Tinker Bell And The Pirate Fairy (U)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/02/2014

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 78 mins

Another solid instalment in the Tinker Bell franchise, this should once again play well to its target audience of pre-teen girls without annoying dragged-along adults, thanks to colourful animation, superb voice work and resonant themes - there's even a catchy musical number this time round.

What's it all about?
Directed by Peggy Holmes, Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy is the fifth instalment in Disney's series of animated Tinker Bell movies. The film begins with rebellious dust-keeper fairy Zarina (voiced by Christina Hendricks) making a series of discoveries when she conducts some forbidden experiments with blue pixie dust. However, one of her experiments goes horribly wrong, causing her to run away from Pixie Hollow in disgrace.

A year later, Zarina returns (complete with wild hair-do) and steals Pixie Hollow's vital supply of blue pixie dust, intending to help a young Captain Hook (Tom Hiddleston) create a flying pirate ship. Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) and her fairy friends (Angela Bartys as Fawn, Raven-Symone as Iridessa, Megan Hilty as Rosetta, Lucy Liu as Silvermist and Pamela Adlon as Vidia) give chase and are forced to do battle with both Hook's pirate crew and Zarina herself, but things get complicated when Zarina manages to switch all their talents around with a pixie dust concoction.

The Good
The voice performances are excellent: Mae Whitman is engaging and likeable as Tink and there's strong support from Bartys, Raven-Symone, Hilty, Adlon and Liu, all of whom get more to do this time round. Similarly, Hiddleston is an inspired choice for Hook and is clearly enjoying himself, while Hendricks is sparky and sympathetic as pirate fairy Zarina. (And while we're at it, can someone please make a live-action version of this film with those two playing the same roles?)

As with the previous films, the script does an excellent job of gently pushing several resonant themes (friendship, sisterhood, forgiveness, empowerment through education) without getting bogged down in sentimentality or sappy love interest nonsense (if Zarina has a crush on Hook, it is never stated here - she seems to be more attracted to the sense of adventure he represents). In addition, the script has a lot of fun with the Peter Pan prequel elements (Hook still has both his hands and there's a ticking clock and a baby crocodile), the swordfight scenes are surprisingly decent and there's even a catchy song about a flying pirate ship.

The Bad
The only real problem with the film is that there's relatively little in the way of humour, despite the potential inherent in both the pirate set-up and the mixing up of the various fairy powers, although, to be fair, the script does at least attempt a few sight gags this time round, even if they don't quite hit their targets.

Worth seeing?
Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy is an enjoyable addition to the Tinker Bell series, enlivened by strong voice performances from guest stars Hiddleston and Hendricks, lively animation and a decent musical number.

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Content updated: 23/10/2017 06:49

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