– Summary –
Director : Bradley Raymond
Year Of Release : 2010
Principal Cast : Mae Whitman, Lauren Mote, Michael Sheen, Pamela Adlon, Lucy Liu, Raven-Symone, Kristen Chenoweth, Rob Paulsen, Jeff Bennett, Jesse McCartney, Angela Bartys, Cara Dillon.
Approx Running Time : 80 Minutes
Synopsis: After stumbling into a tiny house built by a young girl to house fairies, Tinker Bell is quickly befriended by the young tot who seeks to gain a distant fathers approval. Tink’s friends decide to rescue her, and they trek across the unforgiving landscape of the house’s front yard to find their lost friend.
What we think : Cleverly animated, sometimes overly preachy Disney feature tries to be magical and more often than not succeeds; the ending, however, feels clunky and forced, but overall another excellent installment of the adventures of Disney’s favorite fairy.
You know, for a series of kids flicks, the level of quality in these Tinker Bell movies is astounding. Not only are they generally well written (as mentioned in my other reviews, they really focus on Disney’s core values of love and friendship) but the voice cast and animation are impeccable. Most adults would walk past these fairy films as mere time-wasters, and to a degree I agree with them, but for those with young kids who might have to watch the entire Tinker Bell franchise on a daily basis, they’re not too bad at all. Sure, they stem from a singularly one-note character from Peter Pan, yet the modern Tinker Bell not only has attitude, but a growing cast of friends and a sense of continuity I really appreciate. In The Great Fairy Rescue, Tinker Bell finds herself captured by a young girl and taken to the girl house; the girl, Lizzy Griffiths, loves fairies and is ecstatic that she finally has proof to show her naturalist scientist father. A father, I might add, who spends more time in his field journals and books than he does paying attention to his young daughter. So the arrival of Tink to Lizzie’s world comes as something of a welcome surprise. With Tink “captured” – she’s not really a prisoner, after Lizzie releases her from the tiny fairy house she got stuck in – her friends, including one-time nemesis Vidia, set off on a rescue mission, across the countryside from the fairy summer camp to Lizzie’s country cottage. It’s a perilous journey through a rain-soaked English field, with a storm dropping enormous raindrops, creating raging torrents of water, and preventing the fairies from flying in and saving Tink. Vidia’s guilt at allowing Tink to be captured (she didn’t stop Tink walking into the girl’s little fairy house, and feels ashamed that she did nothing) becomes a driving force of the latter narrative, with the stuck-up fairy soon realizing that being a bitch isn’t going to get her very far in life.
The Great Fairy Rescue is a decent Disney outing, filled with wonderful imagery and a nice sense of moral, ethical and trust related story points. The film starts strongly, becomes quite frantic towards the middle, and seems to collapse under the weight of aww-shucks we’re supposed to swallow once Lizzie and her father realize how far apart they’ve become in their relationship. In typical Disney fashion, the warm fuzzy feelings aren’t created as much as they’re forced down our throats. It’s a departure from previous Tinker Bell films where the story feels somewhat organic, and the resolutions aren’t hammered home in an obvious way; with Fairy Rescue, however, the finale seems so contrived you can see the sugar leaping from the screen and smacking you in the eyeballs. It’s hardly going to worry the young ones watching this, but adults will start groaning once the platitudes start rolling. Just sayin’. Aside from this single element, The Great Fairy Rescue is a great little fairy film that lacks pretension or smarm – it’s a charming little film with plenty of nice morals for kids to take away from it. The animation is superb – and I mean, superb for a film aimed at kids not old enough to even know what a computer is – with the detail in each frame simple jaw-dropping from time to time. It’s not Pixar-level, but it is pretty sweet, all things considered. Look, if you’re going to waste an hour or so of your life, there’s worse things you can do than to be swept up in the joy that is this film. It doesn’t try and be something it’s not, the characters are all pretty single-note and you can kinda see where the story is going to go right from the start, but it’s not going to worry either the adults or the kiddies watching it. The Great Fairy Rescue is a pretty good value film, all in all.
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