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18 January 2013 @ 02:24 pm
Movie: Secret of the Wings (2012)  
Secret of the Wings (2012)

Random thing I learned from Wikipedia today: the male fairies are properly referred to as “sparrow men”. Interesting, because I'm pretty sure I haven't heard that term in any of the Tinker Bell movies.

Anyway...

So once again, we return to Pixie Hollow, where it's time to change over from fall to winter. Fawn is busily trying to guide the animals to the Winter Woods, and the ever-curious Tinker Bell volunteers to help her so that she can visit the Woods herself. When Tinker Bell sneaks over the border, her wings begin to sparkle as they have never done before. Before she can figure out the cause, Fawn ushers her to the nearest hospital because if a fairy's wings get too cold, they'll shatter, and nothing can repair a broken wing. Tinker Bell is fine, so she immediately goes to the library to find out what caused her wings to glow. Sadly, the page that contains the answer has been eaten by bookworms, and the author of Wingology lives in the Winter Woods. Tinker Bell decides that the only thing to do is to sneak into the Winter Woods and find the Keeper. She succeeds, and learns that her wings glowed because her sister was nearby. The shocked tinker fairy learns that one of the frost fairies, named Periwinkle, was born of the same baby's laugh that created Tinker Bell, and the two sisters quickly become best friends. Since it is forbidden for winter fairies and other fairies to cross the border between their lands, they are doomed to be separated, unless they can convince the leaders of the two groups to change the law.

There are so many problems with this movie that I want to jump into, but first I should point out that it is a fairly entertaining flick. It's not as good as the first two Tinker Bell movies, but it's so much better than Great Fairy Rescue that I did enjoy it. If it was a standalone movie, it'd be OK.

The trouble is, this isn't a standalone fantasy but a story told in Pixie Hollow, a world that has been fairly well established in the past three films. The idea of the Winter Woods clashes terribly with the winter fairies established in Tinker Bell. First of all, the winter fairies are now led by Lord Milori – whatever happened to the female Minister of Winter we meet in the first movie? There's also no indication that the winter fairies are cordoned off or separated from the main body of fairies. In fact, fairies don't seem to be divided by seasons at all, but by talents. I mean, Rosetta is a garden fairy, but she's busy all year long, not just in the spring. Why would a frost fairy be different? It just doesn't mesh.

Secondly, the retroactive addition of a sister for Tinker Bell was done so clumsily. It was really disappointing. Wouldn't it have worked better if the sister had come about as the fairy created by the first laugh of the sibling of Tinker Bell's baby? Instead, the two fairies were somehow split off from the same laugh, which makes me wonder – is that how all winter fairies are made? If so, does that mean that there are as many winter fairies as there are of all the other fairy types? Or are winter fairies as rare as twins in the human world? Neither scenario seems to produce the right amount of fairies...

Periwinkle looks very similar to Tinker Bell, but honestly, most of the fairies look so similar to each other that this isn't much of an accomplishment and doesn't really mark her out as a sibling. She's also much less curvier than Tinker Bell, which seems an odd thing to stand out, but it made me wonder if she was so underdeveloped because she doesn't have access to the food or bounty of spring/summer/fall? If there is, in fact, a winter counterpart to every fairy, and they're all confined to the Winter Woods, maybe they're all slowly starving to death because there isn't enough food to go around-

- and I wander way the heck off-topic. Clearly, it's a simple kid's movie and I'm overthinking it.

Once again, Tinker Bell f*cks up in a major way, nearly dooming Pixie Hollow to destruction. This time, she invents a machine that allows Periwinkle to travel in the non-winter sections of Pixie Hollow by creating a small pocket of snow for her to travel in. It's actually a great idea, as tinker projects go. When the machine gets tossed into the river separating the two worlds in order to prevent other fairies from using it, it continues to produce snow, and in a short time it has created so much that the weather patterns are altered and winter is spilling into Pixie Hollow, creating a deep freeze that destroys all the plants in its path. If it reaches the dust-producing tree at the heart of Pixie Hollow, the fairies are all dead.

Way to go, Tink. Again.

Obviously, the problem is solved in the end, but this definitely cements Queen Clarion's role as the worst leader Pixie Hollow has ever seen. If she had any sense, she would see that Tinker Bell was closely monitored at all times and possibly confined, because she does nothing but cause trouble and constantly endanger fairy civilization. Yes, it might be cruel to put Tinker Bell down, but on the other hand a lot of potential problems would be avoided if this came to pass. Just sayin'.

Another thing that really made me sad while watching this movie was a male fairy Tinker Bell meets in the library. He's a buck-toothed, squinty-eyed Asian fairy a la Long Duk Dong. As a society, haven't we moved past this stereotype yet? Really, really, REALLY not cool, Disney. But I'm the only one who seems to be bothered by this fairy – even Racebending hasn't thought it worthy of note – so I guess I'll get over it now.

Not the best of the Tinker Bell movies – rather, Secret of the Lost Wings is about the quality I originally envisioned for the series. The first two movies were pleasant surprises, but this one and the previous movie have shown that Disney couldn't maintain the quality for the long haul.
 
 
 
Tako: sparklychacusha on September 6th, 2013 02:49 am (UTC)
I enjoyed this movie too, but it was also a huge exercise in head-scratching at all the retcons. Kept trying to figure out whether the Minister of Winter still existed and just had a role separate from Lord Milori, or if they were rewriting the universe to remove her entirely. The whole winter fairy separation thing was an interesting bit of world-building but also contradicted things shown in earlier movies.

I don't think winter fairies are created via the twin laugh thing. I think Periwinkle just happened to land in the winter woods, making her a winter fairy. Presumably that's a fairly normal occurrence that can happen to any newborn fairy. It's just that if both Tinker Bell and Periwinkle had landed in the same place, they would've known straightaway that they were twins, but they didn't.

Another thing that bothers me is that I looked up how frost affects plants and all the information I could find is that frost is what damages plants in the winter. Hrmmm...

Regarding the fairy in the library, I don't think he was actually supposed to be Asian? He seemed like a Caucasian fairy fulfilling the bookworm librarian stereotype. IDK, I didn't get an Asian stereotype vibe from him.

Have you seen the Pixie Hollow Games? It's a shorter TV special that was shown on the Disney Channel. I liked that one a lot, but my friend didn't like parts of it.
Suzik00kaburra on September 6th, 2013 05:07 am (UTC)
The Minister of Winter still appears on the Disney Fairies website, so I assume she's still part of the universe...but heck if I know how she fits in!

Ha ha, I didn't even think to look and see whether the claim that frost will protect plants is true! That's funny...

I went back and re-watched the library scene to see pinpoint why I got that stereotype vibe. I think it's the combination of the buck teeth, straight down the middle bowl cut and glasses. I read him as Asian, mostly due to his coloring, but I suppose it isn't definitive. Since I haven't seen any other reviewer mention it, it must be just me :-p

I haven't seen Pixie Hollow Games yet. I keep hoping that it will pop up on Netflix, but it hasn't yet.