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Film review: Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings (U)

THIS slight, for-tots-and-parents-only resuscitation of JM Barrie’s character is mostly notable for ruthlessly excising all the interesting aspects of Tinkerbell – her impulsiveness, her jealousy, Peter Pan – and replacing them with a mushy tale where Tink (voiced by Mae Whitman) leaves her home in sunny Pixie Hollow for the forbidden grounds of the Winter Woods, where it’s always cold, a bit like Scotland on Sunday’s Glasgow office.

Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings (U)

Directors: Roberts Gannaway, Peggy Holmes

Running time: 75 minutes

**

Over 75 minutes, Tink discovers she has a twin sister in the permafrost called Periwinkle (Lucy Hale) and they resolve not to be parted again, even though the climate of their different realms has a deleterious effect on their wings, and on film critics.

Tinkerbell And The Secret Of The Wings seems to have been unleashed with the presumption that little kids don’t care much about story or character, provided the film comes in bright colours and its chief concept – such as a fairy with bunny pals – appeals to them.

The plot of Tinkerbell is simple enough for children to re­create at home in ballet tutus, and contains no scares or shocks, unlike the original Peter Pan, where Tinkerbell drinks poison. Instead, there are improving sermons about global warming and the importance of being helpful, and the revelation that fairies are procreated by laughter (the sniggering at the back during this bit may have contributed another dozen). More unexpected is the discovery that if you were James Bond in the 1980s, you could end up as a regal fairy such as the Winter Woods’ overlord Milori (Timothy Dalton).

In the run-up to Christmas, I appreciate that Tinkerbell may be a shining deed in a naughty world for parents everywhere. A recent early screening of Life Of Pi in Glasgow was thick with five-year-olds and their parents, who had presumably seen the poster of a boy and a tiger and the certificate PG and thought that they were taking their offspring to see a charming wildlife adventure – only to discover the reality was a two-hour metaphysical voyage into complexity, madness and death.

There are fewer PG movies in cinemas than there are films for teens or adults, and most of them are released at circumscribed times of year (school holidays, summer, October and Christmas). Aside from Rise Of The Guardians or The Hobbit, the highlights in this season of comfort and joy are The Impossible, a wrenching recreation of the destruction caused by the Asian tsunami, Salman Rushdie’s saga of partition, Midnight’s Children, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre In 3D. Whatever the merits of these films individually, child-friendly fare is thin on the ground this winter for kids or parents at the end of their tether. Do you believe that children deserve something better than empty-calorie candy floss? Clap your hands if you do.

Siobhan Synnot

On general release from Friday

 

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2014

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