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4.6 out of 5 stars
Tinker Bell
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94 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2008
Format: DVD
"Tinker Bell" has gotten a lot of online commentary, most of it negative, so I wasn't really excited to watch my preview copy of this movie. I was VERY pleasantly surprised by what I saw. "Tinker Bell" is an enjoyable movie, perfect for children and even entertaining for adults. Based upon what I'd read previously, I would not have gone to a theater to see this; however, after watching it, I believe this movie is worthy of both big screen AND home entertainment viewing. Unfortunately, most of the banter has focused on the fact that Tinker Bell speaks. Personally, this is a minor point, as the animators have done a tremendous job of having Tinker Bell retain her spunky nature and movements that we all know from "Peter Pan (2-Disc Platinum Edition)."

The story is fairly simple; Tinker Bell arrives in Pixie Hollow, where all the Fairies have talents. It is discovered that (no surprise) Tinker Bell's talent is "tinkering" or fixing things. However, in Tink's opinion, this is not very exciting. She'd rather be one of the Fairies who gets to take Spring to "the mainland" (aka London). As you can imagine, Tink's early time at Pixie Hollow is filled with figuring out who she really is and that she is just as important as the other fairies who have more glamorous talents. There is plenty of humor, emotion, and visual beauty that helps elevate what seems like an oft-told tale.

The animation is fantastic; although it is obviously computer generated, it is apparent that the level of the animators doing it is such that they focus on camera movements, lighting, color, and emotional nuances rather than just the basics. Still, the characters do still have somewhat of a doll-like/mechanical quality. The movement and facial emoting is a vast improvement over some of the early computer animation, but it does still have a little way to go.

There is also a first-rate cast behind the scenes, giving the voices to these animated characters: Anjelica Huston (Queen Clarion), Lucy Liu (Silvermist), America Ferrera (Fawn), Kristin Chenoweth (Rosetta), Kathy Najimy (Minister of Summer), and my favorite, Jane Horrocks as the sassy Fairy Mary. The Celtic-inspired score by Joel McNeely is also enjoyable and the perfect accompaniment to the film.

The extras include:

* Tinker Trainer: Hone your skills as a Tinker Fairy in this activity

* Magical guide to Pixie Hollow: Discover the Ancient Realm of Fairies with Tinker Bell

* Ever Wonder: Discover how Fairies put the "wonder" in natural wonders. Combining special effects with live action, you are "shown" how grass grows between the cracks in the sidewalk, etc. A cute little featurette.

* Creating Pixie Hollow: See how the filmmakers created this magical realm.

* All-new music video, "Fly To Your Heart," by Disney Channel's Selena Gomez.

* Deleted scenes include optional introductions by Bradley Raymond (director) and Jeannine Roussel (producer): "Queen Clarion's Pixie Dust," "Fairies Venture to the Mainland," "Becoming a Garden Fairy," "Tinker Bell's Tinkering Talents," "Vidia Tricks Tinker Bell," "Fairies Express Tinker Bell's Importance"
While enjoyable, they are not really missed from the film.

* Sneak previews, most notably the Blu-ray version of 1940's "Pinocchio." It looks fantastic! Being released March 2009.

Blu-ray exclusive content:

* Disney BD Live: Connect with Family & friends through this innovative movie-watching experience

Movie specs: on Blu-ray, 1080 HD/1:78:1 video, with English 5.1 Uncompress & English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio.
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82 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2008
Format: DVD
Saw this a week ago in Los Angeles at the El Capitan Theater. If you're expecting a Pixar caliber story - look elsewhere. If you're looking for Pixar artistry, this doesn't quite reach those dizzying heights. But if you're after quality Disney entertainment for the little ones in your family (especially the female ones) you can't really do much better. I have a four year old girl, and this was the first movie (of three that we've seen together on the big screen) that she absolutely loved. She enjoyed Wall-E, but much of it went over her head. Horton Hears a Who, was also enjoyable and slightly too manic - but again, a lot of the wry humor and topical stuff she missed completely.

This movie had her enthralled from beginning to end - and I have to say was far less than painful for me to watch as well. Now this isn't a ringing endorsement that could be afforded a Toy Story 1 or 2 or Cars (which are great films for BOTH parent and child to enjoy) but I have to say this film completely outclasses the Disney straight to DVD sequels that I've seen (dreck like Cinderella 3 and Alladin 2 - YUCK) and simply blows away the Barbie movies (which though excruciating to watch at times, do captivate my little girl and are surprisingly pro-female).

Tinkerbelle, ultimately, is not a film for the young and young at heart - as the great Disney movies are; but it is leaps and bounds above the usual straight to DVD product that they have been shilling for the past decade.

The visuals are also light years beyond anything previously released in a straight to video format, and hold up to and even exceed the previous Disney CG features such as Chicken Little or Meet the Robinsons.

If you've got a 3 to 8 year old little girl - this is a must get. Young boys will enjoy it too, there's more than enough to sustain interest.
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77 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2008
Format: DVD
We are Disney passholders and were lucky enough to be invited to watch the movie this afternoon in it's entirety at Disney World! Let me just say it was wonderful!! Both myself and my almost 4 year old daughter were mesmerized by the graphics, the color and the story. It is very well done and I hope everyone has the opportunity to see it on the big screen like we did today because it is just beautiful. FYI, there are 3 more movies to follow this one, hopefully on the big screen. The message of the movie is also great for kids, that we can't all be good at everything but that's ok! Tink is such a cute character as are the other fairies, I sometimes forgot they weren't real! LOVED THIS MOVIE!!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2008
Format: Blu-ray
"Tinker Bell" has gotten a lot of online commentary, most of it negative, so I wasn't really excited to watch my preview copy of this movie. I was VERY pleasantly surprised by what I saw. "Tinker Bell" is an enjoyable movie, perfect for children and even entertaining for adults. Based upon what I'd read previously, I would not have gone to a theater to see this; however, after watching it, I believe this movie is worthy of both big screen AND home entertainment viewing. Unfortunately, most of the banter has focused on the fact that Tinker Bell speaks. Personally, this is a minor point, as the animators have done a tremendous job of having Tinker Bell retain her spunky nature and movements that we all know from "Peter Pan (2-Disc Platinum Edition)."

The story is fairly simple; Tinker Bell arrives in Pixie Hollow, where all the Fairies have talents. It is discovered that (no surprise) Tinker Bell's talent is "tinkering" or fixing things. However, in Tink's opinion, this is not very exciting. She'd rather be one of the Fairies who gets to take Spring to "the mainland" (aka London). As you can imagine, Tink's early time at Pixie Hollow is filled with figuring out who she really is and that she is just as important as the other fairies who have more glamorous talents. There is plenty of humor, emotion, and visual beauty that helps elevate what seems like an oft-told tale.

The animation is fantastic; although it is obviously computer generated, it is apparent that the level of the animators doing it is such that they focus on camera movements, lighting, color, and emotional nuances rather than just the basics. Still, the characters do still have somewhat of a doll-like/mechanical quality. The movement and facial emoting is a vast improvement over some of the early computer animation, but it does still have a little way to go.

There is also a first-rate cast behind the scenes, giving the voices to these animated characters: Anjelica Huston (Queen Clarion), Lucy Liu (Silvermist), America Ferrera (Fawn), Kristin Chenoweth (Rosetta), Kathy Najimy (Minister of Summer), and my favorite, Jane Horrocks as the sassy Fairy Mary. The Celtic-inspired music is also enjoyable and the perfect accompaniment to the film.

The extras include:

* Tinker Trainer: Hone your skills as a Tinker Fairy in this activity

* Magical guide to Pixie Hollow: Discover the Ancient Realm of Fairies with Tinker Bell

* Ever Wonder: Discover how Fairies put the "wonder" in natural wonders. Combining special effects with live action, you are "shown" how grass grows between the cracks in the sidewalk, etc. A cute little featurette.

* Creating Pixie Hollow: See how the filmmakers created this magical realm.

* All-new music video by Disney Channel's Selena Gomez.

* Deleted scenes: enjoyable, but not really missed.

* Sneak previews, most notably the Blu-ray version of 1940's "Pinocchio." It looks fantastic! Being released March 2009.

Blu-ray exclusive:

* Disney BD Live: Connect with Family & friends through this innovative movie-watching experience

Movie specs: on Blu-ray, 1080 HD/1:78:1 video, with English 5.1 Uncompress & English 5.1 Dolby Digital audio.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
TINKER BELL is a computer animated film that explains the origins of the famous fairy and sidekick to Peter Pan. It is the first in a series of new Direct-to-DVD films being planned, promoting the newest Disney produced franchise, the Disney Fairies. The movie begins with a baby laughing that sends a part of a plant from our world through the sky and into Neverland where at Pixie Hollow it rests beneath the fairy dust stream and is turned into a new fairy. Taking a cue from Harry Potter, the fairy goes around from object to object looking for the object that will cue her of her talent and give her clan. It is the Tinker's hammer that chooses the new fairy and the Queen bestows her name, Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell is very excited about being a tinker. Tinkering doesn't seem as interesting or as important as helping baby birds to fly or pollinating plants. However, Tink does like to Tinker and is eager to use her talent until she discovers that Tinker Fairies aren't allowed to go to the Mainland to bring Spring. This distresses Tinker Bell, but she is determined to visit the Mainland. Along the way she undergoes some misadventures that eventually leads to a major accident that forces Tink to accept who she is.

The animation in TINKER BELL is stunning. The colors are brilliant and the movement of some of the characters is lifelike. At the same time, things are too realistic. Vibrant and vivid as Pixie Hollow is no one will mistake anything in this video for being anything other than animation.

The film is voiced by a very talented cast that includes America Ferrera, Kristin Chenoweth, Anjelica Huston, Lucy Liu, Raven-Symone, and Mae Whitman. The score was written by Joel McNeely and many of the songs are performed Mairead Nesbitt of Celtic Woman.

The movie is entertaining enough to watch and the target audience of this film, young girls, will probably enjoy TINKER BELL the most. I found the film to be relatively entertaining with just the right mix of humor and drama, though I found the central message of the movie (accept yourself for who you are) too syrupy to be of any substance. Still, TINKER BELL is better than much children's direct to DVD dreck that is produced, including some previous Disney releases, e.g. CINDERELLA II.

The DVD includes a few extras including a DVD-ROM activity entitled Tinker Trainer; Magical Guide to Pixie Hollow, an exploration into the realms of the fairies with Tinker Bell; a short entitled "Ever Wonder" that uses live action and a little animation to illustrate all the things fairies do in our world; the music video "Fly To Your Heart" sung by Selena Gomez (from THE WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE on the Disney Channel); a few deleted scenes; and previews for upcoming DVD releases.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2008
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
You see a lot of reviews saying how little kids will love this movie, well, I'm 43 and I don't have any kids, and I thought this was one of the best Disney videos I've seen in years.

Full of color and light and fun, an uplifting message, gorgeous animation, and a wonderfully imaginative take on the fairies' world, I enjoyed this movie so much I went to work the next day and told everyone about it.

If you want to recapture that feeling of innocence, joy, and imagination that you used to have as a kid watching the Wonderful World of Disney or seeing the Disney cartoon movies for the first time, this is the way to go. A sweet, charming, cheerful movie, with great characters that I'll be happy to see again. And I'll get to, since there are apparently a couple of sequels coming out. I sincerely hope they hold up to this standard.

By the way, I watched my copy in 3D with a pair of TV Eyes 3-D glasses I found online. This movie looks fantastic in 3D, almost like it was made for it! That may be responsible for part of my enthusiasm. I definitely suggest watching it in 3D if you have the chance. It's amazing.

I've noticed Disney has finally started to go back to it's roots, making more imaginative, wonderful, and heartwarming stories again (instead of just refilming old movies) if this video is an example of the way they're headed, then I'm back on the train for the ride. This may be about an old character, but it's a fresh new movie in it's own right. If I'd never heard of Tinker Bell I'd still think it was excellent entertainment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I saw Peter Pan as a boy when it first hit the theaters. Yes I know; I'm giving away my age. Back on topic, I thought Tinkerbell was the only good thing in that movie. That, and flying over a foggy London at midnight.

I was chronically late for scout meetings because I had to see the opening scene from Disney's Wonderful World of Color which featured the Tinkster making magical fireworks.

In this movie, I was once again charmed by the character.

Suspend your cynicism and let the movie take you to a simpler, sweeter place and time. The world will still be there when you get back.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2008
Format: DVD
I was lucky enough to see a this early, and it is a truly wonderful film, especially for a straight to video feature. I prefer 2D animation to 3D, but the animation here is beautiful, particularly with the illustration of the different seasons. The story is captivating, charming, and full of magic, and the explanation of each fairy's talent is tons of fun. Tinker Bell sure has come a long way from the jealous little pixie in "Peter Pan". As some have mentioned, Mae Whitman does a wonderful job giving Tink her first voice. And the soundtrack is lovely and quite refreshing. It has a distinctive Celtic flavor, and the very talented Loreena McKennitt lends her voice to the piece.

I can't wait to buy this and watch it again with my 10-year-old sister!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2008
Format: DVD
I'm not particularly a fan of cartoon movies, but when Tinkerbell was released, I decided to sit down and watch it with my daughter and son. I'm so glad I did!

Tinkerbell is by far one of the best movies by Disney. Finally, Disney made a movie with a really important theme and message: Everyone is special and unique; there is nobody who can do what you do, like you do it. I walked away after watching Tinkerbell, feeling better about myself (and I'm 32 years old!). If I felt that way, then I know both my kids did as well.

This movie has a great message that every child can benefit from. I especially recommend every mother watch this with your daughter(s). Even my 5-year old son enjoyed it and watched it 3 more times the first day after we watched it together!

BRIEF SYNOPSIS OF MOVIE: Tinkerbell wants to be just like all the other dust fairies. She watches them bringing beautiful things to life and she wants to be just like them. But Tinkerbell is a tinker fairy, so when she attempts to bring spring things to life like all the others, she ends up creating mass chaos instead. Because of her wanting so badly to be like all the other fairies, she destroys all the hard work everyone else has been doing to bring spring to the Mainland.

Tinkerbell finally has an "AHA!" moment, when she understands that even though she isn't like all the others, her unique talent (fixer-upper) is exactly what is needed if the fairies can save spring. She quickly puts a plan into action, gathering all sorts of "stuff" and tinkers her way into creating tools all the fairies can use to save spring.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
I just watched TINKER BELL on Blu-ray and I was quite impressed. Time was that direct-to-DVD meant, well, bad. Low production values, second tier talent, and a disposable story. Lately, however, a number of studios have begun struggling with ways to develop a business model that allowed them to make profits on projects that bypassed theater releases. For instance, MGM has had some success with the Stargate movies, which have a solid but niche market, enough fans to buy DVDs with enthusiasm, but not enough general public support to justify a general release into theaters. Universal has reputedly been thinking of the possibility of doing the same with a SERENITY sequel, a film that merely broke even (after international sales) in the theaters, but has been a huge success on disc. My point is that it is no longer possible to dismiss anything that makes its debut on disc.

TINKER BELL is a great example of the greatly increased quality of direct-to-DVD productions. Visually, this is just a stunning movie. Story apart, there is never a moment when the film isn't utterly riveting. As an adult I found it great to look at from beginning to end. I think small children, especially young girls, will find it entrancing. The story isn't very complex or nuanced, but there are some nice messages of empowerment. If classic Disney frequently was mired in notions that the primary hope of women was for someday their prince to come, this one's theme is of a young fairy striving to be all that she can be. The emphasis is on what she can make of herself, not only the need for a romantic Other to make her life complete.

I mentioned the relative lack of talent in traditional direct-to-DVD releases. That is not the case here. Tinker Bell is voiced by Mae Whitman, who many will know as the delightfully forgetable Ann on ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (viewers of the show will know what I meant by that). Some of the main fairies are voiced by such excellent performers as Kristin Chenoweth, America Ferrera, Angelica Huston, Lucy Liu, and Jane Horrocks.

Honestly, the movie is not going to blow most adults away. This is very definitely a kids film. As someone who raised a daughter as a single dad, however, I am confident that small children, especially young girls, are going to love this movie. And it is something that adults will be able to enjoy watching a first time and not find too unpleasant on the unaccountable repeated viewings that very young children love to engage in (there are still many animated movies that my daughter watched a few dozen times that I have nearly every scene memorized).

If you have a small child, this is a very good movie to consider picking up, especially if the child in question is a girl. It features very high production standards, is unbelievably beautiful to look at, and has a much better than average moral. And it is clearly intended to be the first of at least two films, since an insert inside the case advertises a new Tinker Bell film to be released in the fall of 2009.
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