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Neverland Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: NR
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Run time: 169 Mins.
  • Studio: Vivendi Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • List Price: $29.97

[amazon-product]B006JN87W0[/amazon-product]

Purchase Neverland on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

A two-part mini-series from writer/director Nick Willing, Neverland originally ran on SyFy in the U.S. and acts as a prequel to the story of Peter Pan. Filled with a cast of heavyweight British actors including Rhys Ifans (“James Hook”), Anna Friel (“Captain Elizabeth Bonny”), Charles Dance (“Dr. Fludd”), Bob Hoskins (“Smee”), and Keira Knightley (the voice of Tinkerbell), Neverland follows the story of the young Peter (Charlie Rowe) who rises from the streets of early-19th century London as an orphan rescued by the scheming Jimmy Hook (Ifans) and finds himself in the magical land of Neverland through the portal of a magical orb. In Neverland, where the the trees are tall and white, and magical, glowing tree spirits protect the forests for the powerful mineral it possesses that allows them to harness the powers of flight, Peter, is friends the Lost Boys, and Jimmy find themselves trapped with only one way out — another orb possessed by a mysterious hooded man.

In Neverland, Peter tries to rescue his friends, the Lost Boys, a group of orphans and pickpockets raised by Jimmy, but finds that once Jimmy had crossed over he came under the influence of a group of 18th century pirates led by Captain Elizabeth (Friel). He now no longer wants to get back to the other side, but to possess the magical mineral and overthrow the native Kaw  Indian tribe who live in this world protecting the tree spirits. The fight to save both Neverland and their own souls ensues and it is a fight that will write the legend of Peter Pan for generations to come.

Neverland is an interesting take on the Peter Pan story with obvious nods to Charles Dickens in the origin of Pan and the relationship between he and Hook taking on a Fagin and Oliver Twist like dimension. The overall story is easily believable and fits in well with the rest of the Peter Pan mythology while the series production is strong given its budget.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Neverland comes encoded with the rarely seen (these days, anyway) VC-1 codec, framed at 1.78:1 at 1080p/24. There’s enough detail here to show up the sometimes less than blockbuster level special effects. Detail is often quite strong with good color reproduction and a fine level of contrast and shadow delineation.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The audio is a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack with big audio effects, wide dynamics, and aggressive use of the surround channels. Dialogue is clean while low frequencies are extended and resonant.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The disc comes beefed up with a series of behind-the-scenes featurettes on the production of this two-part series, featuring interviews with the cast and crew, a making-of, and art gallery plus the obligatory audio commentary.

The supplements:

  • Commentary by writer/director Nick Willing
  • The Story Behind the Story: Cast Interviews:
    • Rhys Ifans
    • Anna Friel
    • Charlie Rowe
    • Bon Hoskins
  • Green Screen to Scene:
    • The Alchemist’s Orb
    • Discovering Dr. Fludd
    • Chased by Pirates
    • Battle on Bull Island
  • Journey to Neverland: Art Gallery
  • Neverland: Access All Areas
  • Trailer

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A powerhouse cast, good writing and reasonable special effects make for a satisfying take on the Peter Pan origin in the two-part mini-series Neverland. It may be one of the strongest of the reworkings to run on SyFy, at least since Tin Man. The Blu-ray release is also quite pleasurable and offers a good amount of entertainment value. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006JN87W0[/amazon-product]

Purchase Neverland on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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