To be honest, I’ve never seen any of Disney’s TINKERBELL line of animated movies, so I’m not going to compare this to any of the previously released movies. I will say, though, as this is the seventh film in the TINKERBELL Disney film franchise, it must be a popular series. From PIXIE HOLLOW GAMES, PIRATE FAIRIES and THE NEVERBEAST, I would be surprised if Disney stopped here, but they ‘supposedly’ are.
Although this is clearly TinkerBell’s movie, as labeled by the title, the movie actually revolves more around the other fairies than it does TinkerBell. TinkerBell plays more of a supporting role and this story centers around the fairy, Fawn. Fawn is the adventurous, free-spirited fairy of Pixie Hollow, the home of fairies, and she takes a liking to a large furry beast called Gruff. Gruff is the Neverbeast awoken by a green mystical comet.
Gruff catches the attention of Nyx, the leader of the Scout fairies. Along with Fawn, Nyx is another central character to the storyline. Nyx is the opposite of Fawn; she is more reserved, and sees Gruff as a threat to Pixie Hollow. What comes to follow… well, you’ll have to check out TINKERBELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST to find out.
This is clearly a movie aimed towards children and going into it, I thought I wouldn’t really enjoy it. I thought I would give it a shot just to enjoy the reference audio and video quality that Disney is known for, but I was caught off guard. It’s pretty ironic that one of the themes in the movie was the old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and, well, I judged TINKERBELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST before I even watched it. I actually enjoyed this movie and I can’t compare it to the previous TinkerBell movies, so to me it stands well on its own. With that said, for a kid’s flick, there were some enjoyable themes even adults could enjoy.
There are a lot of colors to enjoy in this direct-to-home release, making it a stunning release in the video quality category. The aforementioned green comet emits a hue of neon green that saturates the picture with a bright vivid color, leaving almost a portrait-like quality on screen. Even with less picturesque scenes, the screen still sparkles when the fairies emit their golden metallic pixie dust. It’s a faint effect, but it captures the beautiful color of the movie. The animation, simply said, is top notch. The Blu-ray release is a single 50 GB disc with the following codecs: MPEG-4 AVC, Aspect Ratio 1:78:1, and 1080-P.
On par with the picture quality, the audio quality brings delight to the ears. When Gruff roars, it brings life to the speakers and sets off the surround sound in this DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix. The release offers a good soundtrack, performed by KD Tunstall, which sounds excellent and adds a nice touch to the movie. Even when there are scenes of mostly dialogue, at times, there are symphonic-like scores to accompany the mood of the film. The audio quality really mixes up the surround very nicely, so another excellent grade in the technical aspects of this Blu-ray release.
5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff – The creative team behind the movie discuss what makes this release so special. Ranging from influences and inspirations behind the animated feature, to design, sound, and animation, we get a short feature on the essentials to TINKERBELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST. This extra is pretty cool, but it’s nothing extraordinary.
My Dad’s Movie: The True Story of the Neverbeast – Director Steve Loter and his daughter Calista speak about their own personal story and how it inspired this movie. Take a walk through the Santa Barbara Zoo and hear their story.
Jeff Corwin’s Guide To Real-World Neverbeasts – The animal conservationist and voice of ‘Buck’ in TINKERBELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST talks about real life Neverbeasts. This feature is only three-and-a-half minutes long, but as a fan of nature programs, I found this extra pretty cool.
Deleted Scenes – There are four deleted scenes which can be watched alone or with intros by director Steve Loter. These are all storyboard drawings with some sound as well. I recommend watching them with the director intro to get a better understanding of why they were cut.
Tink’n About Animals – A short songbook performed by the character ‘Fawn’. This musical piece explains collective terms for different animal species, like ‘a pack of coyotes’ for example.
Gruff Love – This is just a trailer for the movie.
This is an excellent Blu-ray release all around. What I haven’t mentioned yet are the good performances by the voice actresses. Rosario Dawson made her first voice appearance as Nyx in the TinkerBell franchise with this release. She has a distinct voice that is recognizable and I’m a fan of hers, so it’s nice to hear her in this. Fawn’s voice was done by Ginnifer Goodwin, who was previously voiced over by Angela Bartys. I also thought the run-time was just right. At one hour and sixteen minutes, it was not too short or too long. The bonus features are sufficient for the release and actually provide some insight behind the animated feature.
A nice touch with the release is the slipcover that covers the amaray/plastic case. The slipcover is embossed/debossed with a nice holofoil touch. From what I can remember, Disney did a good job with the TinkerBell Blu-ray slip covers. Even with a G rating, TINKERBELL AND THE LEGEND OF THE NEVERBEAST can be enjoyed by all. It may not be for everyone, though, so unless you’re a slipcover lover and just have to have it for the slipcover release, it may be worth a rent first. If you do like Disney (or have children), it may be worthy of a buy.