Twitter Plot Summary: Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must stop a pirate fairy from causing mischief with some new fairy dust.
Five Point Summary:
1. Tinkering with fairy dust? Tut tut.
2. Hands up who thinks they know who the pirate fairy is?
3. Oh no, all their powers have been swapped!
4. Something’s amiss.
5. That rascal.
The first question likely to be raised by Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy is how it ever managed to get a wide cinema release instead of going directly to DVD as you might expect. It’s likely something to do with how poor the offerings have been in releases for kids this year, but at the same time The Pirate Fairy is a clear indication of the relatively poor quality of children’s entertainment at the cinema in 2014.
This is a film that is pitched perfectly at its target audience, namely the under fives. For everyone else – and boys, most likely – it’s as lightweight as Tinker Bell’s pixie dust, but without the magic abilities. It’s not too taxing in terms of the story or the themes on show, and the animation is surprisingly adept – another reason why it could make the transition to the big screen. The plot itself is simple – a renegade fairy leaves the community after experimenting with fair dust that causes all sorts of moderate levels of mayhem. Fast forward a year and she’s taken on command of a pirate ship and crew, and it’s up to Tinker Bell and her friends to stop her plans. Whatever they may be. The remainder of the plot sees the obligatory elements of movies for youngsters. There’s much derring do of a piratey nature, a cute big-eyed animal (in this instance a baby crocodile), cutesy colourful fairies for girls to enjoy, and a theme of learning the benefits of friendship and being able to embrace new skills and new ways of doing things. Just imagine if they made one of these with no moral at its centre? The world would stop spinning, no doubt.
It would be very cynical to say that elements of the story are designed to sell more toys – at one point Tinker Bell and her fairy friends are splashed with rainbow dust that both switches their powers and changes the colour of their outfits – but then in many respects that’s why these films exist. Children who watch the film and enjoy it will no doubt want to play with the toys afterwards, and it’s not as if the new costumes are thrust in our face every five seconds.
At least it gets the voice acting right, although the now traditional game of Spot The Famous Name begins and ends with Tom Hiddleston as the pirate first mate James, and he throws himself into the role with gusto – he clearly enjoys the pirate life. Christina Hendricks also pops up as fairy dust tinkerer Zarina, and manages to make her an enjoyable addition to the Tinker Bell canon. No pirate pun intended.
Ultimately, while it may not have been an entirely suitable film to get a cinema release, it does at least do its job of providing entertainment for a younger audience. It’s just a shame that Tinker Bell herself is reduced to a bit-player in her own film, but then a larger cast of characters means more toys can be sold, obviously.