With the completion of the seasons with Secret of Wings, Disney's latest Tinkerbell movie doesn't have a season theme or even center around Tinkerbell, but instead the Pirate Fairy, Zelena. Although straight to DVD like the rest of the Tinkerbell franchise has been, it boast some major star power in Christina Hendricks as the title character and Tom Hiddleston as one of the main supporting characters, and comes through shining with the same visuals as its predecessors.
The film drops on DVD April 1st, but I caught a special theatrical screening over the weekend. So while I'm sure the Blu Ray will be chock full of quality extras, I can only speak for the film itself.
We've seen Tinkerbell's group of friends expand over the last four films to cover all of the different fairy talents including: fast flying, animal, light, water, and garden, even the addition of Winter fairies, but this time the focus is on the dust fairies. Zelena (Hendricks), like Tinkerbell, is far more curious than her superiors could ever wish, rather than focusing her attention on lost things like Tink, her attention is on her specialty: pixy dust. She doesn't just want harvest it like the other dust fairies do, but rather find its full potential. With just a tiny grain of blue pixy dust, and a bit of Alchemy she discover other colors of dust she only previously dreamt about. But when a chance accident causes one of her experiments to go awry, lead duster Fairy Gary loses all trust in her and Zelena chooses to go rogue.
Zelena isn't heard from for many months until she returns to steal the blue pixy dust that is so vital to the survival of Pixy Hollow. After knocking out most of the inhabitants of Pixy Hollow she steals the dust, and Tinkerbell and her friends chase after her to recover the blue dust, and bring home their friend. But not only is Zelena not willing to come home or give back the dust, she's joined up with a band of Pirates, is their captain, and when push comes to shoves, she uses a special concoction of pixy dust on Tinkerbell and her friends to change their talents putting that a distinct disadvantage. Tinkerbell and her friends refuse to give up on Zelena and the dust, but here's the kicker and the biggest mistake, Zelena doesn't have to chose to be good, because her choice is made before her in moment of betrayal that puts her on the side of good racing to recover the blue dust before its lost beyond the second star to the left.
The animation is much of the same of the rest of the franchise, not better than, but rather what's expected. It's colorful, and engaging. The bright colors dance across the screen in a visually pleasing spectacle. The core voice talent remains fairly consistent including the likes of: Mae Whitman (Tinkerbell), Lucy Lui (Silvermist), Pamela Adlon (Vidia), Angela Bartys (Fawn), Megan Hilty (Rosetta), Anjelica Houston (Queen Clarion), and Raven Symone (Iridessa). Hendricks is a welcome addition to the cast of fairies as Zelena, and even Hiddleston shines as the Pirate James, even though he gets the worst over the top dialogue. Hiddleston is a pro and takes it all in stride and delivers some great songs as well.
Now while the moral arc has its feet taken out from underneath it fairly early, the addition Pre Peter timeline plot points really makes the film shine. The Tinkerbell movie was the birth of Tinkerbell with a little show piece of a very young Wendy, and with The Pirate Fairy, we get to see the back story of some beloved, if not at least well known, characters of the Tinkerbell and Peter Pan world. It's a clever twist on the known tale, giving a bigger origin story, and it seems to only be a matter of time before Pan himself shows up.
The Pirate Fairy is a must see for all fairy lovers. It's great fun for the entire family, and while it’s musical score is no Frozen, the songs are definitely enjoyable and the film is worth a watch or two.
The Pirate Fairy is available on DVD April 1st.
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