Sunday, October 26, 2008


Written by Senora Bicho

Approximately 11 years ago I became permanently attached to Tinker Bell via a tattoo on my left ankle. She has always been one of my favorite Disney characters since she wasn’t the typical heroine. She was feisty and strong while being considered wide in the hips for usual cartoon females. The new film Tinker Bell has me seriously thinking about tattoo removal.

The story is simple, it begins with how Tinker Bell came into existence and introduces us to the world of fairies and their home, Pixie Hollow. Each fairy has a special talent that is utilized for the changing of the seasons on the mainland. Tinker Bell is a tinker and is responsible for building items to aid the other fairies in their work and therefore doesn’t get to travel to the mainland. Tinker Bell soon comes to the conclusion that her job is boring and wants to learn another talent so that she can go with everyone else to turn winter into spring. Thus the adventure begins.

Disney has had many years to come up with a story for Tinker Bell; what they have come up with is boring and simplistic. I was trying to watch the movie through the eyes of a young girl and I think even they will be bored. Good messages are provided about learning to appreciate who you are and what makes you special, but they could have come up with a more interesting story to convey those messages.

Tinker Bell was made using 3-D digital animation which is vastly different from the traditional animation used for Peter Pan. The background colors and scenery look fantastic but the fairies look strange and Tinker Bell just doesn’t look right. And, yes, she speaks. I understand a movie with just jingling wouldn’t work but it certainly takes a little getting used to. Tinker Bell is voiced by a relatively unknown actress Mae Whitman who will probably be best recognized by children watching the movie as she was Katara in the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. Angelica Houston, America Ferrera, Lucy Liu and Kristin Chenoweth also lend their voices to the film.

There are a few special features on the DVD. “Magical Guide to Pixie Hollow” explores all of the different areas of the fairies' home, “Ever Wonder” shows how fairies impact nature, and “Tinker Trainer” is a DVD-ROM activity. There is also a music video for “Fly to your Heart,” one of the songs from the film sung by Selena Gomez. “Creating Pixie Hollow” is a ten-minute making-of and there also three deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Bradley Raymond and producer Jeannine Roussel.

Tinker Bell is one of Disney’s most popular characters and I really wish they would have put a little more time and effort into a more thoughtful and creative movie but I have no doubt that it will do well. Disney is certainly counting on it since they already have three sequels in the works. As a Tinker Bell fan, I was extremely disappointed and am anxious to pop Peter Pan into the DVD player in hopes of wiping Tinker Bell from my mind as quickly as possible.

JACK FROST (Remastered Deluxe Edition)

Written by El Fangorio

Just in time for Halloween comes this Christmas classic that opens up on Groundhog’s Day. Marketing strategies aside, one may take refuge in knowing that it’s by those maestros of stop-motion puppetry, Arthur Rankin and Jules Bass. They are, of course, the creators of such holiday staples as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Yuletide television favorites that still get annual airings some 40 years later.

The story of Jack Frost, he of nose-nipping fame, is told by world famous groundhog, Pardon-Me-Pete (Buddy Hackett). Pete explains the relationship between his seeing his own shadow and the resulting extra month of winter that allows Jack to spread his frosty cheer. Pete also goes on to tell the story of how Jack once sacrificed his own immortality and winter wizardry to be human so that he could stay with the one woman he loved. Of course we all know that this never works out and that no human being is worth the loss of super-awesome super powers.

Though not as obscure as some of their other titles (Leprechaun’s Christmas Gold and First Christmas Snow come to mind), Jack Frost has been content to sit in the shadows of its more popular December brethren until the Family Channel picked it up as part of their annual programming a few years back.

Now, thanks to the people at Warners, Jack Frost comes to us as a remastered deluxe edition, putting to shame the earlier transfers found on its various digital incarnations, most of which were public domain. While the picture quality alone is worth the small price tag, this release still could have benefited from some better special features. One would think that the R&B vaults would be brimming with behind-the-scenes footage but the only extras on hand here are a few sing-a-longs and a segment called “Totally Cool Crafty Creations.” This thankfully short bonus would be better off titled “Three Disasters Waiting To Happen,” with one of the recipes even calling for a bag of Sodium Polyacrylate. Trailers for other Warner titles round out the package.