying here!
    Wendy: But, Jane, an order has been issued. Every child must go.
    Jane: But Daddy said I'm supposed to—
    Wendy: I know, dear. But you can take care of Danny. Tell him Peter Pan stories. He needs them, Jane, and so do you. Please, dear. Promise me.
    Jane: NO! I will not promise!
    Wendy: Oh, Jane. We'll be together again. You must have faith.
    Jane: FAITH? TRUST? PIXIE DUST?! Mother, those are just words from your stories! THEY DON'T MEAN ANYTHING!
    Danny: (stands right outside the door) Yes, they do! Yes, they do. Peter Pan says they'll make you fly.
    Jane: Daniel, story time is over! (opens the window) Look! It's a war! Peter Pan isn't real, and people don't fly!
    Danny: (his eyes leaking with tears) They do too!
    Jane: Oh, come on, Daniel! Grow up!
    Wendy: Jane!
    Jane: It's just a lot of CHILDISH NONSENSE!
    Danny: You're lying! (runs out of the room in tears)
    Wendy: Jane! How could you treat your brother that way?! (Wendy talks to the door. Holding it, she gives Jane a stern glare) You think you're very grown-up...but you have a great deal to learn.
    (Wendy leaves the room, with Nanatwo following. Jane slams and hangs her head in shame)
  • Tinker Bell's death. One of Disney's most iconic characters dies. Jane hearing that it'll happen soon and rushing back towards the tree, calling out for her. She arrives too late and finds Tinker Bell dead. Although she is revived two minutes later, it's still quite the heart-wrenching scene - especially with the reprise of "I'll Try" playing over it.
    • Before that, we see a scene in which Tink realizing that she's dying. Seeing the Green-Eyed Monster With a Heart of Gold we know and love seeing her light fizzling out and breaking down into tears is quite the depressing sight.
  • "I'll Try" itself, which is basically Growing Up Sucks in song form. Though it has an uplifting ending.
  • The scene where the pirates find the Lost Boys in the cave. Think about it, Jane had gotten everything she wanted, only to have it ripped away from her. And the Lost Boys? From their perspective, Jane had betrayed them, had always meant to betray them. Look at Peter’s eyes when he calls Jane out. He’s not just angry, he’s holding back tears. From Peter's perspective, not only did Jane appear to sell them out, not only did the Lost Boys lose a mother figure, but Jane's declaration of "I don't believe in fairies!" earlier basically sentenced his best friend to death. This is the one time that Peter Pan has seemingly lost everything.