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Tinker Bell, critique by a literary snob

standard December 8, 2008 5 responses

The Tinker Bell I got to know back in English Lit class was a vindictive little jealous bitch who was always out to get Wendy. Of all the books I studied in all the classes I took for my Masters in Children’s literature, Peter Pan was one of my favorites. I loved the story, but more importantly I loved the characters, including bitchy little Tink.

Disney has a bit of a history of taking great literary works and turning them into simpering cartoons. (The Hunchback of Notre Dame or Beauty and the Beast anyone?) So I will admit that I cringed a bit when I saw that not only were they creating a movie based on Tinker Bell, but that they were essentially creating a whole world around her. I was worried that they would turn my feisty little competitive fairy into a sickly sweet magical sweetheart. I don’t think I would have handled that very well.

Had it just been all about me I would have gladly avoided anything to do with the disneyfied fairy. But it’s no longer just about me. Noooo, now it’s all about my darling children, and the 3-year-old, she loves her some Disney girlie stuff, namely princesses and fairies. So, when I saw that Tinker Bell was on TV the other night, even though I was sure I would hate it, I recorded the movie because I knew C would be thrilled. You know, despite the fact that I was pretty sure that we’d be watching it over and over and over and over again.

I was right about watching it a lot, I was wrong about hating it.

It pains me to say it, but Disney did a great job of building on a great literary work. Despite a cutesie little nod to the original story at the very end, Tinker Bell is actually a good movie. The characters are well developed, the story is good, and the message is one I can endorse and which I’m glad C is drinking in. After all, who can’t use the reminder that we’re all good at some things and we should work hard at perfecting those talents rather than being envious of everyone else’s?

Beyond a good (original) story, a well constructed world, and some interesting characters, the animation is amazing and the music is lovely. C is entranced by the movie and already knows it by heart and yet, I’m still considering putting it on our holiday wishlist. No joke. It’s that good. And that’s high praise coming from this literature snob.