Back when Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure came out, I was impressed with the overall effort and quality of the Disney direct-to-video title. Largely besmirched and ignored in a “by definition” sense (and with good reason), Disney finally made a serious run at proving that they could offer solid entertainment through the medium, and that quality on every front didn’t have to be several pegs shy of feature films.
Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue takes things further even than that, and delivers true theatrical quality in a home release.
When Tinker Bell stumbles onto a brilliant, young girl named Lizzie, and is semi-accidentally imprisoned (or at least unable to leave), her friends have to brave the human world to rescue her. Lizzie, fascinated with fairies already, hopes to befriend Tink, but when Lizzie’s science-minded father enters the picture, things become complicated in a hurry.
As you might imagine, it gets more and more difficult for Lizzie to explain certain events to her father, who wants her to focus her mind on more serious things, and stop dreaming about imaginary friends. Meanwhile, unable to fly through the unending rain that is also keeping Tink earthbound, her friends undertake quite the adventure to reach her, and are forced to make their way through not only the English countryside, but the truth behind what got them all in this predicament.
There’s something about the story and direction of these last two Tinker Bell movies that make me think back to the earlier days of the Disney company, and the kind of efforts that made Disney famous in the first place. Maybe these are not the next greatest thing in animation, but they make me think that this is what we would get if Walt were exploring the direct-to-video market, and after some twenty years of things that did not make me feel that way at all, these are refreshing.
The visual quality of the film could stand up against just about anything you care to mention. The animation is gorgeous, and includes all the subtlety of texture and color you’d expect from a big-budget theatrical release. Of course, the only real sell is a film’s story, and the heart and character here are miles beyond what non-theatrical releases have become over the years.
The kids will love this one, and you won’t mind watching it with them a bit. I could not recommend this one more highly.
The release doesn’t feel as packed as many Disney titles, and fans of Disney films may feel that they are used to getting more for their purchase, but there are some nice efforts here, especially when we consider the content available specifically on direct-to-video titles.
Deleted scenes aren’t usually worth all that much, but I always find them a lot more interesting on animated titles, and these are pretty good ones.
You also get the music video “How To Believe,” by Bridgit Mendler of Disney Channel fame.
The real bonuses are Design a Fairy House and Fairy Field Guide Builder. The first is a brief number with footage of fairy houses being built by kids, and the second is a kind of trivia game entity with a variety of questions about fairies, which comes at you in similar fashion to the “field guide” that Lizzie creates in the film. Both are decent enough efforts, though the fairy house one is rather short.
Please do check out the many video clips below.
Flying to London (clip)
Deleted Scene: Lizzy’s Bedtime Story (bonus)
Mae Whitman Interview
Pamela Adlon Interview
Lucy Liu Interview
Before she was ever introduced to Wendy and the Lost Boys, Tinker Bell met Lizzy, a girl with a steadfast belief in fairies. Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue begins in summertime in the beautiful English countryside. An enchanting encounter unfolds when Tinker Bell is discovered by Lizzy, and as their different worlds unite, Tink develops a special bond with the curious girl in need of a friend.
As her fellow fairies launch a daring rescue, Tinker Bell takes a huge risk, putting her own safety and the future of the fairies in jeopardy. This action-packed adventure takes the fairies of Pixie Hollow on a daring flight to London to save Tinker Bell and all of fairy kind.