- Awesome Music:
- "I'll Try". First it rips your heart out as a tender song about the loss of childhood Jane is facing, having grown up in World War II. Then it becomes more and more uplifting, showcasing how she has come to believe in magic over the course of the film, thanks to everything she went through with Peter and the Lost Boys. Jonatha Brooke's rendition of "The Second Star to the Right" is no slouch either.
- Joel McNeely's score, with special mention going to the main titles theme and "Flight Through Neverland". It's no wonder he was eventually brought back for the Disney Fairies films.
- "So to Be One of Us", written by none other than They Might Be Giants. That's quite an impressive get for a Disney film, let alone a sequel!
- Base-Breaking Character: Jane. Either she's a disappointing character because her personality either contradicts her play/novel counterpart or is just grating, or she's actually a more relatable character for modern audiences, not to mention she has Little Miss Badass moments that her mom didn't have!
- Broken Base: Viewers seem split over whether or not to consider this one of the better sequels to a Disney Animated Canon movie. Nowadays the consensus appears to have shifted more towards the positive side.
- Die for Our Ship: Jane gets this from Wendy/Peter fans who are bitter about Wendy growing up and marrying someone else. Edward, the "someone else" in question, also has some hate, but to a much lesser extent due to his relatively smaller role.
- Even Better Sequel: The general opinion on this movie, between the increased stakes and the fact that the first film's more problematic elements are nowhere to be found here. While the movie had been previously considered So Okay, It's Average, the issues the public used to have with it (such as the octopus being brought in replacing the crocodile and the Chuck Cunningham Syndrome that hit John and Michael) appear to have been practically forgiven over time.
- Fanfic Fuel: The film takes place during World War II. This leaves fuel for how Wendy's life since childhood has been, especially her adolescence during the Great War.
- Fridge Brilliance: Those who are familiar enough with Peter Pan lore know that it doesn't take just "faith and trust and pixie dust" to fly, but also thinking happy thoughts. This is why Jane can't fly at first: she's too hardened by the war to think of something that makes her truly happy.
- Peter's eventual decision to have Jane be a Lost Girl makes even more sense when you remember he initially brought Wendy to Neverland with the intent of making her the Lost Boys' mother. Now, they know she has an actual daughter, which, in a way, means that by making her a Lost Girl, they're cementing her as a sister figure.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: When asked by Hook who is the greatest pirate of all time, Smee reponds with "Blackbeard". The film Pan includes Blackbeard as the antagonist who enslaves Hook.
- Hook's response to this (he conks Smee on the noggin with his hook then unleashes a Death Glare to the rest of his crew) straddles between this and Harsher in Hindsight since if Pan were Disney canon, he'd have a good reason for not wanting Blackbeard's name ever mentioned at all, let alone as the greatest pirate in history.
- Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Jane has a fair share of common Crossover Ships.
- Like You Would Really Do It: Let's be real. This is a Disney film, and Tinker Bell is up there with Mickey Mouse as one of the brand's most recognizable mascots. Regardless of how effective her death scene is, it was always going to be a Disney Death.
- Relationship Writing Fumble: Mixed with a bit of Squick, but it's possible to see a sort of Love Triangle subtext between Peter, Jane, and Wendy.
- Replacement Scrappy:
- Jane is seen as this by Wendy fans and also gets a lot of Die for Our Ship by Peter/Wendy shippers.
- The Octopus with popping tentacle suckers replaced the iconic tic-toc Croc.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Tink gets redeemed to some audiences after she becomes nicer to Jane and even willingly helps her to fly when Jane is cornered by Captain Hook.
Lost Boys: But she's a girl!Peter Pan: You wanna help Tink, don'tcha?
- Peter is much more likeable here than he was in the first film. He shows some sympathy for Jane when he finds out why she wants to go home, and is willing to help her by teaching her how to fly. Later, when Tink's light starts to go out, Peter comes up with the idea of making Jane into a Lost Girl to get her to believe, and he later tells Jane that he and the Lost Boys "would do anything for [her]".
- Strawman Has a Point: Jane's no-nonsense dismissal of all things childish is treated as wrong by the other characters and the narration, and her Character Development revolves around her needing to be reminded that she is still a child. However, she's living through World War II in a town regularly bombarded by enemy airplanes. Therefore, her growing up faster to be more responsible (albeit while also being a killjoy) may seem like a reasonable thing to some. Some would also agree that she's justified in having other priorities than children stories in a time of war and privations.
- Take That, Scrappy!:
- Jane's telling Peter Pan and the Lost Boys off can induce this feeling for those who got fed up at their childish, selfish (or perhaps insensitive), and even Double Standard behavior to Wendy in the original movie and to Jane in this movie.
- Jane's yelling at Tinker Bell that she doesn't believe in fairies will also induce this feeling for those who think that jealousy-driven fairy deserves it, for her attempt to kill Wendy in the original movie, and Jane in this movie (to the point that even Jane realizes this), and other general rudeness to Jane. It does result in a Tear Jerker, though. Thankfully, Tink gets better.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: The final scene, which clearly is intended to be heartfelt and emotional but comes across as a little too overly syrupy even for Disney's standards. This is especially so in comparison to the first film, which ended on a simpler, but still uplifting note, leaving it ambiguous as to whether the Darling children's adventures with Peter really happened or not.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Captain Hook gets chased by an octopus instead of the Crocodile, whose disappearance goes unexplained (aside from Hook mentioning that he finally got rid of the croc, but there's still no explanation of how). Several viewers have admitted wondering why Disney didn't just bring back the Crocodile, turning the octopus into a Replacement Scrappy.
- The Woobie: Regardless of how you feel about Jane, it's hard not to be sorry for her.
- WTH, Casting Agency?: Spencer Breslin appeared in several Disney movies during the Turn of the Millennium, so he voiced Cubby here, despite being 10 years old at the time and sounding much younger than Robert Ellis, the 20-year-old actor who voiced Cubby in Peter Pan. Though you could make the argument that Spencer fits better for the role of Cubby due to sounding more like a kid, unlike the original.
YMMV / Return to Never Land