Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Tinker Bell

Note: The original purpose of this blog post is no longer relevant. I have reworked this post to remove the old information; this post doesn't even really need to be on here anymore, but the photos in this post are highly popular, so it stays!

I love the Tinker Bell movies. That may make me weird as an adult, but they are fun movies.

Queen Clarion is the mother figure of the film. She can manifest at will, and the most enchanting part is that when she arrives to the court and manifests in her glowing golden form, she comes in the form of four glowing balls of light that combine and form her full self.

 


In the first of the films, Queen Clarion plays a very visible role, imparting wisdom and guiding the pixies around her. She is the one to enable each new pixie's wings with flight, and helps them all find their path in life at Pixie Hollow. My favourite part is just after she has arrived to Tinker Bell's introduction to Pixie Hollow, and she says:

"Born of laughter, clothed in cheer, happiness has brought you here." 

In the world of Tinker Bell, pixies (or fairies - though there is a difference between the two, in these movies the names are used interchangeably) are born from the first laugh a baby makes. But what better thing to be told when you're first born into the world? That seems like a grand way of life to me

I am a huge fan of the Seasons, the way humans represent each section of the year symbolically and the holidays that fill them. My particular favourite is Winter, which means that I went into the latest of the Tinker Bell films with a hopeful bias that this was going to be the best of the series.

In the previous three or four movies, Tinker Bell is very much a part of the warm side of the year, traversing through spring and summer, with an occasional glance at Autumn. Winter is a side to the year that she literally never looks at except for a few moments in the first film where she is going to Tinker's Nook, her new home. There they are introduced as nearly elfin types, tall and thin, and very pale, all of them exhausted from their work on the Mainland (England) where they have just finished bringing in the Winter.



Skip to the Secret of the Wings. This is the first time we see this side of the Hollow up close, and all of a sudden there are a lot of things changing in the makeup of their world. In the first film we see all of the seasons interconnected, all touching each other, and meeting up in the centre where the Pixie Dust Tree grows.

As Tinker Bell leaves the tree for the first time, headed to her new home in Tinker's Nook as a Tinker Fairy, she actually flies through Winter, and thus sees the tired Winter Fairies. But in the Secret of the Wings, the next time we officially see the cold part of the year, it's all of a sudden disconnected, removed from the heart of Pixie Hollow, and is actually forbidden to the other fairies.


In this photo, you can clearly see all three of the other seasons - Spring, Summer, and Autumn - all have a monopoly on the tree - the Pixie Dust Tree being the big green one in the middle with the gleam of gold at the centre. There is no room for Winter to even exist; it's been cast out somehow between the first movie and this one. Winter is actually behind you in this picture, a perfect boundary line beyond Autumn that doesn't seem to touch Spring. No longer does it reach to the heart of Pixie Hollow like the other Seasons do. It even has its own pipeline that allows Pixie Dust to reach the Winter side of the Hollow.



The perfect line between the Seasons

There are two other main changes to the film that break drastically from the first. In this movie it's actually forbidden for fairies 'of the warm seasons' to enter Winter, and it is also forbidden for Winter fairies to cross to the warm seasons. What about Autumn? That's not a warm season, but for some reason, they all seem to be lumped together as a warm 3/4 of the year and a measly 1/4 of the year for Winter alone. Talk about unbalanced.


The second change is who rules Winter. In the original film, the court is evenly divided between male and female, with Queen Clarion above them all, as you can see in the picture when Clarion appears at the Pixie Dust Tree.



Here we have Autumn in brown in the back on the right, Spring in blue and purple in the back on the left, Summer in the front on the left in a gown made of a giant flower, and in front on the right is Winter, in an ice blue gown and severe hairstyle. Each of them have the position of 'Minister' so they are the Minister of Autumn, Minister of Winter, and so on.






Then comes Secret of the Wings. Now only three of the Ministers report to Queen Clarion, and the fourth is locked up in Winter. The title of the three has remained Minister, while all of sudden there is a Lord of Winter. Lord Milori. Now the seasons are definitely unbalanced! There are three male and only one female leader of a season - Summer.

So what has happened to Pixie Hollow? One season has been completely remade, while the others potter along as usual. There are no excuses for these changes either - the rule that warm fairies could not enter Winter nor Winter fairies cross to the warmer seasons is presented as having always been in place since the founding of Pixie Hollow. The reason for this ban is that warm fairies' wings will freeze in the cold air, and the cold fairies' wings will become too warm outside of their domain - in both cases, they will break and the fairy will never be able to fly again.
I think again of when the pixies flew freely between the seasons in the first movie. Though they rubbed their arms in cold, they never talked about wings freezing. A final change to the Winter Pixies is that they no longer hold their elfin stature, but have shrunk to look as the others do, though generally remain a bit thinner than the warmer fairies. In the first film, they are completely covered in clothing, in this one, they dress as skimpy as Tink does.
Not only sisters, but twins, their wings are a match
The message of the film though does make up somewhat for this complete disregard of original features of the land they had created. The bond of sisters is more fought over and considered more precious than the somewhat-love-story between Tink and Terence (one of the fairies who delivers pixie dust to all who live in Pixie Hollow). And it is this sisterly bond, not the love of Clarion and Milori, that crosses the gap and brings the world of Pixie Hollow back to a cohesive whole as it used to be, with freely crossing fairies between the seasons.

I don't mean that romantic relationships aren't important - but in the overall scheme, they make a very small percentage of the relationships any human being will have. A relationship is defined as a connection, the state of being related to something else. You'll have relationships with nearly everyone you meet, but each one of those is a degree of knowing - an acquaintance, a close friend, the bond between family members; the relationships that aren't so good as between rivals, or even hatred, can be the type of relationship you have with another. Even if you have many romantic attachments during your life, there will be plenty more with whom you are never so involved. And it is nice to see a series of movies that plays with this idea, this knowledge of relationships, whether or not the creators do it consciously. Most kids movies will have a romantic theme, even if it's understated. Usually someone will fall in love - and while at the end of the Secret of the Wings Sled, the Winter Fairy, and Rosetta the Flower Fairy, have an immediate attraction between each other, it's still very much the minority in the film. This makes up a few spare seconds in total, with about three lines exchanged. In comparison with the first film, where there are no romantic attachments, and the third film (The Great Fairy Rescue) which focuses on the father-daughter aspect, though poorly, this addition makes no great weight in the favour of typical movies.

Others in the Tinker Bell series have touched on some pretty cool topics along these lines, such as the fan-favourite in this house, "Legend of the Neverbeast." These movies really aren't so bad.

~x~