We were a day later than we anticipated, but on Tuesday night my three kids and I had the chance to sit down and watch the latest installment in the Disney Fairies series, Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast.
The first thing I noticed? The HD animation is absolutely stunning. The first thing my daughters noticed? That Fawn’s dress was different. 🙂
The movie opens with Fawn and the other animal talent fairies interacting with adorable animals as a bit of montage for a new song. The soundtrack to this film had a familiar, beautiful sound we have come to expect from Pixie Hollow, with a little twist in scenes with heightened emotion and excitement. There wasn’t a “stand out” song like there have been in the last couple, but the music was definitely enjoyable and added to the overall movie. KT Tunstell and Bleu headline many of the songs, including the theme “1000 Years“.
While Tinker Bell is as spunky (and as loyal) as ever, this installment of the series definitely focuses on Fawn’s character development. From the beginning of the story when she tries to sneak a baby hawk out of Pixie Hollow (“Only grown hawks eat fairies!”) throughout the entire plot, we get to know her and her big heart for all animals.
Gennifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time‘s Snow White/Mary Margaret) voices Fawn (this time); the voice cast is otherwise very familiar (Mae Whitman, Megan Hilty, Lucy Liu, Raven Symone). Rosario Dawson joins the cast as Nyx, the leader of a new-to-viewers fairy talent group, the Scout Fairies. It is up to the scout fairies to keep Pixie Hollow safe, a task which is not always complementary to Fawn’s desire to take care of all kinds of animals. When Fawn discovers humongous footprints and follows them, she meets a mysterious animal – the NeverBeast. She befriends “Gruff” and learns all about him, trying to convince Tink and friends to keep the creature safe while the scout fairies are searching for him.
My thoughts, overall:
The movie was very good. We are big fans of the Fairies series, and this one did not disappoint. I will admit that through much of it, I found myself longing for the kind of plot that was in The Pirate Fairy – adventurous, nostalgic. I also have to admit, though, that I ended up crying during this one (for real!), and that there were ultimately many beautiful stories and themes. We enjoyed that it very neatly portrays the Fawn we have come to love from our beloved “Never Girls” series of novels. (Haven’t checked them out yet? I was hesitant, but we can’t get into the next one fast enough after each!)
My almost 3-year-old was legitimately scared of a few parts (tears and all), and my almost 7-year-olds were even anxious at times. The more intense scenes are absolutely nothing that should keep you from watching the movie. It is, after all, a Fairies movie, and all ends well. Sorry if that’s a spoiler 😉 Just be aware that with little ones, you should probably be prepared to watch with them so they have somewhere to hide intermittently.
Blu-Ray/HD Digital Copy Extras:
As with most releases anymore, there are a plethora of extra features that come with your purchase of Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.
5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff is a featurette with the director, sound designer, animation supervisor, and other similar folks from the making of the film. They each discuss inspiration, choices, and techniques for their respective roles, as well as how each contributes to making Gruff, Gruff.
My Dad’s Movie: the True Story of the NeverBeast features director Steve Loter’s daughter Calista. With the Santa Barbara Zoo as the backdrop, these two retell the story of Steve’s fear of large animals, and how Calista’s heart inspired him create this film.
Jeff Corwin’s Guide to Real-World NeverBeasts is a quick look at some “crazy critters” of the real world. For the Dumbo Octopus and several others, Jeff shares pictures, video, and fun facts proving that “real animals [can be] stranger than fiction!”
In Tink’n About Animals, Fawn gives a class on animal pack names with a fun song. It is made with a mix of adorable animation “drawings” and beautiful animation as Fawn interacts with her friends in “class”. both this and Gruff Love were trailers, of sorts, prior to the release of the movie and hint at the NeverBeast and his story.
There were also five Deleted Scenes, that a) actually held all three of my kids’ interests and b) answered the question about Fawn’s dress. 🙂
Overall, this is a great option to buy for any Disney- or Fairy-loving family! You can buy the digital copy on iTunes and the like, or the physical copy (in multiple formats) on Amazon or anywhere else movies are sold.