Tinkering With The Classics

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An Active3D Review: Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings
Rating: * (out of 5)

Since Uncle Walt went up to that great big DisneyWorld in the sky, his company – like the rest of Hollywood – seems to have lost much of its creative spirit, seeking refuge in the sequel and spin-off market.

Instead of leaving the classic Disney pictures sacrosanct, they’ve mined them for all they’re worth, and, in so doing, have departed from the spirit of those stories and characters.

This latest venture is a gobsmacking example of the above. Tinkerbell, you may remember, didn’t speak in Peter Pan, the tale that gave her character life. Now, she’s not only completely out of Peter Pan’s world, but she speaks like an American teenager, and has undergone a whole character change. She’s apparently veered off in this direction before, but it’s been in direct-to-video releases from which my gaze was spared. Because this is a theatrical 3-D release, however (at least in South Africa, if not necessarily around the globe), I have had to be exposed to this awful, new-generational Tinkerbell. If I had to draw an analogy: compare a quaint mom-and-pop candy store in the countryside, to a sterile, brashly-lit designer clothing store in a mall.

We’re served up a yarn about summer fairies and winter fairies, with the inhabitants of each world being banned from entering one’s another’s turf… And then it takes a soap-opera-esque turn *** SPOILER ALERT *** when we find out that Tinkerbell has a sibling from an illicit affair (it’s couched in more polite terms, but that’s pretty-much what it is).

It’s all too horrible. I kept thinking, “but this isn’t the Tinkerbell that we know and love”. And yet, it persisted, as if to spite me and all my childhood memories. This sorry matter would’ve been a lot more palatable had it been about another fairy; a new character altogether – call her Twinkle-Toes, or whatever. Of course, that still wouldn’t have compensated for the corner-cutting animation that the great Disney would never have condoned, or the lacklustre script – but at least it could’ve been some kind of Saturday morning diversion for mums and tiny daughters. As it stands, it’s little more than three-dimensional sacrilege.

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One Response to “Tinkering With The Classics”

  1. Lavender Says:

    Babysitting my Niece has led to me seeing everything from Barbie and her many movies, to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and many more.
    As it stands Tinkerbell and her four films I’ve rather enjoyed. They’re nice and easy adventure stories aimed squarely at a tween girl market and knew this the entire time.

    Granted it isn’t the same vindictive and spiteful fairy from the Novel, Play or even Disney’s original cartoon film but considering how often The Boy who would Never grow Up. has been remade at this point, blaming Disney for this sin seems misplaced and needless.

    Moreover, If Tink was kept true to historical canon, her near sociopathic behaviour is hard to excuse in a film staring her as the main character.
    Yes, I know, Fairies are so small they only have room for one emotion at a time, but that runs into problems in material that lacks a more ‘adjusted’ character for her to work-off.
    This has been a staple of storytelling since we developed language, a character to which we can relate or contrast to ourselves.

    In response to a more minor detail, you mention she didn’t speak; on the contrary, in the play and Disney’s Peter Pan, every scene with her she never shuts up.
    That jingle of bells you hear? That’s fairy language and Boy! does Tink have a lot to say.
    The Great Fairy Rescue, the third film in the TinkerBell franchise, covers this in detail with the appearance of a young girl main character.
    Whilst a wordless film could be good, it does require very strong visual story telling which can be difficult to pull off if it’s to hold the attention of tween girls for any length of time.
    Considering the Fairies form the mainstay of the cast I can forgive them for the lack of constant subtitles.

    And also, [Spoiler] can you really call the first laugh of a baby an ‘illicit affair’? Considering they can be brought to life by simple childlike belief, being born of the first laughter isn’t much of a step beyond.
    Even twins at that.

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