Monday, 2 November 2015
Tinker Bell (2008)
Have you ever wondered who carves the designs of snowflakes, or paints the leaves so they change colours with the seasons? Who teaches birds to fly and makes sure there's always a rainbow ready when the sun shines through the rain?
It's fairies of course, staying carefully out of sight while making sure that the world works as it is meant to.
And where do fairies come from? Why from the first laugh of a child, naturally: carried on the wind to Pixie Hollow.
Call me a sentimental old coot, but I think that's some pretty cool myth-building.
We begin with the birth of the newest fairy in the realm. Queen Clarion greets her, and explains that she must find her talent. All fairies have one. They might be light fairies or water fairies or garden fairies or fast-flying fairies ... or they might be tinkers, the builders and handyfolk of the fairy peoples. And that indeed, is what Tinker Bell proves to be.
Tink finds learning all about her new home to be very exciting, but what thrills her most are tales of "the Mainland", the strange and distant place where the seasons constantly change, thanks to the fairies diligent work, and from which come the weird and wonderful "lost things" that wash up on Neverland's beaches.
She's understandably crushed to learn then, that Tinker fairies don't get to go to the mainland: only nature fairies (light, water and so on) do. I gotta say I'm with Tink on this one. It's a crummy rule. And if her reaction to the news isn't the most practical one ... well, she was only born yesterday.
Now if you've seen more than a dozen films in your life you could probably accurately predict what's going to happen from here, so I'm not going to bore you with the plot details. Instead I'm going to give a thumbs up for the strong voice cast, simple but effective CGI animation, and neat sense of whimsy in the film. Execution trumps innovation more often than not, in my book.
If you need a change from Frozen (and good as that film is, I guess you might, eventually) you could do a lot worse than this.