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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Pirate Fairy is a direct-to-DVD Tinker Bell movie aimed at young fans of the popular Disney franchise. The movie focuses on what happens when one of the beloved fairies "goes rogue" and joins forces with pirates from Skull Rock to become the titular Pirate Fairy. There is a bit more violence in this installment than in others, because the pirates brandish swords and want to get rid of the fairies -- but no one is seriously injured (although James is bitten by a baby crocodile). This installment, like all of the Tinker Bell movies, focuses on the importance of teamwork and friendship.
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What's the story?
In THE PIRATE FAIRY, Tink's friend Zarina (Christina Hendricks) is an inquisitive dust fairy who's tired of collecting pixie dust without properly understanding how it works. She asks her supervising fairy how the pixie dust is made, and he tells her that dust fairies aren't supposed to magically manipulate the dust, only gather and distribute it. Zarina decides to study magical books about how to conjure the dust -- an experiment that grows out of control and destroys parts of Pixie Hollow. Let go as a dust fairy, Zarina takes off and isn't heard from for a year, when she shows up unexpectedly to an all-fairy event and steals the potent blue dust needed to make pixie dust. Tink (Mae Whitman) and her friends follow her and realize she's not being forced to commit such a heinous crime -- she's the captain of a pirate ship! The fairy friends unite to stop Zarina from helping the pirate crew, led by clever cabin boy James (Tom Hiddleston), and make the ship able to fly above Neverland.
Is it any good?
Direct-to-DVD productions aren't usually known for being particularly high-caliber, so it's a pleasant surprise to see that Disney is paying close attention to the Tinker Bell series. As with Secret of the Wings, The Pirate Fairy has an engaging plot, impressive visuals, and standout voice casting, especially James ("the cabin boy with a secret"), voiced by Hiddleston, who's best known for playing Loki in Thor and The Avengers.
Yes, the fairies are a rainbow-hued group of diverse beauty, talent, and personalities. One of them, Silvermist (Lucy Liu), is sort of silly and ditsy, but even she's still brave and kind. And Zarina's story line is a clever way to introduce how we all make mistakes and deserve a chance at redemption. Parents and kids familiar with Peter Pan will love the references to the original movie ("Never Smile at a Crocodile") and will want to watch it after this fun trip to Pixie Hollow.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the theme of friendship in The Pirate Fairy. How do the fairies band together to help Zarina and save Pixie Hollow? What does their treatment of Zarina teach you about friendship?
How does this fairy movie compare to the others? Did you appreciate the references to the original Peter Pan?
The movie is a bit more violent than the previous Tink tales. Was the violence necessary to the pirate story? Why, or why not?
- On DVD or streaming: April 1, 2014
- Cast: Mae Whitman, Christina Hendricks, Tom Hiddleston
- Director: Peggy Holmes
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Pirates
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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