Misunderstood dust-keeper fairy Zarina (Christina Hendricks) is ridiculed and cast out of Pixie Hollow. A year later Tinkerbell and her friends discover their former friend has teamed up with the pirates of Neverland, when Zarina returns for her revenge.
First of all, Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy is a film that is made for very young girls, so if you go into this film expecting a cross between JM Barrie’s cantankerous fairy and the dread Pirate Captain Hook… Well, you may not be disappointed, but it almost certainly will not be the film you expect. It seems fairly clear that the outcry of making Barrie’s Tinkerbell a kid friendly character has died down, so I am just going to have to put aside my deep love of the original material and view this film with fresh eyes.
There has been a whole world created around Tinkerbell and the world the fairies inhabit in Neverland, and this is where the film is set. The film follows a fairly standard tale of expulsion, revenge and redemption, but there is something odd in making Zarina’s character almost like a terrorist as she returns to her home to plunder what she needs. This aside, making a fairy queen of the pirates is an interesting idea that means Tinkerbell and Captain James Hook cross paths earlier than Peter’s arrival to Neverland, but then this changes the timeline of Barrie’s original novel. Maybe I am overthinking it.
In terms of the voices, it is rather surprising that Christina Hendricks and Tom Hiddleston signed on to do this thin and tooth achingly sweet film, but it seems that Hiddleston is having fun playing a pirate – he’s working his way through the realm of fantasy rather quickly – and his delight is a little infectious.
The film stumbles badly in terms of animation; the fairies and their world is clunky but rather pretty, but the pirates feel as though they have not yet been fully animated. The 3D makes the fairy dust a little more sparkly but other than that, adds little.
Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy is a film for girls aged 3-6, so I suppose it is unfair to judge it too harshly. There is a little charm in the design of the world, but it feels as though this particular Disney Toon is reaching a little too far. Little girls may enjoy it, but there is nothing her for older children, or their parents. Fans of JM Barrie should especially steer clear as the Tinkerbell of his devising is nowhere to be seen here.