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Tinker Bell

A movie directed by Bradley Raymond

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A Cute Tale That Will Likely Impress Its Intended Audience

  • Feb 10, 2011

Well before you snicker at the mental image of a grown man sitting down for an evening of Tinker Bell, consider this: With a budget of 48-mil, distribution by Disney and Executive Producer credit going to none other than Pixar’s big cheese John Lasseter, it’s only natural that my tour of the computer generated feature film make a stop at Pixie Hollow.  And in this case that stop includes a trilogy of entries no less (two more reviews of said property to follow).

That said, Tinker Bell is a 2008 direct-to-dvd (in the USA) CGI feature film based on the famous Peter Pan supporting character/ company icon that earns a G-rating and 78-minute runtime.  For better or worse, the film takes multiple liberties with the source material that seem to have fallen on the side of criticism by many long-time Peter Pan aficionados.  Not the least of these is the fact that Tinker Bell is able to speak in this iteration, which completely replaces the sound of a jingling bell that accompanied her onscreen presence in the 2D films.  Sorry fans, Peter Pan, Captain Hook, and the Lost Boys are nowhere to be found in this piece as well.  Viewers are, however, treated to such pixie-lore elements as the birth of a fairy and how Tink ends up in her trademark jagged-green threads, er leaf fibers as the case may be.

Aside from representing Tink’s back story, Tinker Bell is based on the simple premise that the title character is ready, willing, able and eager to help in the important fairy tasks such as changing of the seasons, and sets her sites on traveling to the mainland (where we lowly humans dwell). However, she soon learns that her lot in life is that of a tinker fairy meaning that her job is to assemble and repair the various items in Pixie Hollow that the “important” fairies require to do their magical jobs.

Tinker Bell, naturally, wants no part of being a glorified mechanic and tries (with some humorous results) to attempt the jobs of some of the other fairies before discovering it best to be yourself.  There’s a moral here that will likely resonate with the kids even if the pretty visuals or bubbly personalities of the characters don’t immediately win them over.

Speaking of, the CGI animation is of decidedly high caliber as it should be, given the assimilation of Pixar into the Disney fold.  Rich textures, crisp colors and well animated character models all add up to a solid visual presentation.  A Celtic-inspired score by Joel McNeely and a pretty solid voice cast complete the grade-A feel.

Now it’s only fair to nitpick a bit as well as there are a few rough spots that deserve examination.  For example, Tinker Bell’s very name is derived from the fact that her birthing ceremony identifies her as a tinker fairy and hence her name is actually Bell.  So then is it safe to assume all of the fairies are given names based on their occupation? Actually, no.  For whatever reason Bell’s fellow tinkers do not seem to have the word anywhere in their names.

Then there is the matter of the second half of her name.  The little fairy in Pan jingled like; you guessed it, a bell! Unfortunately that element is completely removed here as well.

Additionally, the fairy of the classic tale (and not just in Disney’s incarnations) has received a major personality retooling.  Forget the jealous, spiteful, mischievous but unwaveringly loyal sidekick you likely know and sort of love, here Tink is a modern lady with fashionable sensibilities and charm to match.

The pacing is a bit deliberate and drawn out, not unlike the classic animated pieces of Disney lore.  In other words, it feels a bit more like a modernly styled classic 2D animation film than it does a scaled down Pixar blockbuster.

In all, younger viewers, whom surely Disney intends this work, will likely enjoy this tale.  Adults will find a few moments to enjoy while appreciating the solid moral efforts interlaced with the tight visuals.  This series is certainly in a league above computer generated animated primarily-girl series like Barbie or Strawberry Shortcake but falls a tad bit short compared to the excellence that’s been given in the past by the Pixar/Disney juggernaut.

A Cute Tale That Will Likely Impress Its Intended Audience A Cute Tale That Will Likely Impress Its Intended Audience A Cute Tale That Will Likely Impress Its Intended Audience A Cute Tale That Will Likely Impress Its Intended Audience

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February 21, 2011
My two year old was mesmerized by Tinker Bell when she watched it at a friend's house - but somehow I'm just not fond of this image of perfect, scantily clad, long-legged mythical creatures ;) Flying around in skirt and dresses? Yeah... :O
February 21, 2011
Hahaha it's funny you should say that because I thought the same thing during these Tink films- I mean who came up with that skimpy outfit anyway? And why where there never any of these perfect, scantily clad, long-legged mythical creatures flying around in skirts back in my bar-hopping years? All kidding aside, thanks for the read/ feedback EcoMama! :)
February 21, 2011
Welcome! :)
February 13, 2011
Yeah i have watched all these Tink flicks with my little cuz when I watch her, excellent review.
February 21, 2011
FM_A: I thought the third one was the best of the bunch- in fact to my way of thinking, each entry was a bit stronger than the one preceding it. I hear the fourth one will be out this summer. Thanks for the read!
February 12, 2011
wow...my buddy sat down to see this flick LOL! I think because of the light-heartedness of this flick you may need to see one heavy on testoterone... (hint hint) Great review as always!! 
More Tinker Bell reviews
review by . October 11, 2009
Enter the magical world of fairies and meet the enchanting creatures of Pixie Hollow, who bring about the change of the seasons. Changing the colors of the leaves, melting snow, waking animals from their winter slumber, or giving blooming flowers a sprinkle of water are all within the realm of these seasonal specialists. Tinker Bell thinks her fairy talent, as a "tinker" isn't as special or important as the other fairies' talents. So Tinker Bell tries to change her specialty that has been chosen …
review by . June 01, 2009
In a time when most movies have bad guys and scary plots, this is a gem that has a happy, non-scary theme. To my 3 year old, this is a BIG deal. She hates scary movies; The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Peter Pan - all fall into that scary field for her. She likes only happy movies, and they are few and far between. Tinkerbell has quickly become a favorite for her and she loves loves loves all things fairy now. And from a grown up perspective, I love it, too.
review by . October 30, 2008
J.M. Barrie first created the character Tinker Bell to appear in a play (Peter Pan) and then in a novel (Peter and Wendy) but her worldwide popularity is no doubt largely the result of her appearance in the Disney film that first appeared in 1953, Peter Pan. Tinker Bell later became the official Disney "mascot" in versions of the television series variously known as Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, The Wonderful World of Disney, and The Magical World of Disney. The point …
review by . October 22, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
TINKER BELL is a computer animated film that explains the origins of the famous fairy and sidekick to Peter Pan. It is the first in a series of new Direct-to-DVD films being planned, promoting the newest Disney produced franchise, the Disney Fairies. The movie begins with a baby laughing that sends a part of a plant from our world through the sky and into Neverland where at Pixie Hollow it rests beneath the fairy dust stream and is turned into a new fairy. Taking a cue from Harry Potter, the fairy …
About the reviewer

Ranked #14
Jason Rider (AKA OneNeo on Amazon.com) is the author of the successful children's fantasy novel series The Uncommon Adventures of Tucker O'Doyle from Bellissima Publishing.      … more
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About this movie


A vibrant look at the magical world of fairies and the wonder of the changing seasons,Tinker Bellis the captivating story of one of Disney's most beloved fairies. Pixie Hollow is a land where fairies constantly create and improve upon the beauty of the four seasons and prepare to bring the changing seasons to the mainland. When Tinker Bell is born, she discovers she is destined to be a Tinker fairy; one who invents gadgets to help fairies do their jobs more efficiently, but she is disappointed with her supporting role and yearns for a more impressive job. While her fellow fairies assure her that she plays a vital role in the arrival of spring, Tinker Bell shuns her calling and attempts to become something she's not. In the end, Tinker Bell's efforts cause a disaster that threatens to delay or even cancel the coming of spring and only inspiration and a firm belief in her own strengths can lead Tinker Bell to fulfill her destiny and save spring. This CGI product ion features truly breathtaking vividness and clarity, does a great job of portraying the world of nature from a fairy's perspective, and creates a nice sense of consistency between its final frames and the opening of the originalPeter Panfilm. Notable voice talent includes Mae Whitman, Kristin Chenoweth, Jane Horrocks, Anjelica Huston, Jesse McCartney, and Raven-Symone. Other DVD bonus features include the interactive "Tinker Trainer" game, tour of the realms of Pixie Hollow, a look at how ...
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Director: Bradley Raymond
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy
Release Date: 28 October 2008 (USA)
MPAA Rating: G
Screen Writer: J.M. Barrie, Jeffrey M. Howard
Runtime: 78 min
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
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