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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue Blu-ray Review

My family and I are big Disney fans.  We go to Disneyland whenever we can, we watch the Disney Channel, and we also enjoy all of the Disney/Pixar movies too.  My two year old especially loves all things Disney so we watch a lot of it in our household.  He seems fascinated by Tinker Bell and I’m not sure if it’s because she is cute, short, and blond which seems to be his preference or if it’s because she can fly around. Whatever the case, he is a fan of Tinker Bell and I am fond of her as well from my time growing up watching Peter Pan.  This new direct to Blu-ray series is a prequel of sorts to Peter Pan.  At the beginning of the Disney Fairies series, Tinker Bell is shown how and why she is given her name and vocation, and as the series has gone forward, it’s inching every so slowly to Peter Pan.  As this is the third movie out of a series of five, it has the most overt nods to Peter Pan which I liked.  I keep hoping they will do more Peter Pan movies or reboot it with Dave Barry and Ridley Pierson’s Peter and the Starcatchers, but as of right now that’s not happening.  In any case, let’s talk about the latest adventure of Tinker Bell…


Film  (3 out of 5 stars)

In the latest movie, Tinker Bell and her friends are going to Fairy Camp which is hidden from but near humans.  Up to this point, humans and fairies have never talked to each other.  In fact, most humans like Dr. Griffiths (voiced by Michael Sheen) who lives nearby doesn’t believe in them at all.  His young daughter Lizzie (voiced by Lauren Mote) however, does believe in fairies and is in fact so convinced that they exist, that she makes a small house to trap one so she can be vindicated.   Tinker Bell being naturally curious about humans, their vehicles, and their ways of living gets herself caught and eventually becomes friends with the lonely young girl.  Lizzie seems to have no mother present and her father is so caught up in his work for the museum that he doesn’t spend as much time with his daughter as she wants.   Lizzie in her isolation, has plastered her walls with pictures of fairies and is so interested in learning everything about them, that with Tinker Bell’s help she creates a fairy journal in an effort to impress her father.  Meanwhile, the other fairies have mounted a rescue mission to recover Tinker Bell whom they believe is in great danger.  They have their own hazards to overcome including, rain which doesn’t allow them to fly, fast moving water, and a large cat that would love to catch them.

I enjoyed this movie and although it had formulaic themes that’s ok because sometimes those are the lessons and reminders that we need to be the kind of father, mother, son, or daughter that we want to be.  Lizzie’s father has lost himself in his work and it’s not that he doesn’t want to spend time with Lizzie, it’s just that he doesn’t believe he has the time to do it.  He also doesn’t believe a word she says about fairies and they are drifting away from each other.  Although it’s never stated in the movie, I think that this all happened after he lost his wife.  With her gone, he delved into his work to take his mind off it and slowly lost his connection with his daughter.  Of course, with Tinker Bell around, you know she will do what she can to fix things! After all she is a tinker fairy!

Like I mentioned earlier, I liked seeing the nods to Peter Pan such as the second star on the right, Tinker Bell’s voice sounding like bells to humans, or the Big Ben flyby.  Even having the movie’s setting outside of London and in London at the end of the movie is a nice flashback to the movie that started it all.  I really hope when this series ends it will feature her with Peter Pan during events that happened prior to the original Peter Pan movie.

Video  (5 out of 5 stars)

This movie has a stellar 1.78:1 picture!  It really is one of the best transfers I’ve seen in a long time.  The colors are vivid and so distinct it feels like you are right there along with Tinker Bell!  Everything is laser sharp and the detail is amazing.   I love the computer rendered movies that can go directly from the computer to the disc to get the best possible quality.  No compression, no DNR,  or scratches.  I honestly don’t think anyone does Blu-ray better than Disney/Pixar.  The only movie that I can foresee having a better picture than this in the near future is Toy Story 3.

Audio (5 out of 5 stars)

The audio on this movie is just as good as the picture! The 6 channel 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio puts every channel to good use.  Between the fairies flying around and rain, and everything else, this masterful mix sweeps back and forth between channels and frankly I was surprised on how good it was.  It was so good and realistic I had to turn the volume down as my son was getting anxious.  Dialogue is crystal clear and this is the best use of surround speakers I’ve heard in awhile.

Special Features  (3 out of 5 stars)

Now we come to the section that wasn’t perfect…the special features.  Don’t get me wrong, these are perfectly fine features but after the effort that was put into making the audio visual aspects as good as possible, this was kind of a let down. To be fair though, these is a pretty good amount of extras for a direct to Blu-ray release. Let’s take a look…

Deleted Scenes – A collection of scenes that were good enough to be in the movie which is rare. They help explain some character motivations and should have been in the movie in my opinion.
Fairy Field Guide Builder – A pretty good four part trivia game for kids that actually has some decent informational rewards.
Music Video – Bridgit Mendler’s “How to Believe” music video
Design a Fairy House – Disney let some kids make their own fairy house and you get to see the kids doing it and the final winner.
Sneak Peeks – There are a bunch of trailers for movies including: Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods, Tangled, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2.

Final Thoughts  (4 out of 5 stars)

Disney has done it again with a  high quality direct to Blu-ray release that has an exceptional picture and fantastic sound!  They not only succeeded on the technical aspects of this release, but they also remain true to the character of Tinker Bell which makes a huge difference to me.  I’ll continue to wait for the storyline to reach Peter Pan, but I’ll enjoy the ride until we get there.
Pre-order your copy today!

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