– Summary –
Director : Bradley Raymond
Year Of Release : 2008
Principal Cast : Voices of Mae Whitman, Anjelica Huston, Kristen Chenoweth, Raven-Simone, Lucy Liu, America Ferrera, Jane Horrocks, Jesse McCartney, Jeff Bennett, Rob Paulsen, Pamela Adlon.
Approx Running Time : 70 Minutes
Synopsis: A young fairy destined to be a tinker decides she doesn’t like her new career path – and tries to become someone she’s not. Through her trials and tribulations, the magic of Spring is brought to the mainland in a way which changes forever the lives of all those who live in Pixie Hollow.
What we think : Simple, well animated kiddie film entertains well enough, in typical Disney charm. Magical, funny and designed for the very young, Tinker Bell is an origin story worth a gander for any parent looking to keep their tots entertained for an hour.
The first of Disney’s Fairies animated projects sees the star fairy of the Peter Pan story given her own origin – Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell, born at the first laugh of a newborn child, arrives in Pixie Hollow to learn which talent she’ll use to further to work of the fairies on the mainland. Each fairy has a specific talent – water fairies handle water, light fairies handle light, etc etc. Tinker Bell learns that her talent is to tinker, so she joins the fairy guild to learn her craft to assist the other fairies to do their work on the mainland. The primary work of the fairies is to bring the change of seasons to our world, and at first, Tinker Bell is resolutely keen to not be a tinker fairy. She meets several other fairies from different talents and persuades them to try and teach her to use different talents to her own – all with mixed results. In particular, Tink comes up against Vidia, a fast-flying fairy with a hot streak of arrogance, and they do not get along. As the time for Spring approaches, Tink ends up ruining the fairies preparations, before her exceptional talent for tinkering brings a potential savior to the Hollow.
While it may be a direct-to-DVD production from Disney, Tinker Bell should not be overlooked as a solid piece of children’s entertainment. Sure, its humor is simplistic at best, and the story is bargain-basement Disney sugar, but the production values the film boasts will ensure even the parents watching this for the twentieth time (and I’m among those, I can assure you) will still marvel at the dazzling animation. The voice cast seem more like they’re cashing a paycheck most of the time – Mae Whitman delivers the real heart of the film, yet ring-in’s Lucy Liu, America Ferrera, Kristen Chenoweth and Jane Horrocks seem involved just to have some sort of “celebrity” to the project. Jesse McCartney, voicing a pixie-dust-keeper fairy, has about three lines, although his role is boosted in this films’ immediate sequel, The Lost Treasure. Anjelica Huston does a great job as the motherly Queen Clarion (a name my daughter still struggles with), and Pamela Adlon plays the films’ central villainess, Vidia, with sweet-natured arrogance. Tinker Bell is hardly an effort to watch, and its themes and core values embody everything Disney stands for – you expected something else? Some stunning animation and a blessedly short running-time make this film a keeper for the younger brigade and one they can watch over and over with little effort.