It's summertime, and Pixie Hollow has relocated to the main land at their “summer camp” in the English countryside. verything is running smoothly, leaving Tinker Bell with little to do. Recipe for trouble, right? When she spots a car driving down the road, Tinker Bell cannot resist its allure and flies off to watch it. Vidia, worried that Tinker Bell will end up endangering the camp, follows her. When the car stops, out pops a little girl named Lizzie, who sets up a fairy house, made of cardboard and flowers, in the meadow. Tinker Bell immediately investigates, despite Vidia's warnings to stay hidden. Frustrated, Vidia slams the door behind the blonde fairy, but when Lizzie returns the door sticks and Vidia can't get Tinker Bell back out. Tinker Bell is trapped, and the entire world of fairies risks exposure.
I've been enjoying the Tinker Bell franchise, but this movie is definitely a downgrade from its predecessors. First of all, the very idea of Tinker Bell befriending a human seems impossible, given how much the character taunts and torments Wendy in Peter Pan. Lizzie's story is so weak, too. Her father is a biologist specializing in butterflies, and he's constantly reminding Lizzie that she should deal in facts, not fantasy. He's a classic busy parent with no time for his kid.
To keep Lizzie busy, the father gives her a blank field journal and tells her to fill it up with scientific investigations. Having just befriended a fairy, Lizzie proceeds to quiz Tinker Bell about life in Pixie Hollow, and Tinker Bell tells her everything. (Although it's largely in pantomine, because Tinker Bell's “speech” is just the tinkling of little bells.) Even though fairies have obviously labored very hard to hide their presence from humans – at one point, Lizzie tells Tinker Bell that she thought the changing of the seasons was due to the rotation of the earth's axis, and the fairy confirms “Oh, that's just what we wanted you to think!” - Tinker Bell freely confesses all of their secrets. She explains the different types of fairies and what they do, how they're born, and even gives Lizzie directions to Neverland! Y'know, Tinker Bell has got to be the biggest liability that ever came to Pixie Hollow. In these three movies, she's destroyed preparations for spring, smashed the moonstone that creates pixie dust, and blabbed all about fairy life to a human who writes it down for future readers. Queen Clarion should really stop trusting her with anything more complicated than manufacturing carts and buckets, because one of these days Tink's f*ck ups are going to cost Pixie Hollow dearly.
...in fact, I think I just figured out why Tink's the only fairy in Peter Pan. She's going to do something so colossally messed up that she will wipe Pixie Hollow off the face of Neverland, and she'll be the last post-apocalyptic survivor. In the process, she'll become a wee bit cracked, thus explaining the personality changes we see between this Tinker Bell and the one in Peter Pan. Hmm. I would actually like to see that movie.
Anyway, so Lizzie makes her field journal and shows it to her father, who isn't impressed because fairies aren't real and why hasn't his child, a biologist's daughter, figured this out yet? Tinker Bell loses her temper and starts yelling at the father, who decides he must capture her to show the board at the Natural History museum. Vidia shoves Tinker Bell out of danger and ends up captured herself. (Oh, by the way, there's a whole sub-plot of Vidia flying back to camp and recruiting all of Tinker Bell's friends to rescue her that I'm ignoring.) Lizzie's father heads off to London, the fairies follow to save Vidia, and in spite of everything there's a happily ever after when Lizzie's father learns to abandon science and simply believe in fairies and magic.
Oh yeah, I'm sure that message is going to be a popular one.
With such a predictable and problematic plot, it's hard to root for Tinker Bell and the humans. It just isn't a very interesting story! One thing I did like, though, was that the characters' costumes changed to match the season. Tinker Bell's dress is still her standard green, but instead of being cut from a single leaf it's more like a blade of glass wrapped around her bodice and a series of small leaves flaring out into a skirt. Her friends, too, all have new outfits made from flower petals and leaves. I realize that this was almost certainly done so that the marketing department could sell new outfits for the inevitable fairy dolls, but it always bugs me in animation when characters wear the same ol' thing day after day because no one does that in real life.
But new outfits can't make up for a bad story, so meh. You should probably skip this fairy adventure.