With The Pirate Fairy being the fifth entry to Disney’s direct-to-video Tinker Bell film series and the Disney Fairies franchise, the impressive quality of the Tinker Bell films continues. It’s surprising because most of the direct-to-video Disney films, which were generally sequels to popular animated films like The Lion King or Aladdin, have not been anything beyond middling, but this franchise, which has been direct-to-video from the very beginning, has managed to maintain good quality for years, and it’s definitely come a long way too.
It’s still a surprise that the film wasn’t released on the big screen, especially considering its nearly theatrical-looking animation style, which has improved upon the franchise’s past animation to a great extent. Not to forget that The Pirate Fairy, alongside most of the other past Tinker Bell films, has much better character writing than most of the animated films released in theaters.
How to Stream or Download The Pirate Fairy
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store of your choice or stream it from Disney+. Click on the Download button at the end of this review. Check out also the previous films from the Disney Fairies world: Tinker Bell (2008), Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009), Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010), and Secret of the Wings (2012).
The Movie Review
The Pirate Fairy’s story initially surrounds Zarina, a fairy with a highly noticeable curiosity. The magic behind pixie dust makes her highly interested in learning more. She even begins to experiment with the blue pixie dust and creates variants of it. But one of the variants isn’t worth experimenting with and causes a major accident in Pixie Hollow, which leads her supervisor Fairy Gary to restrict her from experimenting with the pixie dust. Zarina, though, is disheartened and flies away with her experiments.
The film then goes to a year later, with the Four Seasons Festival being celebrated by the fairies.
The focus now shifts to Tinker Bell, who happens to be celebrating there alongside her other fairy friends. Tink, to her surprise, witnesses Zarina flying around and using pink pixie dust to make everyone there fall asleep. It’s also noticed that she took all the blue pixie dust, even the one that’s required to make the right dust for helping fairies fly.
Upon following her, they get to know that she’s become a pirate captain. It becomes fun from then onward, as a counter-attack from Zarina makes them all exchange talents with one another, with Tinker Bell now becoming a water fairy. From there continues a fairy adventure of the seas, with some of the top talents of the Pixie Hollow clashing against one of the most inventive fairies, who’s now become a pirate.
It is by far the most ambitious in premise, in comparison to its predecessors, which again makes it odd that it was not globally released on the big screen, especially considering the vastly talented voice-acting cast. It makes for a very enjoyable animated film, with lively characters, well-written scenes, sequences, as well as a nearly Pixar tier of animation.
The screenplay by Jeffrey M. Howard and Kate Kondell is very coherent and features very interesting characters. It’s arguably the most well-paced film in the franchise, and also has the best dialogue-writing in the franchise. The premise of the film being ballsy is another aspect that supports the cleanliness of the script quite nicely. Peggy Holmes’ direction has fairly improved upon her last film, and it may as well be the best in the entire franchise. It’s great to see her directing a film for Paramount that’d release on Apple TV+ soon. The animation in The Pirate Fairy is a massive improvement over its predecessors too, with an original score too good for a direct-to-video film.
The Bottom Line
The Pirate Fairy is a film that improves upon all of its predecessors by a slight margin and checks all the boxes that make an animated film good enough for a cinematic release. It’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s one of the sweetest animated films of recent times, with a premise that many animated films released in cinemas have failed to execute as nicely.