More than a decade ago, studios were lacking in greed enough to release direct-to-video animated films, especially if the films had very little to offer. Most of the Disney direct-to-video releases were low-budget sequels of prominent animated films like The Lion King and Aladdin, which were admittedly weaker in terms of overall quality too, but some exceptions can exist, and despite the lower animation budget, their quality can be good enough for one to wish they were released on the big screen instead. Bradley Raymond’s first Tinker Bell is a good example of that.
The animation quality may only outdo the mid-2000s Barbie movies by a bit, but the film in its own self is quite a delight to watch. It’s nothing too great, but it’s definitely something that deserved a global theater release, especially since it kickstarts the Disney fairy universe.
How to Stream or Download Tinker Bell
You can steam the movie on Disney+ or You can stream it or you can download it from a number of digital stores. Click on the Download button at the end of this review.
The Movie Review
Tinker Bell is a fairy who is born through the first-ever laugh of a baby, and the winds bring her to the island called Pixie Hollow, where she’s welcomed by Queen Clarion.
She learns there that she’s a tinker, the fairy with the power to fix and make things, and she meets two other tinkers named Bobble and Clank, who familiarize her with her tinkering abilities, give her a tour of the island, and drop her at her new house. One time during work, the trio encounters a type of menacing weed that they begin to call sprinting thistles.
She later meets Silvermist, a water fairy; Rosetta, a garden fairy; Iridessa, a light fairy; and Fawn, an animal fairy. The bunch tells her about some other fairies, all of who she looks forward to meeting. Among these other fairies she meets, is a fast-flying fairy named Vidia, who for some reason dislikes her because of her unconventional talents.
Her rivalry with Vidia begins from then onwards, with the two of them competing in their own ways for creating the best inventions. While Bell is completely fair and agreeable, Vidia does not refrain from playing dirty and can go to any lengths to get what she wants.
Now, this might all sound like typical drama, but the aspect of invention, as well as the way the characters are written, makes this film very enjoyable to watch.
The world-building is done at an appreciable pace and rarely do you lose interest in the plot. It’s nothing highly ambitious, but it’s quite good for what it tries to be, and what it tries to be isn’t unoriginal either. The film manages to hook you to its fun little drama and adventure throughout, despite a bit of repetitiveness.
The more mediocre iterations of drama between characters happen for vague reasons and among characters that aren’t developed well enough, but here, things seem to be in the good for the most part.
For something as lacking in commercial ambition, Tinker Bell is quite well-written. Jeffrey M. Howard paces the film in a way that you familiarize yourself with the many characters with barely any moment feeling all over the place.
The plot itself, despite a premise that may sound mediocre, is pretty engaging whenever it’s not repetitive. Bradley Raymond’s direction aids the film very well, and in terms of quality is similar to his previous film The Lion King 1 ½. And despite the lower animation budget, the film is mostly quite beautiful to look at and has an original score that goes along it quite nicely.
The Bottom Line
Tinker Bell is one of the best and the most well-written direct-to-video Disney films. It’s aesthetically enriched, has a hooking storyline, interesting characters, and most importantly, very few moments seem uninspired or unoriginal.