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Review: Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Monday, October 11, 2010

As someone who falls outside of the target demographic for this title, I took it upon myself to ask my six-year-old daughter if she would like to help with this review. She's a big fan of all things princess and Tinker Bell, and it's been with baited breath that she's awaited another of these releases, having watched the first two. But will her interest wain in Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue? After all, the last one Disney released, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, seemed to be better received than the first.

For myself, I was hoping for less fairy dust and more action.

If you're not a parent of a little girl then you're likely not aware that Disney is making five CG-animated 'toons starring Peter Pan's favorite fairy. Seeing the tremendous financial success of its Disney Princess line, the company created Disney Fairies in the hopes of creating a secondary juggernaut of merchandising opportunities from the dreams of little girls. Naturally, Disney brought Tinker Bell to the front and center with this new line but they also needed to give her more of a background as well as supporting characters to populate her fairy world. And so Tinker Bell got several new fairy friends, such as a light fairy named Iradessa, the water fairy Silvermist and a few others representing a racial melting pot of these beings. Tink also got a home to live in and a larger purpose, that being to help usher in the seasons and help nature and animals get by through the seasonal changes.

I've watched most of the first two Tinker Bell movies but I'll freely admit that they couldn't hold my interest all the way through. The stories are simple and straightforward, with Tink having to overcome an obstacle or setback and along the way learn more about how to be a better friend. Interspersed in the shows are three original songs, giving the shows a similar feel to other Disney D2DVD features in the past.

Great Fairy Rescue sees the fairy community at their summer home. Tink, who's always been more mischievous than most of her kind, goes out and finds a human cottage with loads of fascinating things for her to see. For a tinker fairy, items like a fairy house are irresistible thing that must be checked out. Unfortunately for the blonde fairy the little girl who owns the fairy house, Lizzy, takes it back with her and essentially captures Tink.

While the rest of her friends try to formulate a rescue plan for their friend, Tinker Bell starts to bond with the human girl, Lizzy. The two can't speak to each other since Tink's words sound like buzzing, which is a nice nod to how Wendy and her brothers couldn't hear Tink in the Peter Pan movie. Tink sees that Lizzy isn't close to her scientist father and so she helps the girl cultivate her interest in fairies by helping her make a field guide. When Lizzy shows her book to her father, hoping to impress him, he has the reverse reaction and that forces Tink to show herself to the grown-up -- and this jeopardizes her hopes for ever getting to return to her kind.

For its third Disney Fairies animated direct-to-DVD toon, Tinker Bell and Great Fairy Rescue is a harmless and entertaining 74 minute adventure. The animation for all the Disney Fairies releases have been good but Great Fairy Rescue seems to be a bump up. The colors are great and I'm sure that if you're watching the show on a Blu-ray player (the disc comes with both standard DVD as well as Blu-ray versions) the quality of the colors will be all the richer for you. Voice work by Mae Whitman as Tinker Bell is effective and radiates the warmth of the character. Perhaps because of his fatherly duties, Michael Sheen from the Underworld series is heard here as Lizzy's scientist father, and he's also good in his role. The songs are more of the same feel-good Disney ones that you're familiar with, so they mesh with the rest of the material.

Like I said, I'm not the target demographic for this kind of show, so when I look for advice I turn to a six-year-old little girl. When I asked my daughter if she liked Great Fairy Rescue the answer was yes, and that it was even better than the Lost Treasure show that came out last year. When I asked her why she thought this was the case, she answered that it had to do with Tinker Bell's friends and that this time around they had more to do. Well, what do you know about that? Even a six-year-old girl knows the value of characterization!

There does seem to be a progression here with the Tinker Bell movies. Perhaps Disney is recognizing the feedback and realizes that for the Disney Fairies line to ever grow, it can't just be about Tinker Bell. While it's already been announced that there are going to be five of these features starring Tinker Bell, it's what follows after that fifth film that interests me the most. By then the supporting players of the fairy world should have had their chance to emerge as characters in their own right. That should determine whether Disney will continue offering more of these types of films and expand the real world presence of the fairy world into their marketing and theme parks.

Great Fairy Rescue also comes with deleted scenes (which show an early peek at the formation of the film's storyline), a music video, a trivia game to test your knowledge about fairies and an interactive game which lets you build your own fairy house. That last bonus feature could be the highlight of them all, if you know your own six-year-old girl's interest level.

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue isn't supposed to be as complex as one of Disney's animated feature film and that's fine. It would make for a good purchase if you need something for your little girl to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon, and if she is already a fan of the character. Run it in the background while you need to spend time doing boring grown-up things and it will be your friend but expect its shelf life to last as long as it takes for the next new Disney Fairies release to come out.

Review Score: 60 / 100

Jakester
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Posted: 7 years 6 weeks ago

Holy crap!  I just remembered that I bought this for my daughter's birthday two weeks ago and she hasn't watched it yet.  She hasn't even asked to watch it yet.  She's still in Dr. Who mode, and then likely will be in Sarah Jane mode.  I'm sure she'll remember at some point.

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