Making the Grades
The MPAA has rated Tinkerbell G.
Have you ever wondered about the origins of Tinker Bell, the jealously loyal companion of Peter Pan and iconic figure for Walt Disney's company? Well, the people in the studio's creative team have, and their answer is this beautifully animated direct-to-DVD movie.
Apparently, fairies are born each time a baby laughs, and this particular nymph (voiced by Mae Whitman) gets her start when the giggles of an English infant send a flower seed floating over the ocean until it lands on the isle of Neverland. There, some magical dust brings Tinker Bell to life.
As the young fairy is introduced to her new home in Pixie Hollow, she discovers it is the responsibility of her species to assist nature with the change of the seasons. Because there are so many jobs to be done, the work is divided, and each tiny being is given a special talent that decides to what group they belong. Some of the others she meets color leaves, paint flowers, coax baby birds to fly, or summon the wind. But the talent given to her is to be a tinker -- one of the team that builds from leaves and twigs the tools to be used by the rest. Disappointed with her lot, the ambitious novice tries to adapt herself to a more glamorous assignment.
Unfortunately, the results are disastrous. Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, the little green girl endangers the members of the community by attracting an attacking hawk and stirring up a pack of stinging thistles. When her actions leave a wake of destruction and jeopardize the arrival of spring, the sorry sprite has to look deep within to find what she has that might help fix the situation.
Filled with the positive message of becoming one's best self, rather than wanting to be someone else, the only negatives parents might find with this production are the few moments of peril previously mentioned (which may frighten very young viewers), and a slightly sensuous shot of Tink's legs when she uses a pair of shears to alter her leaf dress into a mini-skirt. (Almost all of the fairy folk sport shoulder-baring clothes.)
Perhaps the most delightful part of this tale is the art design. From the crafty use of natural objects to inspire pixie homes and gadgets, to costumes based on flower petals, the creative team has done an incredible job. And the most amazing scenes come when the artists employ a time-lapse photography style to show the transformation of winter to spring. While this story is sure to appeal best to female audiences, there is still enough magic from bud to blossom to cause even the most toughened soul to feel a sense of wonder.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Tinker Bell.
At first Tinker Bell is very happy with her assignment in Pixie Hollow. Why does her attitude change? Have you ever been influenced by the opinions of others?
Why do the talents others have sometimes look more exciting than our own? What does Tinker Bell learn when she tries to be something she is not? What is she able to accomplish when she begins to work with the skills and abilities she has? How can this lesson apply to real life?