‘Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue’ Streets Sept. 21

The power of friendship lies at the heart of TinkerBell_20Screening_clip_image002.jpg— that of Tink and her erstwhile captor, the young girl Lizzie, spanning the chasm between human and fairy, and that among Tink’s family of fairies who risk their own safety to rescue her.

Disney has given the film its signature special treatment, with a full complement of catchy songs and captivating animation. In fact, the CGI is a draw on its own merits alone, even for those parents who find the story too simplistic to fully engage them.

For children, though, it’s truly the stuff of dreams — not that they’d want an emotionally absent, ultra-pragmatic scientist for a father (like Lizzie’s, the little girl Tinker Bell ultimately befriends), but how cool would it be to find a real fairy in the garden and keep her as a friend!

It was Tink’s curiosity that put her in the predicament, as she joined with her fellow fairies to gather flowers from the springtime English countryside but got side-tracked by a lonely little girl and an attractive, make-shift fairy house. When Lizzie (voiced by newcomer Lauren Mote) finds the sparkly, shimmery fairy in the little house, she decides to take it home and keep it for her own. Tink (voiced by Mae Whitman — Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) tries to appeal to Lizzie, to tell her how terrified she is, but runs up against a huge language barrier — in fact, all Lizzie hears is the sound of tinkling bells. Pantomime eventually works where words don’t, with some amusing miscues on the way to understanding and, of course, friendship.

Meanwhile, back at fairy camp, the Tinker Bell rescue mission is being planned. Little jealousies are put aside for the bigger goal of saving Tinker Bell and, yes, all of fairydom by preventing Lizzie’s dad (voiced by Michael Sheen — Alice in Wonderland) from adding Tink to his butterfly exhibit.

With some lavish strewing of pixie dust that enables even Lizzie’s well-fed tabby to find footing in mid-air as the kitchen crockery takes flight, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue offers a liberal sprinkling of comedy to counter the moments of suspense and emotional highs and lows as it builds to a very satisfying ending.

Directed by Bradley Raymond, who directed the earlier release Tinker Bell, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment includes the voice talent of Kristin Chenowith (TV’s “Glee”), Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) and Raven-Symone (TV’s “30 Rock”). It’s available Sept. 21 on Blu-ray and DVD.

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