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CW's Review of Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue

rated it: posted: Apr 06, 2012
Reviews: 51 | Reviewing Ninja
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Of the first three Disney Fairies films, this is the one that I was dreading the most. The first two define and/or retcon various details about fairies that Peter Pan could only touch upon, but this, the third Tinker Bell film, features fairy/human interaction. I know that sometimes, details are changed in order to make a better story (or even just a story that works), but there are some details I think are better left alone.

In the original films, itís established that fairies sound like bells when they talk. In the Disney Fairies franchise, itís revealed that fairies have their own language, and in this film, itís shown that their language sounds like bells to our ears. The fact that they did not destroy one of the most important aspects of fairy culture from Peter Pan makes me look upon the film with more favour than I did the second in the series, and a lot more favour than Return to Never Land.

This being the third film in the series, itís beginning to feel like one. A series, I mean. I donít mean that negatively, though. The first film tried to introduce all the main characters and give equal time to everyone and show how they interact with Tink. The second gave Tink a quest to fulfill and showed how adventurous she can be, and managed to fit everyone in except for Vidia. This film jettisons everyone except for Tinkís closest friends and her rival Vidia. It doesnít need anyone else; they wouldíve been superfluous characters that add nothing to the story (Lion King II, Iím looking at you). Speaking of Vidia, she did not act very much like Tinkís rival in this film. Sheís advertised as being an antagonistic fairy, but whatís really going on is that she gets annoyed easily and just happens to take it out on Tink each time.

Tink, for the most part, acts naive about most things. In fact, it seems like sheís a pendulum. She swings back and forth between being curious and naive and being her normal Peter Pan self. In this movie, sheís back to being curiously naive.

So whatís the plot this time? Tinker Bellís curiosity gets the better of her and she ends up caught by a human girl whom she befriends. This goes against fairy culture, though, and her friends decide to mount a daring rescue. In other words, it sounds somewhat like The Borrowers, doesnít it? Thereís even a mean cat that makes trouble for Tink and her friends for about two minutes. The only thing the movie lacks is a boy whose health is poor.

Iím beginning to tire of the phrase ďfaith, trust and pixie dustĒ, especially since it wasnít spoken quite like that in the original Peter Pan movie. As a catch phrase, itís not bad, but itís like ďBeam me up, ScottyĒ. Itís associated with the franchise but was never actually spoken in the original.

Now donít get me wrong, I liked this film. But my biggest fear is that if these films continue beyond the final planned instalment due out in the autumn of this year, they may start to feel episodic. Theyíre still presented well enough to be movies, but where is it going to stop? The fourth in the series, Pixie Hollow Games, ended up being a half an hour special rather than a full length film and Iím assuming this is because they couldnít make a story about the fairy Olympics work for longer than thirty minutes. I know that theyíre not sitting around a table, pulling adventure tropes out of a hat and basing new Tinker Bell movies around such tropes, but how else do you explain Pixie Hollow Games?

That said, I actually like this film. I like it better than The Lost Treasure, even though I think that the young girlís father is a bit one-dimensional. I suppose I canít really find much fault with the film, especially since itís the third one to come out and despite the yearly output, Disney still appears to be putting a lot of effort into them, as if they arenít just direct-to-DVD films but actual box office releases. Maybe it doesnít look as polished as the first two films, but itís cute, itís got good music and it doesnít offend my intelligence. Those are three of the most important points in any movieís favour.