Hello, Spongey here.
Peter Pan is undoubtedly one of Disney’s most cherished classics, for many reasons. One of those reasons is Tinkberbell, the mischievous fairy with an attitude, who remains spunky and likable. She was a fairly popular character and with all the other Peter Pan films over the years, (including the sequel), it would only make sense that she would get her own movie.
And so in 2008, Disney made that movie….as a direct to video film. Yeah, let’s explain the backstory. See Disney was still going strong with it’s Direct to Video films when this one was being produced. But the production for it was a bit troubled. It kept changing script and directors and all that stuff.
When John Lasster came to Disney and saw the state of the film in 2007, he said it was UNWATCHABLE. Never mind the fact that he still said yes to Planes, that is bad. It was so bad, that it was the final straw for John. This is what got him to cancel Disney’s Direct to Video productions for good.
Yes, this movie is why we won’t see Frozen 2 anytime soon. That’s ….awesome. But of course, he let this film get made, and it was a big hit. So they made sequels …Wait, so John banned the direct to video cash grabs….but he still lets this get made? I don’t get it.
Anyway, this movie did get past it’s production troubles and it came out. The reaction has been mostly “meh”. Believe it or not, I mostly see positive or at least okay reactions to this film, and the franchise as a whole. This is pretty shocking, cuz I thought this would have a huge backlash.
It has detractors, as you would expect, just see Mr Coat’s video on it for proof of that. So maybe this is better than I think it will be. But on the other hand, it has the director of Hunchback 2, and the writer of Planes.
So my expectations aren’t exactly soaring. But hey, you never know. Will this be good, or bad? ….Yeah, I don’t have a catchy way to phrase that this time. Either way, with the new that just came out on, I figured we would look at the first film in this 5 film franchise. Yes, this has 5 movies.
Let’s just get into it.
This, is Tinkerbell
The movie opens with narration, as someone tells us that fairies help with nature and keep it is in balance.
“The first time that a baby laughs, a fairy’s life takes flight”
….Babies create fairies. That leaves me with a lot of very R rated questions. But I think my biggest one is….Abortion kills fairies?
We see such an event happening, as a baby laughs, making a dandelion explode, and it’s pieces fly away supposedly to create a fairy. We see the pieces fly through this landscape, and I’ll say it now: it’s pretty awesome. For a Direct to Video movie, the animation is fairly solid and it’s a decently done moment. The song is a bit cheesy but it’s a good opening otherwise.
Will the rest of the movie be as good? I hope so.
One piece lands in this area where all the fairies are, and we see the most G rated birth ever. But it is pretty cool looking, so the movie is still going strong. Naturally, the resulting our fairy is our titular heroine, who is born looking like she’s about 10 and she can talk. Because magic.
She is visited by Queen Clarion, voiced by Angelica Huston (!), who gives our hero her wings. She shows her these….things that help her pick her talent. Yeah, it’s the society where you are given one job that you have to do. Well, I can tell what cliché message this one will have.
Eventually one….thing calls to her and she is chosen as a tinker, and thus, is named Tinkerbell. So they pick your name based on your given talent? Christ, this society actually lasts for 5 movies?
So Tink joins the tinkers, and two male tinkers welcome her. Said tinkers are Bobble and Clank, voiced by Rob Paulson and Jeff Bennet. Well, I have my favorite characters already. True, Bobble has a Scottish accent for some reason but it’s done well enough.
The two fairies than show her around the place, because a newly born creature would be so up for this. They show Tink that the winter fairies have just finished bringing winter to the world, which means we have them to blame for our weather, and not Elsa.
With their job done, they are getting ready for Spring. Johnny Bravo and Yakko take Tink, voiced by Katara herself, Mae Whitman, to their place. We see fairies working, and we another glimpse at how this society works. So far, this movie isn’t too bad, actually. Besides the opening scene, it’s cool to see the faeries working and all that.
Please keep this up, movie. It’s normal to talk to movies, right?
After Tink dons her signature outfit, as seen on the cover, the two stooges are impressed by her new look. But mostly Yakko….which makes me want to move on instead of thinking about that.
They show her what being a tinker is like, making tons of stuff for the other fairies. The three then leave to go deliver some of that stuff. After some antics, Tink bumps into some other fairies. This includes, Silvermist, voiced by Lucy Liu (!) and Iridessa, voiced by Raven Symonne. Weird to see her still working with Disney.
They tell Tink that they go to the mainland for their job, and Tink thinks it sounds awesome. After a bit more of that, Bobble and Clank leave, saying they have “real work to do”. Who knew Tinkers would so racist?
They head off, but Tink is allowed to go off on their own and meet up with Yakko and Johnny later. Tink then meets our obligatory bitch for the evening, Vidia, voiced by Pamela Adlon. She’s a fast flying fairy who tells Tink that her talent is dumb and useless. Oh joy, the clichés are coming in.
Tinkerbell leaves and she finds a bunch of objects, which she brings to Bobble and Clank, who say that the things washed up here from the mainland. Fairy Mary, their boss, does not approve of the junk because I guess a tinker doesn’t see the value in things that could be turned into other things.
After that pointless bit, Yakko and Johnny tell us that it’s time for the queens review, where she reviews the preparations for spring. It’s a chance for the fairies to show off what they can do. It will turn out better than the review this movie is getting, I’ll say that.
That night, the queen arrives and talks to the minister of spring, voiced by Steve Valentine, who is shockingly not the villain in this one. Tink shows up to and shows everyone some stuff she made but of course her inventions don’t work. The Queen tells Tink that tinkers don’t go to the mainland, which really should have been common sense.
Tinkerbell isn’t happy to hear this, as she has become the Disney princess type, wanting MOOOOOORE. I’ll ignore how dumb this society is , in favor of bitching about how damn cliché this is.
The next day, Tink tells her new friends that she will not be a tinker. She wants them to teach her THEIR talents, so Tink will be a nature fairy, and be allowed to go on the mainland.
“There has to be more to life than pots and kettles”
Man, this is starting to get generic.
They agree to help her, in like 5 seconds, and they go out to help Tink be a water fairy. Hilarity ensues and when that fails, Raven helps Tink be a light fairy. This involves having Tink literally carry light at sunset.
“Do you think it’s heavy?”
After that fails, we cut to the next day, as Fairy Mary tells Tink she knows what she has been up to and she is unhappy. Tink still wants MOAR and insists that she doesn’t want to be a “stupid tinker”.
That comment bugs Johnny and Yakko, so Tink leaves to try her hand at being an animal fairy. Yep, when you piss off your friends, just leave! Our hero, ladies and gentlemen. It doesn’t help that Bobble and Clank are the only memorable characters so far.
Like the last two attempts, this goes badly. But this one goes extra badly, as Tink somehow angers this big bird which attacks the fairies. They fight it off but Vidia gets a bit embarrassed during that bit and she tells Tink to feck off.
Tink flies of, sad that she can’t do anything. I see where they are going with this, but Tink’s entire motivation for being cliché is selfish, so it’s kind of hard to sympathize. And between this and Planes, I think the writers love the “do more than you were made for” plot.
While Tinkerbell is sulking, she finds a broken ballerina, music box….thing, and fixes it. Her friends see this and they are impressed that Tink is tinkering. They tell her that this is clearly her talent, but Tink STILL wants to go to the main land.
Yeah, I’m really sympathizing with her now. Her friends leave while Tink sulks some more. She visits Vidia that night.,
“Will you teach me to be a fast flying fairy?”
So your friends tell you what your talent really is, and they have a good reason for giving up on you….but you still go to the chick who HATES you, as a dumb attempt to go to the main land. …Wow.
Vidia, to teach her to be a garden fairy (?) has Tinkerbell go to this field and capture some “spinning thistles” while on Bobble and Clank’s pet mouse. It goes badly as, what can only be described as living weeds, stampede the fairy village…place.
This results in the entire place being trashed and Tink is blamed for it. It turns out that no garden fairy alive can capture those things, and Vidia was just being a bitch. The chick who hates you got you in trouble? I am shocked!
And since this is Tink’s fault, I have more reason to hate her! Yay!
The queen (in)conveniently arrives, and Tink admits that it was all her fault. I admit, this scene isn’t too bad, as it kind of makes us feel bad for her to an extent. There is just something about the tone of the scene that makes it work. Plus, Tink owns up to her mistake, so ….she has that, at least.
Because of Tink’s screw up, the fairies are worried that they might have to cancel Spring. Yeah, I think it’s because all their progress got ruined. Steve says that if they postpone spring, things will go out of out balance.
“Certainly this has happened before”
“It has! Ever hear of the Ice age?”
So we have you to blame for Ice Age 4!
Once again, Tink sulks for a bit, and she tells this male fairy (who I don’t think we’ve seen before now) that she is leaving. His name is Terrance and he’s the “dust keeper guy”. They talk for a bit, and Tink assures him that his job is important and his talent makes him who he is..
Yeah, he randomly whined just so Tink can realize that this applies to her. Forced but I shall take it. Then she still leaves anyway because reasons. Also, he was voiced by Jesse Mccartney. Yeah.
The head fairy people that Spring will not be coming this year.
Wait, a bunch of magical creatures are trying to get rid of winter to usher in Spring, but someone, who previously tried to find a different place in this ritual, screwed it up.
….This is a feature length version of Winter Wrap Up. ….Let’s move on.
Tink shows up, having learned the big lesson, to get them to try hard to bring Spring in. She wants them to help her make contraptions to make it go faster, but Vidia is being a bitch about it. Tink finally snaps at her, in a fairly awesome moment. This leads to Vidia admitting that this whole mess is her fault after all.
So the queen makes Vidia collect all the thistles as punishment. Vidia leaves to that and everyone moves on like nothing happened. Okay.
The queen turns to Tinker Bell, and asks her if she can do it.
“I am a tinker. That’s who I am. And tinkers fix things”
So with that, everyone pitches in to help Tink find lost things that will make the stuff they need. We then get a montage of them making things and long story short, tomorrow Spring is here. That was so fast that I wonder why they didn’t think of it in the first place.
So Tink and the others save Spring for good. Then Yakko, Johnny, and Fairy Mary show up with that ballerina music box….thing, from earlier. Mary says she found it years ago but only Tink could fix it. She says that a girl on the main land must be missing it.
Which means that Tink can finally go to the main land, as part of her job. So she learned her lesson but she’s allowed to get what she selfishly wanted anyway. …Eh, at least the moral is there and not lost.
Tink thanks Mary and her friends for all of their help, and she finally flies off to the main land. We get a pretty cool flying scene as Tink first goes around spreading Spring some more. It goes on for awhile, but In context, it’s a very nice scene that gives the movie a sense of accomplishment. Like, there was a reason for what happened. Then Tink goes the dancer box thing to the main land and she….somehow is able to find the kid it belongs to.
Tink drops it off in the little girl’s room, and that little girl is …Wendy. Yes, THAT Wendy. A young version of the same Wendy from Peter Pan. That’s….an interesting moment. It’s cool even if it has no reason to be here and I’m sure it messes up continuity somehow.
Tinker Bell flies off the narrator pipes in to tell us that Faries do awesome things, and chances are, if a toy you lost comes back, it might be the work of FAIRY GOD PARENTS! …I mean fairies.
“A very special fairy might be near”
Roll credits. Yep, that’s it. The movie is 78 minutes WITH CREDITS, and it shows. I mean, the ending was drawn out in context but it still feels pretty rushed. Kind of makes the movie feel…small, you know?
But hey, it’s over so let’s finish this up.
This movie was…..not as bad as I thought it would be. Infact, it was….meh. Not very good but not awful either. It’s mostly an average direct to video kiddie flick. But considering Disney’s track record for DTV fare, that’s an improvement.
For starters, the animation is actually pretty good for a movie like this. It is a bit cheap at points, but it’s fairly solid. The opening scene is especially breath taking, and the animation has a certain charm to it. It’s not the best but it’s good.
But then we have the story and characters, which are kind of …meh. The story is your typical Disney princess type story, where someone wants to do more than what they made for, and Dada yada yada. It’s not very original and it’s cliché.
However, we do get some solid world building, and I like the world they created. Sadly, they focus more on the lame story than anything cool. The humor is fine, with some of the voice actors bringing life to the proceedings, and it does make the movie less boring.
The characters are mostly weak or just boring. Tinker Bell fits the typical stereotype of someone who wants more, and while she isn’t the worst character ever, she was just meh. Mae does make her likable enough, even when the story works against her.
Everyone else isn’t worth mentioning, as they just serve as comic relief. Passable, but not developed enough. Vidia was kind of amusing but she just a bitch for the sake of being a bitch. Honestly, no one was awful but no one stood out….except for Bobble and Clank who are pretty funny. Then again ,you should expect it from Jeff and Rob at this point.
The movie itself is competent but standard. It hits lots of cliches and nothing stands as awful or great. It at least has some fun parts, an okay world, solid animation and a few okay moments. It’s pretty harmless, and while there are better films to show your kids, there are also far worse.
It’s….meh. I wouldn’t recommend it for most of my readers, but if you happen to see it on TV, then it’s….okay. Hopefully, the sequels are better.
Next time, we return to the live action world, for ….one of my favorite movies from a favorite actor of mine.