Movies: Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue * *
(G, General Release)
Once upon a time, and long, long ago, Disney had an intuitive knack for deftly adapting the best-loved children's stories and folk tales into lovingly crafted animations.
But that was then, and this charmless computer-animation seems a very poor relation to those great Disney films. A sequel to a 2008 film of similar title, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue resurrects JM Barrie's singleminded young fairy, who has a talent for fixing things but a terrible knack of landing herself in trouble. In this film, she's knocking about the English countryside with her fairy buddies when she accidentally comes into the possession of a little girl.
Fairies are supposed to avoid us lot at all cost (look what happens to the poor creatures who don't), but when Tinker Bell meets and is initially captured by Lizzy, she wonders what all the fuss is about. Lizzy is a sweet and clever little girl who wouldn't harm a fly, but when she tries to tell her rather dismissive father about her latest discovery, trouble looms and the fairies set out to save Tinker Bell before it's too late.
In keeping with JM Barrie's stories, the film is set in Edwardian London -- except for the fairies, that is, who all speak like valley girls and bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the Bratz dolls. There are 3D effects and a voice cast that includes Lucy Liu and Anjelica Huston. But, all in all, it's an uneasy and uneven film whose only charm is provided by a sinister cat.