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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue is a sweet fairy story with several tense scenes in which main characters seem to be in peril. But everything always works out in the end, and there's enough humor to balance the tension. In one scene, a parent wrongfully accuses a child of lying -- and the resulting tears might upset some sensitive kids -- but the emotional scenes aren't too drawn out.
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What's the story?
When Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman) and the rest of the fairies move to their summer encampment in TINKER BELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE, Tink looks around for something to fix. But when all the other fairies seem to have things under control, she sets off exploring with her friend Vidia (Pamela Adlon). When Tink's curiosity gets the best of her, she ends up trapped and captured by a fairy-loving 9-year-old girl. While at first scared by the girl and her mean cat, Tink and the girl soon form a tender cross-species friendship. When a storm keeps Tink from returning to her friends, she and the girl end up learning about each other, including that the girl's scientist father (no mother appears in the story) is distracted and disapproving of his daughter's interest in fairies. In the meantime, a group of fairies attempts a treacherous journey through the storm to rescue Tinker Bell. In the meantime, the girl and her father's broken relationship ends up being the perfect thing for Tink to fix, and all turns out well in the end.
Is it any good?
Disney's fairy world is a gorgeous place to inhabit -- colorful and full of drama and personalities -- but unlike some other kiddie franchises, the Tinker Bell fairies pack a slightly edgier punch. Some of the characters are brassy or grumpy or impetuous -- which is a nice contrast to the constant cheerfulness and eternal optimism that can sap any hint of realism out of other kids' movies.
That's not to say that isn't filled with earnestness that will appeal to the youngest viewers. In The Great Fairy Rescue, the action focuses a bit more on the fairy-loving girl than Tink and her friends, which is a departure from previous films in the collection, but provides a nice variation on the formula. The flying scenes during the climax will fill young kids with wonder and encourage them to fantasize about magical worlds.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what they like about Tinker Bell. Do they like her because they recognize her from Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, advertising, or from toys at the store?
Talk about the movie's theme of "faith, trust, and pixie dust." What do those words mean to the fairies? Do those ideas mean something in kids' real lives?
Talk about how girls and boys are portrayed in the movie. Are girls more or less resourceful in this movie than in other movies or TV shows? How about the boys?
- On DVD or streaming: September 21, 2010
- Cast: Kristin Chenoweth, Lucy Liu, Mae Whitman
- Director: Bradley Raymond
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 72 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: October 2, 2019
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