My opinion right after watching the film
My opinion right after watching the film is that while its storyline is kind of predictable, there was a lot of effort put into this film, and a lot of heart in it. I remember watching it when it came out (since they always showed it in TV) and liking it fine, and not much has really changed. It is nice to see Tinkerbell talk.
This film was supposed to be released in the fall of 2007, but production issues pushed it back a year. Apparently they had to rewrite the script 24 times, and went through multiple directors. The head of DisneyToons since 1994 Sharon Morrill left the company because of issues with the film, and the overly large budget for this film. Eve though the agreement involving Lasseter did not cover DisneyToons, he became very influential in the company ever since.
So the film starts with the laugh of a baby, which causes a wisk of a dandelion to blow into the air, and into Pixie Hollow, which is a part of Neverland. We soon learn this dandelion to be Tinkerbell (Mae Whitman), as she grows into a fairy. She is told to pick a talent by the head fairies, which eventually leads to her becoming a tinker fairy. I like the introduction of this movie. It lets us know that it is going to be different form Peter Pan, and explains the world they are in, though keeping some of the connections. She is soon recruited by two other tinker fairies named Bobble (Raul Paulson) and Clank (Jeff Bennet). While she is out sending the products to the other fairies, we seen meet animal fairy Fawn (America Ferrera), water fairy Silvermist (Lucy Liu), light fairy Iridessa (Raven Symone), and a garden fairy Rosetta (Kristen Chenoweth). She soon develops a conflict with wind fairy Vidia (Pamela Adlon).
She goes back to her work area, where she is overheard complaining to Fairy Mary (Jane Horrocks). Tinkerbell flies to her friends (who are shocked that she got out of bed), and decides that they will train her to be a fairy with one of their skills. Silvermist tries to teach her how to create water droplets on webs, which fails, Iridessa tries to get light from sunrise to put on fireflies, which fails as well. Dawn tries to teach Tinkerbell how to teach birds how to flu, which fails as well. Rosetta outright refuses to help Tinkerbell, since it is hopeless, and is not destined for this.
After being tricked to self believe by the pixie fairy Terrance (Jesse McCartney), she comes to realize that there is a way to fix all of this mess. She creates a bunch of trinkets that will help make everyone’s’ job quick enough to send Spring to the mainland in the morning. Tinkerbell brings her idea to Queen Clarion but is interrupted by Vidia, who yells at her for being a screw up The two go back and forth, and the wind fairy reveals to everyone that she sabotaged Vidia, which she is punished for. The Tinkers make the products to get to the others, and everything is restored for the winter.
She is allowed to go to the mainland to deliver the music box, and it ends up being Wendy Darling’s box. The other Tinkers are allowed as well, and the film ends with Spring coming to life, and the other fairies having fun.
It is refreshing to have characters that are not bland pieces of pixel, but they are not obnoxious and overwhelming as well. They are not deep characters, but they are likable enough for the film.
DisneyToons was receiving help from WDAS/Pixar animators at this point, so the CGI animation is pretty up-to-par. The transition to CGI did not change Tinkerbell’s designs, and all of the other fairies share the same dignified style. I was not really astounded with the animation, but it does the job well.
Honestly, the songs and score in this film are extremely subdued and toned down, which was clearly intentional. There are no belting, musical songs, and the singer sings in a soft tone to narrate the scenarios in the film. The score has a majestic feeling to it, with emphasis on the flute I believe.
Reception at Release
When the film was released on September 18th, 2008, it sold over 3 million DVD records making $53 million, and during its brief release in theaters, it made about $9 million.
Critically, It was actually extremely well-received.
Today, it is seen as some of the best DisneyToons films, and is the franchise that saved the franchise. A lot of people do not consider it in the same calibre as the other DisneyToons films due to the increase in quality.
31/40 = 78%