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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue

September 19th, 2010

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

When Disney first announced that they were making a direct-to-DVD franchise based on Tinker Bell from Peter Pan, and that Tinker Bell was going to talk, the response wasn't overwhelmingly positive. Some where cautiously optimistic, while others were more guarded, given the reputation direct-to-DVD sequels have. However, the first film was a success, critically and financially, as was the second. Now that we are on the third film in the franchise, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, will these films become a trilogy of three hits, or have they pushed their luck too far.

The Movie

It's spring time and the fairies of Pixie Hollow are busy getting things ready. The crickets need tuning, the butterflies need painting, the sink needs weaving. Tinker Bell is eager to help, but she's done such a great job in the past and her inventions are working so well that she's left with little to do. So she decides to explore the nearby human house, which is strictly forbidden. After an encounter with a car, an encounter that leaves Vida soaked, she finds a fairy house built by Lizzy Griffiths, the young girl that lives in the home. After exploring inside, she becomes trapped due to a sticky door and is accidentally captured. Vida races home, slowly, (fairies can't fly when their wings are wet) and she gathers the rest of the fairies to mount a rescue.

Meanwhile, Tinker Bell gets to know Lizzy, though it is hard for them to communicate. (Fairies can understand humans, but humans only hear bells ringing when fairies talk.) Lizzy believes in fairies, but her father, Dr. Griffiths is a man of science and dislikes Lizzy's talk of fairies. He is also a busy man with his research, not to mention the leaks in the roof. Tinker Bell helps with the latter so he'll have more time to spend with his daughter, but when he gets angry at all the talk of fairies and starts throwing out Lizzy's drawings, it is too much for Tinker Bell to take and she confronts him. Needless to say, the sight of a angry fairy is a little much to take, but after the initial shock, he's determined to capture the fairy.

Fortunately for Tinker Bell, Vida is just in time to rescue her. Unfortunately for Vida, she's captured in her place. Now Dr. Griffiths is racing toward London to show off this amazing discovery, so the fairies have to fly, with Lizzy, to stop him.

So after two strong outings, does the franchise hold up? Very well, I'm pleased to say. Tinker Bell as a character continues to shine here, involved in a very touching story about a her connecting with a neglected child of a very busy parent, and in doing so helping father and daughter bond. It is also a rather rousing rescue adventure, although this part of the story is not as large of a focus as the trailer made it seem.

Also, some of the secondary fairies get almost no screen time. I understand why Tinker Bell is the star of the movie, after all, her name is in the title, but, if you are a fan of some of the secondary fairies, you might be disappointed with how little they are in the movie.

If you or your children are fans of the first two movies, then Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue is worth picking up.

The Extras

Extras on the DVD included several deleted scenes, with intros describing why they were cut. They are mostly in storyboard form, but we also get to see the animation in different stages. There is a music video for "How to Believe" by Bridgit Mendler. There is an interactive Fairy Field Guide Builder and once you complete it, you get a short intro to Winter fairies, which will be the focus of the next movie. Finally, there's Design A Fairy House, which is a 2-minute look at the craft center at the Epcot Center where kids can make Fairy Houses of their own.

The Blu-ray is BD-Live enabled with the usual assortment of online community features, but that's it for exclusives.

The lack of exclusives is more than made up for with the video quality, which is top notch. This might be a direct-to-DVD, but you can't tell from the video quality. Colors are amazing, detail level is equally strong, and there are no compression artifacts or other problems. There are also no problems with the audio, even if the track is not exactly challenging to your home theater system. The dialogue is clear and there are enough directional effects used at the right times to not seem boring.

Finally, the film costs just $5 more on Blu-ray, and since it comes with the DVD, there's no reason not to buy it on High Definition.

The Verdict

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue shows that this franchise is far from over and while there are not a lot of extras on the DVD or Blu-ray, it is still easily worth picking up. I'm not exactly in the target demographic, but I can't wait for The Mysterious Winter Woods.

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