Film Review: Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy
Nurture, maintain, package, distribute.
That's the role of a pixie dust-keeper - ensuring the lifeblood of Pixie Hollow and its fairies continues to be available to all who need it.
However, working on the factory line isn't enough for Zarina (Christina Hendricks). An inquisitive, if sometimes reckless, fairy, she's determined to unlock the true power of pixie dust. Such talk horrifies her boss Fairy Gary (Jeff Bennett) who forbids her to tamper with it, but when a speck of blue dust ''inadvertently'' comes home with Zarina, she can't resist a spot of experimentation.
The result is the destruction of her home, workplace, career and reputation. Humiliated, Zarina decides she can't face living in Pixie Hollow any more. However, now she'll stop at nothing to continue her ''research''.
This fifth Tinker Bell adventure is also the most accessible outside its traditional Tween girl demographic. The usual crisp animation and peppy girl power pop songs (here sung by the Kiwi-connected Natasha Bedingfield) are allied to an entertaining, clever story that is both sly and respectful of Peter Pan-lore.
Indeed, director Peggy Holmes's (a former Wayne's World choreographer who also acts as one of the seven writers on this project) film even manages to smartly set up the origin stories for two important nemeses.
Sure there is a similarity to the recent Muppets Most Wanted movie in its central conceit (there's even talk of stealing the Crown Jewels) but there's enough entertainment in this knockabout adventure to ensure the 75-minute running time never drags.
And if the rise in the fairy's hemlines is of some concern to parents, the quality of the vocal cast (from Elementary's Lucy Liu, to Thor's Tom Hiddleston and Mad Men's Hendricks) emphasises the effort that is now being put into what were once cheap-looking, direct-to-DVD knockoffs.
Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy (G) 75 minutes
Directed by Peggy Holmes.