HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Fairy Pirate
HTS Overall Score:78
I’ll give Disney one thing, they sure no how to milk a franchise. “Peter Pan” was a beloved classic, and nearly died off with its DTV sequel. Thanks be to the modern miracles of marketing, Disney has pulled back Neverland into a viable universe once more as they create the Tinkerbell series of films, based up on the sweet, loveable fairy. Errrrr..wait. Wasn’t Tinkerbell a conniving, selfish, manipulative little thing that wanted Wendy dead? Well, it seems that strategy doesn’t work when you’re targeting young girls, so Disney has gone ahead and revamped Tink into a much younger and much nicer fairy, one who’s more about team building and friendship than keeping the lost boys and Peter to herself. I’ve shied away from watching the Tinkerbell series, because, well they’re not exactly catered to my specific demographic. I like guns, knives, explosions, and fast cars etc, little fairies haven’t exactly tickled my fancy, so to speak. Count me surprised when I actually ended up surviving the first couple Tinkerbell movies, and actually end up being rather entertained. As the series has grown, so has the storytelling and animation, growing from slightly simplistic, to a bit more mature and fine-tuned. “The Pirate Fairy” is a little bit weaker, than the previous couple installments, but it’s still a fun romp that children and adults can get a kick out of.
Zarina (Christina Hendricks) is a young dust keeper, e.g., she’s one of the few fairies who looks after and maintains the supply of Pixie dust to the entire fay folk. The only kink in this wonderful gig, is that she’s a bit TOOO curious for her own good. Fancying herself a bit of scientist, she wants to know WHY pixie dust works, HOW it works and what she can do to modify it and create new strains. This doesn’t sit well with the management, who would rather keep the status quo and not ask the hard questions. Forbidden to mess with Pixie dust, Zarina delves headlong into her experiments, failing along the way, until she finds the hidden catalyst that has kept her experiments from working. Blue pixie dust. The main ingredient for creating standard pixie dust was all she needed to create a myriad of different strains. As with most experiments something goes awry and Zarina ends up wiping out mill that supplies all the fairy dust. Fired from her job, Zarina vanishes in the night, seemingly never to return.
1 year later, as the fay are having a festival, Zarina makes an appearance with her modified pixie dust, putting everyone into a deep sleep and stealing the entire supply of Blue pixie dust. The only ones NOT affected by her sleeping pixie dust is Tinkerbell (Mae Whitman) and several of her friends. Realizing that they have to get the blue pixie dust back or there will never be any regular pixie dust ever again, Tink and friends head out to get the dust back from Zarina. Once they catch up to Zarina, a never problem arises. Zarina is actually commander of a rag tag group of pirates, and is planning to use the blue dust to help the pirate ship fly and be able to break into the regular world. With no time to lose, Tinkerbell and crew must get the blue dust back, stop the ship from breaking free into the real world, and hopefully win back an old friend at the same time.
I hate to say it, but I actually rather enjoy the Tinkerbell series of films. They aren’t something that I’m going to bring the guys around for a beer and movie night, but they target that young girl audience in a way that doesn’t make it so hard for adults to sit through. With the amount of stupid Winx Club, or Monster High movies, it’s a nice change to be able to enjoy a girl targeted film instead of bang your head against a wall the whole time. “The Pirate Fairy” isn’t as good as previous Tink films, but the charm is still there and cute sidekicks are worth the price of admission alone. The voice acting is done with great charm and sports a wide variety of excellent acters such as Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, Angelica Huston and even Tom Hiddleston (who happens to a play a young pirate by the name of Jim, who wears a familiar red pirate outfit and matching feathered hat). The characters play well off of each other and even the humor is kept in check to where the cheese is a mild cheddar instead of a thick and heavy Velveeta.
The film is a bit derivative at times, and borders on childish, more often than not, but then again, this film wasn’t exactly aimed for my demographic. If you happen to have young girls, or grandchildren or nieces, this is one of those films that they can gobble up in a second and be flitting around the room the next moment singing along with the fairies. It hits the target audience perfectly and does so with enough grace and panache to allow the rest of us to hang on for the ride without becoming seasick. I do say it’s one of the better alternatives that I would let my children see and much less rough around the edges and full of vanity than so many other film targeting the young female audience. It’s a cute little flick and one that I can heartily say the whole family can tag along with if they so feel inclined.
Rated G for General Audiences
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=15127[/img]Disney does have a penchant for spectacular video releases on its day and date releases, and “The Pirate Fairy” is no different. The 1.78:1 digitally animated film looks resplendent, a visually striking movie that is surprisingly detailed and richly animated for a direct to video series. The colors are beautifully luscious and rich, saturating every scene with blues, reds, oranges, greens, and every other color in the rainbow, giving the film a very bright and cheery texture. The digital animation shows great detail, for the most part. The only minor flaw I had with the detail was actually related to the sharpness, which I thought could have been a tad better. Still a minor nitpick, though. The black levels are inky black and show fine detail, the inner hold of the pirate ship looks appropriately dreary, but finely detailed as well in the low light. I have to say, that for a DTV series, the amount of spit and polish is second to none and Disney deserves a thumbs up for the transfer.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=15128[/img]Disney’s 7.1 DTS-HD MA track is nearly as good as the video and really shines here. We’ve been lucky that Disney has had a habit of giving us fully immersive 7.1 tracks and “The Pirate Fairy” is no different. The surrounds light up with the ambient noise of the fairy kingdom, the creak of a pirate ship, the blast of a cannon rippling across all 7 channels, or the pure depth of a musical number travelling across all 8 channels. The dialogue is clean and clear as can be, balanced nicely with the music and effects, creating a very smooth dynamic range. The LFE is a bit light, especially in the cannon shots, but it’s to be expected for a low budget release. The LFE still adds a very nice low end to the film, especially in the simple things such as the rumble of the pirate ship making dock and the musical score.
• Second Star to the Right: The Legacy of Neverland
• Deleted Scenes
• The Making of "The Frigate That Flies"
• Sing Along Songs
While it’s not going to put itself in the Disney Platinum line of films, “The Pirate Fairy” does an admirable job of hitting the bulls eye with its target audience. Young girl will get a kick out of the fun, quirky rendition of Tinkerbell and parents and boys alike can watch along without having the desire to leave the room, or hide under a pillow till the film ends. I honestly had a fun time watching it, and while I won’t be bringing the guys around for a Tinkerbell movie night, I have no problems watching it with my young niece and having a good time right along with her. Great, video, solid audio and decent extras make this a must buy for anyone with daughters or females nieces or grandchildren who want to be able to sit alongside those youngsters and have a good time with them, instead of letting the TV do all the babysitting.
Starring: Pamela Adlon, Christina Hendricks, Tom Hiddleston
Directed by: Peggy Holmes
Written by: Peggy Holmes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, Spanish, French DD 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Rated: Rated G
Runtime: 78 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: April 1st, 2014
Buy Avengers Confidential: The Pirate Fairy Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: For the Kids, and those kids at heart
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