It seems Chief Justice Michael Stailey's reviews only show up once in a Blue Moon.
"The changing of the seasons brings wonder to the world. For ages has the magic of the fairies been unfurled, but nature's greatest changes come beneath the autumn sky and mysteries reveal themselves as harvest time draws nigh. This year, a shimmering Blue mMoon will rise before the frost. Perhaps its rays can light the way to find what has been lost."
Facts of the Case
To celebrate this year's unique Harvest Revelry, the Tinker Fairies have been tasked with creating a unique scepter topped with a rare moonstone to capture the light of the Blue Moon, thus creating blue pixie dust to restore the Pixie Dust Tree, a signaling of rebirth and regeneration. At Fairy Mary's (Jane Horrocks, Absolutely Fabulous) recommendation, The Minister of Autumn has awarded Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman, Arrested Development) the job. Her friend Terrence's (Jesse McCartney, Keith) expertise in moonstone lore will certainly come in handy, as they only have one full moon before the Blue Moon rises, and the design must be perfect to maximize the stone's exposure. The problem is a little too much togetherness and the pressure of the job has Tink on edge—and that frustration leads to ultimate disaster.
Masking her sorrows, she joins her friends at Fairy Tale Theatre whose performance focuses on the legend of The Enchanted Mirror of Incanta. As the story goes, the mirror was forged by fairy magic and has the power to grant its possessor three wishes. But long ago pirates stormed Neverland, captured a fairy, and forced her to reveal the mirror's secret location. The scoundrels were able to use two wishes, before their ship was destroyed upon the rocks of a secluded island—the mirror lost forever. However, rumor says an ancient sea chant holds the clues to the mirror's location, setting Tink off alone to uncover the enchanted object and use its final wish to locate a replacement moonstone before the Blue Moon rises.
One of the smartest things Bob Iger has done for the company was placing John Lasseter in charge of Disney's feature animation team. While I was initially hesitant about the reveal of the Disney Fairies brand, the first two films have proven to be absolute delights—robust characters, strong performances, beautiful artwork, and quality storytelling infused with real human emotion, unlike the countless vapid cash grabs that came before.
Unlike Tinker Bell, which was an origin story for Tink and the residents of Pixie Hollow, this adventure focuses on our heroine's complex relationship with Terence, the Dust Fairy, and new friend Blaze, the lightning bug. Like many people possessing exceptional intelligence, she's a bit deficient in graces of social interaction, which leads to all sorts of problems. While Tink's friends we came to know in the first film are all present, Lost Treasure gives us the chance to spend more time discovering the inner Tink and her innate ability to take what may spell tragedy for most folks and turn it into untold opportunity, success, and personal fulfillment.
We get to meet three fantastic new characters in Lost Treasure, the first being the aforementioned Blaze. For as much as audiences developed an instant attachment to the mute Tinker Bell in Peter Pan, the same effect is felt with here with Blaze. His endearment may have been a complete accident on the part of the filmmakers (he was not intended to stick around past this film), but this little bug seems destined for big things. The other two characters of note are The Trolls, as voiced by veteran voice actors Rob Paulsen (Pinky from Pinky and the Brain) and Jeff Bennett (Dexter's dad from Dexter's Laboratory). They're only on screen for a short amount of time, but the characterization of this combative Abbott & Costello pair—with Jeff doing a near dead-on impersonation of Herve Villechaize (Fantasy Island) for the short troll—demands much more of a presence in future films. Whether that'll happen, we'll just have to wait and see.
What I love most about this series is its ability to get kids interested and invested in nature, without being preachy or heavy handed. The beauty of the landscapes, the responsibilities of each fairy clan, and their connection of the plants, trees, animals, and insects is seamlessly organic. The film also underscores the importance of friends and family. While we often feel compelled to go it alone and clean up our own mistakes without burdening anyone else, it's only by leveraging the power of collaboration and bringing out the best in each other that we truly make a difference in the world around us.
This is a beautiful looking and sounding film! Spoiled by the artistry of Pixar's CG animation, most everything else tends to come up short, especially the lower budget direct-to-video projects. With Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, Toon Disney stays lock-step with its predecessor, turning in magnificent landscapes, sharp character designs, fluid movement, and sweeping action. (Parents take note: There is one battle sequence in the third act which might prove a bit much for your sensitive little ones. You'll see it coming.) Presented in 1.78:1 1080p widescreen with MPEG-4 AVC encoding, you'll be dazzled by the color palate and sharp, unencumbered attention to detail, especially when it comes to things like hair, animal fur, plants, and water. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is relatively front heavy, failing to take full advantage of what could have been an immersive soundscape. However, composer Joel McNeely turns in yet another adventurous and emotionally-charged score, which picks up the slack for the under-utilized speakers. In short, there is nothing bargain basement about the production values on this film.
When it comes to bonus features, there is plenty of room for improvement. A distinct lack of an audio commentary and any behind-the-scenes featurettes makes this release more EPK than what we're used to seeing from Disney.
Deleted Scenes (16 min)
Alternate Scenes (4 min)
Magical Guide to Pixie Hollow (5 min)
Pixie Hollow Comes to WDW (8 min)
"The Gift of a Friend" Music Video (3 min)
Sneak Peek at Tinker Bell
and the Great Fairy Rescue
Yet another value add to the Peter Pan franchise, Tinker Bell continues to carve out a much larger presence for herself in the Disney universe, and does so with style.
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