Tinker Bell gets by despite a little help from her friends
Every eight years the fairies of pixie hollow create a new ceremonial sceptre to hold the magical moonstone which will be used during their autumn festival. When the light of the blue moon shines through the moonstone it will create blue pixie dust to restore the pixie dust tree which gives the pixies their ability to fly. Tinker Bell is chosen to make the sceptre, but due to the interference of her well-meaning friend, Terrence, she accidentally breaks the irreplaceable moonstone. Tinker Bell sets out on a journey to find a magic mirror that can grant wishes in order to restore the stone.
The Tinker Bell movies are unusual among children's films in that my children (a boy and a girl, five and seven respectively) and I can all enjoy them without anybody being bored or feeling left out. They make it through my feminist killjoy mum filter because Tinker Bell is a clever, resourceful character who makes an excellent role model. Several positive themes run through all the films in the series. One is the importance of friendship, particularly female friendship (though less so in The Lost Treasure). Another is that it is okay to make mistakes, and that people will usually forgive you if you sincerely apologise and try to make things right. This is a very valuable lesson for children to learn, especially if they have a tendency towards being a perfectionist or worrying too much about other people think of them. The films are also squeaky clean and devoid of sexual innuendo (unlike a number of other recent cartoon features- Shrek franchise, I'm looking at you here), feature very little violence and always have a happy ending. My kids both like the films because they involve magic, fairies, cute animals, problem-solving and the odd exciting action scene.
We had watched the series out of order, seeing some of the later films first before this one, which was released in 2008, so it came as a surprise to me that Terrence has such a big part in this one when he, like the other male fairies, are pretty much just in the background in the later movies. Essentially, Tinker Bell is getting on with her job when Terrence, who is a Dust Keeper fairy and not a Tinker fairy, comes along to mansplain to Tinker Bell about how to build the sceptre, keep her work space tidy etc. My daughter and I were a little grumpy when later in the film he declared himself the captain of the airship that Tinker Bell designed and built, and had already single-handedly successfully flown solo. Tink forgives him his mansplaining when he helps her return to Pixie Hollow safely and fix the broken scepter, using the broken shards of moonstone to create more blue pixie dust than ever.
"Look, Ma! No feet!"
If you do find yourself missing the little jokes some other filmmakers put into kids' movies for the parents, you can always indulge in over thinking the ins and outs of how Pixie Hollow works. For example, I theorised that the reason Queen Clarion's dress hangs low and she floats all the time is that when fairies become more powerful their feet atrophy and shrivel up. My husband wondered aloud whether pixie dust, the substance on which the entire pixie society depends to function, is a metaphor for oil. Has anyone considered maybe planting a few seedlings just in case something happens to the current pixie dust tree? Are there other Pixie Hollows full of pixies tending to the seasons in other parts of the world? Enquiring minds want to know. Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is available on DVD and at the time of writing is currently streaming on Netflix in Australia. It's a fun, wholesome movie that children and adults can enjoy together without anybody getting too cranky and bored.