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Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 10/27/2009

All Ratings out of
Movie: 1/2
Audio: 1/2

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 10/24/2009

While the Walt Disney company has always presented itself as a leader in the field of family entertainment, we all know that, when the day is done, the company is a business. And as a business, they've always proven that they love franchises and trends. Of course, they aren't alone in this, but Disney seems to have a special knack for completely ruining beloved characters with unnecessary sequels, and their animated sequels are amongst some of the worst movies ever made. (I've said it before and I'll say it again, Return of Jafar is the longest 66-minute movie ever.) Even Family Guy has taken shots at this phenomenon. Hoping to build upon the success of their "Princess" line, Disney introduced a line of "Fairies" products, with Tinker Bell at the center. Last October, they released the first direct-to-DVD Tinker Bell movie. Now, a year later, we get the second entry, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. Will this be another franchise from which Disney squeezes every drop of life?

The first movie introduced us to Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman) and all of her friends in Pixie Hollow. We learned that there were different groups of fairies, all of whom had different jobs. Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure wisely assumes that we saw that movie, dispenses with re-introducing everyone and everything, and jumps into the story. Tinker Bell learns that during harvest time, a special ceremony is held which uses the blue moonstone. The stone captures moonlight to create blue pixie dust -- one of the most important things for a fairy to have. Tinker Bell is entrusted to create a new scepter which will hold the moonstone during the ceremony. She's not only entrusted with this task, but with the stone as well. As she gets to work on the project, her friend Terrence (voiced by Jesse McCartney) tries to help, but only gets in her way. When the moonstone is accidentally broken, Tinker Bell sets forth on a journey to find a way to replace the relic and save her good name.

Aside from the fact that the movie doesn't take a lot of time re-introducing all of the characters, Disney plays it pretty safe with Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. And, that's not very surprising. The movie presents us with a standard assortment of characters, and the basic plot, where Tinker Bell must go on a journey to save her group, is something which we've seen many times before.

Having said that, there were some surprising elements to Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. First of all, the movie isn't afraid to cast Tinker Bell in a bad light. No, nothing scandalous happens here, but she isn't always perfect. In the first film, we learned that Tinker Bell could be temperamental, and that she was easily frustrated. Here, she is borderline mean to Terrence, so not only must Tinker Bell search for a new moonstone, she must search within herself in order to apologize to him. Is she a good role model? Thatís debatable, but at least sheís given children an accurate portrayal of the fact that you canít be nice to everyone all of the time. (Itís exhausting!) The movie focuses mostly on Tinker Bell, leaving all of her friends from the first movie to be background players. Thus, we donít have a story where the writers are struggling to find important plot points for each character. I was also surprised by the fact that the moonstone shattered. I donít know why that surprised me -- maybe I only expected her to lose it. Once Tinker Bell goes on her journey, there is a plot twist which is wholly predictable, yet somewhat dark for a movie like this. The good news is that this twist forces Tinker Bell and Terrence to use creative thinking to solve their problem. Childrenís programming needs more elements like this.

Of course, the bottom-line here is that if you and your children enjoyed Tinker Bell, then youíll most likely like Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. The good news is that it isnít just more of the same. This movie builds upon the first one and shows Tinker Bell in a (sort of) solo adventure. Disney has more of these movies in the works, so letís hope that they continue to (somewhat) challenge the audience.

Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure chases a rogue cotton ball on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. The movie has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 32 Mbps. The image is incredibly sharp and clear, showing no grain, distortion, or defects from the source material. The CG animation here isnít exactly Pixar level, but itís still pretty good, and this transfer brings the whole thing to life. The level of detail is excellent and we are able to see the specific details of textures and faces. The colors look great, especially the greens. The image is never overly dark or bright. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 3.7 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. This is a very good track, but as itís a family film, the effects arenít demo quality. The stereo effects are good and nicely detailed. The surround sound effects really come to life during the flying scenes and the rat scene. However, subwoofer effects are satisfactory at best.

The Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure Blu-ray Disc contains several extras. "Musical Guide to Pixie Hollow" (4 minute) is a bonus animated short where Tinker Bell and Terrence give us a guided tour of their homeworld. The problem here is that this is little more than a series of animated stills which are accompanied by narration. "Scenes You Never Saw" (4 minutes) is a series of silly bloopers, some of which are running jokes. The Disc contains eight DELETED SCENES which run about 16 minutes and are accompanied by introductions from Director Klay Hall and Producer Sean Lurie. These are all done in either storyboard or an animated storyboard style, so there is no full animation here. The scenes offer some interesting ideas, but nothing overwhelming. "Pixie Hollow Comes to Disney World" (8 minutes) is pretty much an advertisement for the Pixie Hollow Garden at Disney World. The final extra is a MUSIC VIDEO for the song "The Gift of a Friend" by Demi Lovato.

Review Copyright 2009 by Mike Long