Peter Panned

A bombed-out London, fathers shipping off to the front, families left behind to tend to the smoldering rubble, children getting sent to the countryside for safekeeping--sounds like John Boorman's Hope and Glory, the writer-director's bittersweet ode to a youth lost to the wreckage of World War II. No such luck: This Peter Pan sequel is little more than direct-to-vid nonsense offered by Disney at dollars on the penny to parents looking to waste time and money keeping kids occupied away from the TV screen. The story's a stale retread of the '53 original--this time, Peter and Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys (annoyances all) team up with Wendy's war-weary daughter Jane to stick it to Captain Hook--with dull, retro (and, on occasion, computer-generated) animation that looks as bland as it does blown up to fill the movie screen, where it doesn't belong. Haven't seen the original in years, but was Peter always such an unlikable twerp? He's as charming as Hook is, well, handy. At least Cinderella 2's going straight to video--and hell, like this cynical and wholly unnecessary claptrap, penned by the same writer who brought you Little Mermaid II. Come back, Steven Spielberg, all is forgiven.

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