The first in a planned series of films centering on Disney Fairies and winner of Heartland's Truly Moving Picture Award, Walt Disney's DisneyToon Studios offers one of the company's most exquisitely crafted wholly original works, making its DVD and Blu-ray debut on 10/28/08. With incredible computer generated animation that's nearly 3D in quality, one of the company's most iconic figures--the pixie dust delivering, wand carrying fairy in the logo-- Tinker Bell herself is finally given a voice in a film that centers specifically upon her own origins.
While initially, I admit that it sounded a bit odd to hear the quiet, miniature flying golden-tressed fairy speak, the film is a truly classy addition to the J.M. Barrie character landscape and the tiny heroine we first encountered in Peter Pan. Voiced by Mae Whitman, we meet the young Tinker Bell as she becomes acquainted with the other fairies living in Pixie Hollow, including the wise matriarch Queen Clarion (Anjelica Huston) and her new friends, the light fairy Iridessa (Raven-Symone), the garden fairy Rosetta (Pushing Daisies star Kristin Chenoweth), water fairy Silvermist (Lucy Liu), America Ferrera's animal fairy Fawn, and her envious rival Vidia (Pamela Adlon).
As Tinker Bell challenges her position as a fairy whose role is to "tinker," by trying to overstep her bounds, she ultimately discovers that it's best to stay true to herself. Simply awe-inspiring in its imaginative depiction of an inspirational world as the fairies "nurture nature" whether it's occupying the winter woods with the Snow Fairies, ushering in Summer or Autumn, or in a breathtaking sequence helping grow flowers and inspire rainbows for Spring, the world of Pixie Hollow is, for my money, far more enchanting than that of Never, Never Land.
A much more female-centric take on J.M. Barrie's beloved characters, this "girl power" laced prequel to Peter Pan is simply "flitterific" as its characters might say. However, but more than that, it's a worthwhile film with a positive message and one that seems to resonate a bit more than traditional Disney Princess pictures do in encouraging girls to contemplate science and the beauty in the world around them and appreciate the value of hard work and assisting others.
Running a brisk seventy-eight minutes, frequent Disney sequel director Bradley Raymond's Tinker Bell never overstays its welcome. Additionally, the film arriving on both DVD and Blu-ray this coming Tuesday is equipped with a fun collection of extras to explore including a Magical Guide to Pixie Hollow, a DVD-ROM Activity entitled "Tinker Trainer," other magical offerings as well as more mainstream selections taken out of Pixie Hollow and targeted to "The Mainland" including a "making-of" featurette with the filmmakers, a music video with Selena Gomez of the Disney Channel, and deleted scenes.