HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast
HTS Overall Score:89
As a 30 something year old male without children, it almost pains me to say that I actually like the “Tinkerbell” movies. I grew up on Disney and have a HUGE soft spot for their movies, but most of their DTV sequels and such ilk are a very painful part of the viewing database, as the effort just hasn’t been there. Make that doubly worse that pretty much any “young” children’s animated videos are either the big blockbusters or the same garbage week in week out in the form of “Bratz”, “Monster High” and the like. Disney made a patented effort to corner that market with their “Tinkerbell” series, turning a nasty, selfish little fairy into a children’s hero through these animated sequels, and in turn have found a gold mine that almost literally gives them the ability to print money due to the popularity. The “Tinkerbell” series dodges most of the pitfalls of the other children’s animated DTV schlock by actually putting a solid effort into the tales. The series started out a little rocky, but only a VERY little bit and has won over 10 year old and younger girls everywhere in the last few years with clever stories, likeable characters and even has me won over with some impressive animation and a dedication to cute and likeable that made Disney great to begin with.
This latest entry into the “Tink” universe stars Fawn (Ginnifer Goodwin of “Once Upon a Time”), a kind hearted fairy who tends to get in over her head. One day she’s rescuing a rat, then a vampire bat, now it’s a baby hawk (who prey upon the fairies of Pixie Hollow). Her intentions are kindhearted, but every once in a while she tends to get in water that’s a bit hotter than what’s good for her. Her worst enemy comes in the form of Nyx (Rosario Dawson), the leader of the Fairy guard, who views her little acts of kindness as a danger to the fairies. Time and time again Nyx is having to clean up the little messes that Fawn makes with her animal rescues. This time Fawn has a big one the line, and I mean that VERY literally. Coming across a giant beast after the fall of a green falling start, Fawn helps the fella by pulling a thon from his paw that is keeping the monstrosity in pain. Befriending the neverbeast, Fawn cares for it and grows to love the beast, despite its strange penchant for building giant rock towers.
Tinkerbell (Mae Whitman) and her friends all get in on the secret, but urge Fawn to tell the Queen (Angelica Huston) about the beast out of honesty. Going to the queen, the young fairy finds Nyx already there discussing the possibility of the beast. It seems that Pixie hollow has this legend that every 1000 years, a green falling star would crash and awaken a beast, one who would build giant rock towers and transform into a flying horned monster that would send death and destruction onto Pixie Hollow. Desperate and afraid, Fawn turns in the neverbeast to Nyx, against her better judgment, only to find out that Tinkerbell has discovered something about the beast, something that may change everyone’s mind about his purpose and intentions in pixie hollow. Something that the legend just MAY have gotten twisted around. Now Fawn, Tink and even Nyx have to do everything they can to undo what has been done, and hope that they’re in time.
I’ve been really impressed with the “Tinkerbell” movies in the past, even though “The Pirate Fairy” was a slight dip in quality, but “Legend of the Neverbeast” is easily the best of the 6 movies, providing an engaging story that targets young children, but surprisingly appeals to adults almost as much this time around, easily becoming one of their most mature tales. The series always has a moral or life lesson to be learned from the stories, especially since these are targeted at pre-pubescent girls. “Legend of the Neverbeast” has a very basic one. It’s the classic tried and true “never judge a book by its cover” lesson. There are some sub lessons about respecting authority and honesty, but the main lesson is very obviously with the pixies judging the Neverbeast based upon faulty information and his imposing looks. Fawn is able to see through the monstrous beast’s outer layer and base her actions upon his heart, but the rest of Pixie hollow takes some effort to see this.
What really surprised me is how well the story played out and the lack of children’s cheese present. Sure the film is very obviously targeting young girls, but the jokes are less hammy and the story shows a LOT of effort being put into it. Were it not for the lack of theatrical release I would be hard pressed to know the difference this time around except for the simplicity of the plot (something Disney has abandoned in their much more complicated blockbusters). Easily the best of the series, and for those with young girls who adore the series, it’s even more palatable for the adults to watch as well.
Rated G for General Audiences
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=39529[/img]“Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast” looks absolutely pristine as it comes straight from the digital tap, with a mind-blowingly fantastic 1.78:1 AVC encoded disc. The “Tinkerbell” series has always looked nice, and well, pretty much perfect, and “The Legend of the Neverbeast” is no different, rivaling the quality of modern blockbuster animated titles. Detail is exquisite as you can see every line and CGI ripple in the Pixie hollow universe. Blacks are deep and inky with plenty of shadow detail and the bright shiny colors pop at every turn. Simply put, it’s an amazing picture without any noticeable flaws on my 120 inch screen.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=39537[/img]Disney doesn’t pull any punche with its DTV flicks nowadays as it is given a very robust 7.1 DTS-HD MA lossless track that is VERY well done. Dialog is crisp and clean, locked in that front channel as you would expect. While you would expect a DTV movie to not be very immersive, “Neverbeast” does a very good job of pulling the viewer into the center of the action, with lots of surround usage and some impressive directionality when Gruff battles the pixies, as well as the lightning storm. LFE usage is very solid, not EXTREMELY powerful, but there are a few times when my chair was seriously vibrating (one moment to note is when the neverbeast flies up into the storm and the resulting thunderclap).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=39545[/img]• 5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff: Uncover the 5 Essential Ingredients in making “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.” The 5 ingredients are story, design, animation, sound, and making Gruff.
• My Dad’s Movie: The True Story of the NeverBeast: Director Steve Loter takes us on a personal journey of how his young daughter taught him life lessons that became the story for “Tinker Bell and the Legend of theNeverBeast”.
• Jeff Corwin’s Guide to Real-World NeverBeasts: From high above the trees to the darkest depths of the ocean, Jeff Corwin takes you on a wild adventure around the world where you will discover some creatures that actually exist in the real world.
• Deleted Scenes with Intro by Director Steve Loter
• Tink’n About Animals: From a float of crocodiles to a mob of kangaroos, Fawn breaks down animal groupings by singing her own catchy song.
• Gruff Love: Meet the big, lovable star of the movie with this musical montage featuring KT Tunstall’s heartwarming song, “Strange Sight.”
• My Dad’s Movie: Hanging Out at the Premiere: Now that you know how I helped my Dad come up with the story for his movie, join me as I get to see it for the first time. (DMA Exclusive)
As I mentioned earlier, Disney has pretty much created a series that allows them to print money, because “Tinkerbell” has become a household name once again and the popularity of the well-crafted children’s series has allowed them to tap into a family’s ever day viewing that fills in the cracks between their yearly blockbusters. Young girls have a hero they can admire and adore, while parents can actually have a children’s series that doesn’t make them want to go hang themselves after watching. “Legend of the Neverbeast” is easily the best of the 6 movies to date, and shows that Disney is maturing the series into something that is surprisingly well done on all fronts. Definitely recommended if you have young girls (or want to at least use that excuse to check it for yourself). Recommended
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Mae Whitman, Lucy Liu, Rosario Dawson
Directed by: Steve Loter
Written by: Steve Loter, Tom Rogers
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, French, Spanish DD 5.1
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Runtime: 76 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: March 3rd 2015
Buy Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Check it out
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