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Blu-ray Review: Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue

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“Faith, trust, and pixie dust.”

The new animated Tinkerbell origin series continues with Tinkerbell, voiced again by Mae Whitman, and her friends encountering humans for the first time. This two-disc Blu-ray version (in 1080p High Def (1.78:1)) really showcases the strong animation as a fairy-friendly girl named Lizzy, voiced by Lauren Mote, and her father, Dr. Griffiths, a nature scientist, vacation in the English countryside as the fairies gather nearby.

Silvermist, voiced by Lucy Liu; Iridessa, voiced by Raven-Symone; Rosetta, voiced by Kristin Chenoweth; Fawn, voiced by Angela Bartys; and Vidia, voiced by Pamela Adlon must help Tinkerbell along with her fellow “tinkers” Bobble, voiced by Rob Paulsen, and Clank, voiced by Jeff Bennett. Tinkerbell’s friend Terrence, voice by Jeese McCartney, and Blaze the Firefly make an appearance while the main character focus is the relationship between Tinkerbell and Lizzy.

Tinkerbell’s five fairy friends and fellow tinkers provide great moments of heroism and comedy as a skeptical scientist and Mr. Twitches the cat create some mild conflict. Screenwriters develop the characters well throughout the approximately one hour and 17 minute running time. Screenwriters Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere join forces with Groundling and Second City vets Rob Muir and Bob Hilgenberg and storywriters Bradley Raymond, who also directed this film, and Jeffrey M. Howard for a strong, fast-paced script. Simple comic touches like the “tinkers” sewing scene and a creative voice translation mechanic between Lizzy and Tinkerbell enhance the film without making older viewers roll their eyes.

These writers create a great sense of exploration and problem solving that engages viewers. Even a predictable scenario where Tinker solves some household issues for Dr. Griffiths transforms into a creative adventure that eventually leads Tinkerbell to an important decision pitting her between her world and this new human environment.

Lizzy discovers an amazing new world with Tinkerbell while trying to convince her father of fairies existence after her lifelong fantasy comes true. “Without proof, it’s just a fairy tale,” says Dr. Griffiths, well voiced by Michael Sheen. His growing sense of wonder and a little bit of fear eventually turn opportunistic as more extraordinary actions are necessary to resolve the main conflict.

The Celtic-style music soundtrack continues with a great score by returning composer Joel McNeely while special features include a music video of the new song “How to Believe” performed by Bridgit Mendler. Other quality songs include “Come Flying With Me” and “Summer’s Just Begun” by Cara Dillon who also provides great film narration along with “Forgiven” by Sanctus Real. No official musical soundtrack release yet, so hopefully it is coming soon.

The 24-bit DTS-HD master audio English track, Dolby Digital 5.1 French track, and English (SDH), French, and Spanish subtitles provide high quality audio options while the graphics really make this film special. The sharp color compositions, iconic shots (like Tinkerbell in the bathtub), and textured renderings in the mud and rain, especially when Lydia falls, puts viewers further into an enjoyable fairy fantasy world.

This set includes a BD Live feature, a “Magical Guide through Pixie Hollow” featurette along with the stand out “Fairy Field Guide Builder” trivia based game where viewers make their own fairy field guides just like Lizzy. After completing each section (four total), viewers unlock a sequence featuring even more fairy background information.

The additional scene “A Real Live Fairy” features a great boyhood flashback of Dr. Griffiths, which develops his character even more while the two minute “Design a Fairy House” contest special leads viewers through a real fairy house design contest, won by Zoe Periale, where director Raymond discusses this unique contribution and real life experience.

This set also includes almost 15 minutes of insightful deleted scenes featuring optional introductions by director Brad Raymond and producer Helen Kalafatic. Disney easily covers this whole experience on Blu-ray (ideal for the living room setting), DVD (car or kid’s room) and digital copy (portable media device). Young ones can also continue the experience in Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow online virtual world and send in for a special charm bracelet offer.

Viewers can also enjoy a preview of the upcoming Tangled movie and the next Tinker Bell animated film titled Tinker Bell and the Mysterious Winter Woods due for home video release in 2011. Fans can expect even more in 2012 with Tinker Bell: Race Through the Seasons. This highly recommended Blu-ray set has great extra feature complimenting a high quality, all ages film that was released in theaters overseas in Europe (also available on DVD). Rated G.

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