After the (rather surprising) success of 2008’s Tinker Bell a sequel to the direct-to-video film was inevitable. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, however—the film was popular for a reason as it was one of the first genuinely good made-for-DVD films that Disney had produced in years, with both its target group (young girls) and the purchasing group (parents) enjoying it almost equally as much. Pile on top of that the fantastic animation and visuals and you had a winning combination. So can we really begrudge Disney for releasing another film so soon?
In Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Tinker Bell’s greatest adventure yet takes place in Autumn, as the fairies are on the mainland changing the colors of the leaves, tending to pumpkin patches, and helping geese fly south for the winter. The rare Blue Moon will rise, and when its light passes through the magical Fall Scepter that Tinker Bell has been summoned to create, Pixie Hollow’s supply of pixie dust will be restored. But when Tinker Bell accidentally puts all of Pixie Hollow in jeopardy, she must venture out across the sea on a secret quest to set things right.
I hadn’t seen the previous film (I’m in neither of the aforementioned groups) so I can’t really compare the two fairly, but as far as direct to video films from Disney go…I’ve seen worse. That’s not entirely a compliment either, of course, but considering I should in no way find anything about this film appealing I can’t say it didn’t have a few redeeming qualities (mostly in the animation and Blu-ray departments). So as far as having this in the background or whatever live action fodder is on the Disney Channel these days…I’d choose this film, hands down.
Having said that…I’d still never watch it again. Ignoring completely that I’m not the films target audience by far, I really just found the whole film boring. Structurally speaking the film Is a mess for the scant eighty minutes it runs. Tinker Bell moves from sequence to sequence doing nearly the same thing throughout the entire film, a dance I quickly got tired of. She seemed to just lament her failures repeatedly and it wasn’t until she actually started succeeding at some of them that the film even picked up.
Never mind the fact that I was used to (and grew up with) the Tinker Bell from the original Peter Pan film, which portrayed her as quite the rude fairy. Now she’s amicable (aside from complaining a lot) and has various fairy friends that are all sweet and nice (for the most part). Hell you even have Jesse McCartney as the wanna be boyfriend that won’t leave her alone for most of the film. So in a nutshell there isn’t much for parents to pre-occupy themselves with as their child(ren) sit(s) entranced.
So were there any real perks? Well, the animation was. As I said before I hadn’t seen the first film so I was unfamiliar with the style of CGI used for the “Disney Fairies” series and I have to say…it’s very nice. Very smooth, kind of like the type of CGI you’d expect from cut scenes in video games just…with a lot more detail and better clarity. Colors look fantastic throughout the film and the various locations we see are all quite interesting…although quite a bit of time is spent in the Pixie Hollow place. The only real downside to the animation was the character animations; some of it wouldn’t be as smooth at times…and at others the overly glassy eyeballs of the characters were just strange.
Overall Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure is less about the plot and story than it is about just entertaining the young ones for an hour or so. And I’m sure they’ll enjoy it at least, so for them it’s Recommended. The older audience? Not so much. At all.
Disney continues the Blu-ray + DVD release style (sans digital copy…shocking!) and claims that the package is a $69 value, although I’m not sure who would really ever pay that. In any case the set arrives in a standard Elite Blu-ray case. Inside are the usual array of inserts as well as the two discs (one DVD, one Blu-ray) and on the outside we have a fancy reflective foil/embossed/glitterized cover. Yes…real glitter. Quite impressive.
Video arrives in the form of an AVC encoded 1080p transfer and, as mentioned above, it looks gorgeous. The Blu-ray presentation for this film really is where most of the enjoyment for it came from—fantastic colors, superb details and just an all around great transfer. The only real pitfalls for the entire transfer were usually the colors in the backgrounds, particularly where the “Blue Moon” segments are concerned as it created some awkward banding at times. It was rather prevalent during the entire film, really…probably just because of the color palette, I guess.
Audio is presented in a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that…well if that seems like overkill for a little girl’s movie then…yeah, it kind of is. Still, there’s a bit of subwoofer activity and surround chatter to take in, but for the most part all of the action takes place in center channels where the cast talks away for the majority of the run time. Not a bad mix by any means, just not nearly as impressive as the video.
• Scenes You Never Saw – These fairy funny alternate scenes did not make it into the movie.
• Magical Guide to Pixie Hollow – Tinker Bell and Terence are your guides as you explore the autumn area of Pixie Hollow.
• Deleted Scenes with Filmmaker Introductions – Play deleted scenes with optional intros by Director Klay Hall and Producer Sean Lurie.
• Pixie Hollow Comes To Florida – Discover how the filmmakers helped transform Epcot into Pixie Hollow.
• All-New Music Video – “The Gift of a Friend” performed by Disney Channel’s Demi Lovato
All of the above features are repeated on the DVD as well, so you really are basically getting all the same features in both DVD or Blu-ray packages. But I Recommend the Blu-ray one simply due to the solid A/V presentation.
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure arrives on Blu-ray on October 27th.