Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Fantasy > Comedy > Tinker Bell (2008/Disney Blu-ray)

Tinker Bell (Disney Blu-ray)


Picture: A-     Sound: A-     Extras: B-     Film: C+


With Disney churning out bad sequel after bad sequel on straight-to-video DVD, there was little faith that Tinker Bell could be any better than any of the recent Little Mermaid, Dalmatian, or Jungle Book sequels; but perhaps Blu-ray could change it all?


Tinker Bell was created entirely with the crew at Pixar, though their name is oddly absent from the Blu-ray casing.  The new Tinker Bell centric tale rewrites the mythology of the Peter Pan star as the story takes off in a little magical nook known as Pixie Hollow.  Now voiced by Mae Whitman, Tinker Bell seems to be a special brand of fairy that had an odd and elusive appearance into fairy culture as she appears in an outside corner of Neverland, unlike other fairies who have their own set of established rules, special culture and social system.  The appearance of a fully grown Tinker Bell almost seems to be “virgin birth” or Immaculate Conception; there is something special about that fairy.  The film would lead the viewer to believe that many secrets would be revealed about Tinker Bell and fairies, but in reality since the story has zero to do with Peter Pan (except for a brief Wendy appearance) Tinker Bell’s life is pretty much an open book that the writers could have done whatever they wanted.  The story that is followed is very loosely established and only follows a very general format of fairy culture that is light, airy, and family friendly.  The story holds true to the family values that Disney always embodied as the fairies change winter into spring and promotes values of faith, friendship, love, hope, and believing in yourself.  With the help of friends, fairies, and pixie dust the family friendly feature hopes to capture the hearts of families everywhere.


There is not much to fly into about Tinker Bell.  The first straight-to-video Disney Blu-ray hit the television screen with a better presence than this reviewer ever expected, but the in the end the feature still lacked the true heart that Disney and Pixar fans alike have come to expect.  The story was family friendly and had its moments, but overall was anything but captivating.  Some of the plot choices were confusing and the sheer disregard to the original Peter Pan plot left the film emptier than fulfilled creatively.  The voice acting by America Ferrera and Lucy Liu made the film a tad more bearable, but fell far short of saving the film.  Tinker Bell by and large felt forced.  It felt as though Disney wanted to push one of their past classics to the surface again and Tinker Bell was the one who took the hit this time around.  Tinker Bell was a character (though memorable) that did not have too much of an impact on the Peter Pan plot, so whereas giving her more depth may have seemed like a good idea, in reality the concept failed to shine and quickly fell flat.  I still believe Disney and I will be here waiting. *Clap* *Clap* *Clap*


This new Disney Blu-ray is sprinkled with a number of magical extras and a more than delightful picture and sound presentation.  The picture is presented in a 1080p/AVC mpeg-4 Video in 1.78 X 1 Widescreen that is simply out of this world.  Most direct-to-video features are extremely lackluster and blasé, leaving fans expecting much more.  Tinker Bell, whereas not the best film ever made, presents a picture quality that is among some of the best on Blu-ray to date.  It does not quite have the texture or atmosphere that films such as Ratatouille or Cars possessed, but with solid blacks, vibrant colors, brilliant contrast, and even the most minor detail popping off the screen the image is insanely crisp.  There is not even the slightest distortion, compression, or artifact to note.  All in all, Tinker Bell is one of the best Blu-ray image presentations someone can see at this time.  The sound is presented in an Uncompressed PCM 5.1 Surround Mix (48Hz/24-bit) that ranks right up there with the picture quality.  Tinker Bell manages to use the entire soundstage where every twinkle, bang, and pop is heard with excellent precision and wonderful directionality.  The films music was a bit too lighthearted and childish for this reviewer, but never the less it projected well and gave the film a tad more character.


The extra features (mainly geared toward children) were plentiful, but lacked rewatchability and overall content.  The extras include Deleted Scenes, a Selena Gomez “Fly to Your Heart” Music Video, a Short Film entitled “Ever Wonder” that combines live action and CGI as Tinker Bell and friends change the world from winter to spring, an Interactive Game “Tinker Training” that is somewhat difficult to maneuver and adjust to, some previews, and a Featurette entitled “Creating Pixie Hollow” (10 minutes) that takes the viewer through the creative process with the Pixar CGI team.  The featurette is short and to the point.  There is also one final Blu-ray exclusive “Magical Guide to Pixie Hollow” map feature that gives the viewer tid bits of information on each Pixie site.  Overall, the extras are in no way just “slapped together,” but they are also in no way exciting or worth much of the viewers’ time.


What can be said about Tinker Bell in the end is that if anything it has taken straight-to-video Disney features to the next level.  With the exception of perhaps Aladdin: The Return of Jafar (which wasn’t even that great), no Disney straight-to-video release has ever had a true impact or looked like it was worth the time, money, or effort; Tinker Bell, somewhat, changes all of that.  The Blu-ray release above all else had amazing picture and sound presentations, the feature film was not all too great, but it had more heart and storyline than most.  This reviewer can easily recommend this new Disney Blu-ray to videophiles and families alike.



-   Michael P. Dougherty II  



 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com