The first was an older film I saw on DVD through Netflix, “Return to Neverland” (2002) by Robin Budd. This sequel to “Peter Pan” takes place in London when Wendy becomes a mother and her daughter Jane gets kidnapped by Captain Hook and rejoins Peter and his crew.
Originally it was done for DVD release but they felt it was good enough for theatrical. I disagree! It's a very weak story, no real thrills. The crocodile is replaced by an octopus that has no real charm at all. And the drawings, except for Jane, are very TV level. Peter Pan, the main character is especially badly drawn. I give it a 4 out of 10.
The next Netflix film I saw was “The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat” (1974) by Robert Taylor, produced by Steve Krantz. This is a rip-off sequel to the great “Fritz the Cat” by Ralph Bakshi, and it looks it. Bad art, very weak episodic stories, no real humor, flat music – the backgrounds were the only interesting feature. Skip it. I give it a 2 out of 10.
And then last week I saw “Megamind”, by Tom McGrath of Dreamworks. There are some very nice moments in this film, when the lead characters are flying through “Metro City” and battling each other, it's really quite exciting. But all in all, I hated the Megamind character design, especially Megamind himself. He's a retread of the evil munchkin in Shrek III. Why can't Dreamworks use the great character designers from “How to Train Your Dragon” in all their other films? In any case, I'm sure the film will be a big smash. Dreamworks has great marketing and distribution. But for me, it's a minor film. I give it a 6 out of 10.