Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure (US - BD RA)
Gabe takes a break from monsters and zombies to check out the new Tink flick...
Before the fairies of Pixie Hallow can bring autumn to our world, they must restore an object called the Moonstone to its rightful place. Only after such action is taken the pixie dust will turn blue instead from yellow before the first frost. Apparently this is really important. According to tradition it is the ‘tinker’ fairies’ turn to restore the Pixie tree, and Tinker Bell is elected as the representative. Unfortunately, while preparing a new sceptre to display the moonstone Tink accidentally breaks the sacred object. To avoid the end of autumn (so soon after almost destroying spring), the plucky fairy embarks on a quest to find a magical mirror said to grant wishes. Nothing can possibly go wrong.
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is mostly a case of more of the same, but the more is mostly merrier, assuming you’re a little girl (or boy, I’m not judging). Truthfully, as a grown man, I’m relatively impressed with the character development, and the fact that the writers don’t feel the need to re-state all the character traits. It’s almost as if they’re trying to create a well rounded mythology or something. The story aims at a young audience, and doesn’t make much of an effort to speak to older audiences, but it’s nice to see the writers broadening their scope and putting a little more adventure in the mix. I’m sure little brothers the world over are thankful for the action. The roundabout trip the plot takes just to get to another heavy handed moral is a little disappointing, but you take what you can get. This particular moral seems to be something about not being such an angry bit…er brat all the time.
The biggest improvements are in the character animation, and the comedy, which largely go hand in hand. There are some amusing character moments, and some funny dialogue bits (the Owl scenes is a keeper, as is the troll scene), but the bits that made me snicker were all slapstick and facial expressions. The first Tinker Bell was kind of stiff, specifically concerning facial moments, and the characters floated more than flew. This new film features more dynamic movement, and especially lively facial expressions. The animators take more cues from classic hand drawn animation, and are generally more elastic and expressive than the video-game graphics of the first film. Backgrounds and production design is also generally more dynamic, creating a sense of stylized reality worthy of genuine praise.
Lost Treasure generally appears to be running on a similar budget, and is using the same models, backgrounds, etc, but visually speaking it’s a more interesting film. The pallet is largely autumn based, rather than spring based, so the colours are warmer, the shadows darker, and the contrast more varied. The original film was so bright there wasn’t a lot room for contrast, and the details were a little washed out. Tink’s journey away from Pixie Hallow allows for a slightly more realistic pallet for some scenes. In all the colours are intense and varied enough to actually make for decent demo model material. The characters are still smooth like plastic, and they don’t quite blend into the more realistic backgrounds, but fine details and textures are plentiful, from fine grains of sand, to carved wood grain and all that shimmering pixie dust. More or less a flawless transfer marred only by the films occasional constraints, never by noise or artefacts.
Thankfully this new film doesn’t feature too many songs (no offence to Loreena McKennitt fans, but I find it kind of exhausting), and the score isn’t repetitive. The music is the big, vital element of this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, but since the film is animated there is no lack of well-mixed special sound effects, they’re just a little on the centric side. The surround and stereo work is present, but doesn’t draw a lot of attention to itself, and there aren’t many rousing directional effects. Tink’s cross-country flying and the climatic rat fight both feature some expressive sound design, but the track most defers to the dialogue and music. The LFE is also mostly given over to the music, though there are a few impact noises given a strongish bass punch. The dialogue track is relatively dynamic and warm.
The special features being with another ‘Magical Guide to Pixie Hallow’ (04:40, HD), which is here called a ‘short’ rather than ‘interactive’, as it was on the first film’s release. The animation is minimal at best (it’s like a motion comic), but the design is kind of cool, and the hi-def video reveals all kinds of painterly details. This is followed by eight deleted scenes (16:00, HD), featuring director and producer introductions (who dumb things down a little bit for the kiddies). These scenes are presented as motion storyboards in various states of colour, and mostly finished music and voice acting pieces. These are followed by an amusing blooper reel (04:00, HD), a look at Walt Disney World’s new Pixie Hallow attraction (8:00, HD), which is clearly an ad in disguise, a Demi Lovato music video, and Disney Blu-ray trailers.
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is a worthy follow-up to the first mediocre Tinker Bell STV movie. This new film broadens the universe’s scope, develops the major characters a bit, and is generally better looking and better animated than the first film. Parents can rest assured that it isn’t going to melt their children’s minds, and that the final moral of the story is a good one. Most grown-ups won’t get much out of the film itself, but the Blu-ray does look really good, better than even some more budgetary endowed computer generated cartoons. The audio quality is about average, and the extras are middling, but the video quality is surely quite impressive.
* Note: The images on this page are not representative of the Blu-ray release.
Review by Gabriel Powers
All ages admitted
Release Date: 27th January 1995
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 French and Spanish
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Extras: Magical Guide to Pixie Hallow, Pixie Hallow Comes to Walt Disney World, Deleted Scenes, Bloopers, Music Video, DVD Copy
Easter Egg: No
Director: Klay Hall
Cast: Mae Whitman, Angelica Huston, Raven Symone, Jesse McCartney, Kristen Chenoweth
Genre: Animation, Family and Fantasy
Length: 80 minutes
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