Tinker Bell movie review: Years before meeting Wendy and the Lost Boys, Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) meets nine-year-old Lizzy Griffins (Lauren Mote), a little girl with a steadfast belief in the power of pixie dust and the magical land of fairies. During the fairies' summer visit to the flowering meadows of England, Tinker Bell ends up getting trapped in a small fairy house Lizzy had built so she could catch a fairy. Tinker Bell is brought to Lizzy's house, where the two form a special bond with each other. However, when Lizzy's scientifically-minded father discovers Tinker Bell's presence in his household, he attempts to deliver her to the museum for study. When Tinker Bell's rival Vidia (Pamela Adlon) is taken in her place, Tinker Bell and her fellow fairies (Raven-Symoné, Lucy Liu, Kristin Chenoweth and Angela Bartys) launch a daring rescue to save her.
Some time ago, a clever marketing bod at Disney noticed that Tinkerbell products sold by the fistful, and suggested giving Peter Pan’s companion her own franchise. This third instalment is the first to hit cinemas, but it’s not the sort of story where a lack of familiarity with the characters will prove any impediment. It’s also not the sort of tale to entertain anyone over the age of 9; the characters are stock and the plot predictable. While there’s great voice work from an unexpectedly solid cast (Kristin Chenoweth, and Raven-Symoné also feature) and lots of colour and fairy magic for the kids, this is emphatically not a cartoon with any ambitions to cross either the gender or the age gap.
By adult standards, it’s pretty bad. For the under-10s, however, it has enough pixie dust and fairy wings to make it a must-see.