Review for Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast
Every thousand years a strange green comet flies across the sky and waking up a mysterious creature known as The NeverBeast. This creature, on first sight, looks terrifying, but to the Fairies of Pixie Hollow he is a gentle beast who caring, animal fairy Fawn names Gruff.
However, the Scout Fairies led by Nyx, believe that the creature is something that will bring destruction to Pixie Hollow and she will not allow that to happen. With the rest of her fairy friends, Tinker Bell, Rosetta, Silvermist, Vidia and Iridessa, Fawn must show them all that Gruff is a gentle beast, who may be the key to stopping the disaster... not the cause.
I must say that despite the Tinker Bell films always feeling like they should be straight to DVD, there is an epic, enjoyable feel to them that allows them the priviledge to get the release and reception that they do. True, they will never be ranked alongside Disney's classic films, but they should never be dismissed as just 'another Disney cartoon'. Over the past six films, the character of Tinker Bell and the rest of the Fairies, have been fleshed out to the point where I believe that each character could now go off and star in their own film. This was proven with this film, which is more or less a story about Fawn, with Tinker Bell (who is hardly in this film) acting as a supporting character.
As with the other films, the animation is fabulous with the creation of Gruff a soft toy maker's dream. Though I'm sure most people will complain how much he looks like Falcor from The Neverending Story, I think he looks different enough to let that nitpick slide. However, I will say that if you have any young children who are easily scared, then you may want to watch this alone first and judge whether they would be scared of Gruff as at times he is a bit scary. The writing is fantastic and almost had myself and my little girl in tears at the end, which is the mark of a hugely emotional attachment to the characters and the world they inhabit.
Of course, one of the highlights of this film was the inclusion of songs from KT Tunstall. Her three songs Float, Strange Sight and 1000 Years are simply wonderful. This is not the over the top theatrics of Let it Go or the sillyness of Under the Sea, these are just three songs that really capture the mood and I enjoyed listening to these songs and hopefully they will be included on her next release.
The Bluray includes a number of extra features. Five Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff shows how Director Steve Loter was afraid of big dogs and how this was used to create Gruff for the movie. This is fine, though a little short for a 'Making of' and though it is nice to focus on the new character I think more could have been made of it. My Dad's Movie: The True Story of the NeverBeast is a look at how Loter was afraid of big dogs (again) and how his daughter helped him create the story. Twelve minutes of Deleted Scenes with Introduction are fine and some you can understand why they never got off the storyboard, but still are nice to see.
Jeff Corwin's Guide to Real-World NeverBeasts is a funny look at some of the odd animals in the real world. Talkin' About Animals which is a fun song by Fawn about all the types of animal groups which is fun and some are interesting to learn.
Special Look at Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast, which is essentially a less than two minute highlight reel and should have really just been the Trailer. Considering they made such a big deal about how singer/songwriter KT Tunstall contributed songs to the film it is shame that there is nothing from her or even just a music video.
Finally there is a new Mickey Mouse short Yodelberg which is hilarious. It is odd how the style of Mickey Mouse looks more like Ren and Stimpy with the bizarre visuals and over the top antics. However, this is still fun and a nice addition.
Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is a fantastic film and I do hope that this is not the final film in the franchise as many have speculated. These characters are so full of warmth and magic that there are possibly hundreds of directions and stories still left to tell. If you have any fans of Tinker Bell or the Peter Pan stories, then they will love this. If you know anyone who has a love of big, fluffy animals, then they will love this too.