It's My Life PBS Kids Go!
DVD Review: "Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue"

By It's My Life on September 27, 2010 9:35 AM | No TrackBacks

How did you meet your best friend? Was it "like at first sight" or did it take a while for you to get to know each other? Are you so similar you could be sibs, or do you get along despite being very different? Is your relationship always smooth sailing, or do you have to weather the occasional storm?

Tinker-Bell-Great-Fairy-Rescue.jpgThese are some of the themes explored in a new movie just released on DVD and Blu-Ray: "Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue." It's the third installment of Disney's computer animated fairy series, following the adventures of the sassy little pixie and all her fairy friends like Silvermist, Fawn, Iridessa, Rosetta, and the boys Bobble and Clank. Foul -tempered Vidia, Tinkerbell's number one "frenemy" is also back, and it's her rather competitive relationship with Tink that gets the story rolling.

The first two Tinker Bell movies took place in spring and fall, so now it's time for a summertime story. The fairies of Pixie Hollow spend the sunny season at "camp" on the mainland, where they have various important jobs like painting butterfly wings, putting the black stripes on bees, and generally helping the plants and animals make summer happen. But there is one important rule here: stay away from the humans. Inquisitive Tinker Bell breaks this rule almost immediately, of course, and can't resist exploring a cardboard box "fairy house" left out by a human girl named Lizzy. Vidia, annoyed with Tink's human obsession, decides to give her a little scare, closing her inside the house. But the prank goes too far, and soon Tink is locked in a birdcage in Lizzy's bedroom and hiding from the girl's scientist father who is way too reasonable to believe in things like fairies.

Kind, curious Lizzy does believe in fairies, and she doesn't want Tinker Bell to be a captive. She wants her to be a friend. But there's a lot of mistrust and misunderstanding (not to mention a language barrier) to get over if this unusual friendship is going to work. There's also a rather dangerous cat and the little matter of a grand rescue attempt mounted by Tink's pixie pals, including the reformed Vidia, who feels guilty about her own part in Tinker Bell's capture.

We really like this whole theme of unexpected friendships, because these are the types of friendships that often end up being the strongest and most rewarding. It's no challenge to get along with someone who's just like you; similarities and common ground can help you form bonds very quickly and easily. Getting close to someone who is different from you takes some effort, on the other hand...but the effort can really be worth it. Think of it this way: how would we ever experience new things if everyone we knew were just like us? How would we grow, expand our horizons, and see life from a new perspective if we didn't reach out and try to make connections with people (or pixies?) who have different experiences, different viewpoints, and different ways of seeing things and doing things? It's by coming together with people who are "not like us" that we truly grow and change...and the experience can help us lead richer, more interesting lives.

In the movie, we see Tinker Bell and Lizzy work together to learn about each other's worlds, and build up a relationship based on trust and friendship. We also see Vidia try to turn over a new leaf and be a better friend to Tink, rushing to her rescue after accidentally playing a part in her capture. We even see all the different fairy characters pulling together, using their unique talents and gifts for a common purpose: rescuing their friend.

These are great themes in a very entertaining movie, and we're happy to see the Tinker Bell franchise is still going strong with fun stories, great humor, and beautiful visuals. Younger IML readers, and even teenagers,  will likely enjoy this fanciful fairy tale and all its cool DVD/Blu-ray extras, including "Design a Fairy House" and the "Fairy Field Guide Builder." IML rates this an A.

Here are a few more of our likes and dislikes:

We loved:

Fairies in the Human World. After two Tinker Bell movies, we're kinda used to seeing our cast of tiny sprites in their home of Pixie Hollow, but this story takes place on "The Mainland," which is England to the rest of us. Everything is much bigger there (if you're only a couple inches high) so it presents a whole new set of adventures and challenges. There's a rainy gutter that rages like a river, a yucky, slimy mud hole that seems like an enormous swamp...and don't even get us started on cars. Those monstrous machines are nothing but a menace (although Tinker Bell, who loves gears and springs, seems fascinated by them).

Tink_ultimate_small.jpgTinker Bell Tinkles. When the first Tinker Bell movie came out, some fans were upset to learn that the famous fairy, who only "tinkled" like a bell in "Peter Pan," would actually talk.  Well, as it turns out, having Tink talk actually worked great, but in this movie we're glad to see (or hear, actually) a little of the old Tink. Humans can't hear fairy talk, you see, so when Tink tries to speak to Lizzy, all we hear is that old familiar tinkling bell. We hear her voice a lot too...but it's great to hear the bell again.

Tinker Bell Tinkers. Tinkerbell isn't just cute...she's smart too. She gets to do some giggly kid stuff with her human friend, like drawing colorful crayon pictures and dressing up, and that's great. But she also gets to roll up her sleeves (well, she doesn't have sleeves, but you know what we mean) and do some real practical problem-solving, messing about with mechanical stuff and coming up with ingenious machines and clever schemes to help out herself and the humans. For all you IML fans who constantly debate the relative merits of being a girly-girl or a tomboy, Tinkerbell proves that you can be both. Equally comfortable sniffing a flower as wielding a wrench, she's tender and tough at the same time. And we love that about her.

The Music. The soundtrack to this movie is a delight to the ears. There are four terrific songs: "Summer's Just Begun," "Come Flying With Me," "How to Believe," and "Forgiven." The incidental music and score are also awesome, with more of the magical-sounding Celtic music we've come to expect from the Disney fairy movies.

The Flying. Not since the original "You Can Fly" sequence in "Peter Pan" has pixie dust worked such magic. It's delightful to see Lizzy (and many other things, including a set of dishes) float and fly in this movie. Faith, trust and pixie dust!

Not So Much:

Wet Fairies. Okay, this is gonna sound finicky (or nit-picky, whatever),  because overall the computer animation in this movie is pretty darn great, just like with the two previous Tinker Bell flicks. But for some reason, the artists and animators are still having a little trouble with water... and there's a lot of it in this rainy summertime story. You see, fairies can't fly when they're wet,  so to keep the story going and make sure that they can't pull off the rescue in, like, ten seconds, they're wet for most of the time. Only to us, they don't look so much wet as covered in salad dressing. There's sort of a slicky-sticky look to the hair and clothes and...oh, honestly, it isn't a big deal. It just bugs a little, okay?

Bad Cat. We like cats, but the feline in this film isn't very likable. A big, bulging baddie, this bully of a kitty reminds us of the sourpuss puss from Cinderella. Sure, he's great for chasing the pixies and giving the story a little danger, but why does the nasty one always  have to be a cat, huh? Let's see a naughty dog once in a while! (Apologies to dog lovers. We love dogs too.)

Disbelieving Dad. We understand that Lizzy's father must go on a "journey" in this story, starting out stern and practical and then learning to let go. But he just seems a bit too stern and strict at times, constantly lecturing his daughter and wanting her to change and act differently. Lighten up, dude! Give your kid a break!

"Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue" is rated G for General Audiences.

Main Index