Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings
Slight, professionally crafted fluff from the Disney Fairies franchise
Enjoying a considerably more successful solo career than most animated characters could muster, Tinker Bell has now featured in four feature films in her own right, without making any reference to her original role in JM Barrie’s Peter Pan. As a key part of the Disney Fairies franchise, Tinker Bell has entertained little girls worldwide in a series of harmless adventures that are fortunately well under the radar of most adult cinemagoers.
Released straight to DVD and download in the States, Tinker Bell and the Secret of the Wings has been given a lick of 3D and flies into UK cinemas to mop up some pre-Xmas business. The slight plot sees Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) venturing into the mysterious woods, only to find that her wings have developed a magical sparkle. Her attempts to find out why this should be are frustrated when a hungry caterpillar munches its way through the relevant book in her library, leaving Tinker Bell no choice but to explore the woods for herself. With the help of her sister Periwinkle (Lucy Hale), Tinker Bell discovers a secret threatening the very existence of the fairy kingdom.
Disney certainly know how to target such product to their limited but lucrative audience of tutu-wearing, tiara sporting little darlings, even down to an over-qualified vocal cast including Anjelica Huston and Timothy Dalton. The lack of any real narrative conflict and the short running time might leave parents feeling a little short changed, but there’s no growing room supplied in the Tinker Bell franchise; it’s professionally crafted fluff, disposable as chewing gum, but likely to hit the spot for the specific female primary-school age-group the film is aimed squarely at. Just don’t expect any of the multi-layered humour that Pixar and Dreamworks have made their own.
General release from Fri 14 Dec.