Look high in the sky on this Neverland night,
For a glowing green star, the fourth from the right….
Take heed and you’ll know that before the dawn breaks
Deep down in the darkness, something awakes
~”Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast”
The sixth movie in the Disney Fairies series is the best of the bunch. The folks at Disneytoon Studios have really outdone themselves with “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast.” Every aspect of this wonderful film makes it clear that it was a labor of love for director/writer Steve Loter and his team. This lovely fairy story has heart from beginning to end.
It turns out that Tinker Bell isn’t the only troublemaker in Pixie Hollow. Her friend Fawn, the animal talent fairy, has a passion for big, scary animals. She enlists Tinker Bell’s aid in smuggling out a baby hawk, a predator of fairies, which she has rehabilitated. This leads to a hawk attack, and the scout fairies come to the rescue.
The scout fairies, led by Nyx, are the defenders of Pixie Hollow. They tend to see anything they don’t understand as a threat. So when mysterious roars are heard in Pixie Hollow following the appearance of a comet in the night sky, an alarmed Nyx investigates.
The animal-loving Fawn is intrigued, and discovers the source of the roars. The comet has awakened a huge beast she names Gruff. Fawn and Gruff become fast friends, and she’s fascinated by his strange behaviors. Knowing Nyx’s attitude, Fawn unsuccessfully tries to keep Gruff a secret.
Nyx discovers through an ancient manuscript that Gruff is the legendary NeverBeast. The manuscript includes an image of the NeverBeast which Nyx interprets as threatening. She decides to lead a pre-emptive attack. Fawn, Tinker Bell, and their friends try to protect Gruff, but he’s injured and captured.
This turns out to be a terrible mistake. Fawn discovers that Gruff plays a crucial role in protecting Pixie Hollow from destruction. In the face of violent opposition from the scout fairies, she must help him before it’s too late.
This movie is beautiful on so many levels. There’s the visual beauty of the film itself. There’s the beauty of nature and the animal kingdom. It also depicts the beauty of the relationship between people and their pets, as well as the beauty of friendship. Finally, there’s the beauty of a fond farewell.
The story was written by Steve Loter and Tom Rogers; the screenplay was by Tom Rogers, Robert Schooley, Mark McCorkle, and Kate Kondell. This story has depth and is layered, and explores several different themes. It also offers lessons for people from childhood to old age. There is joy, sweetness, and comedy, balanced with a bit of sadness and darkness.
Like many fairy stories, this one offers lessons that are important for people of all ages about the absolute need for balance in the way we live, think, believe, act, and feel. Fawn loves all creatures unconditionally, and that’s wonderful, but it’s also important to balance that with a healthy respect and caution when approaching strange animals. She’s guided by her loving heart, but she also has to learn to use her intellect.
Nyx has the important job of protecting Pixie Hollow, and she needs to be on the lookout for danger, and to take defensive action when necessary. But that must be balanced with getting the facts straight first. Being out of balance leads her to be hawkish, and to launch a pre-emptive strike against Gruff with disastrous consequences. Finally, she must learn about the important of balance in the ecosystem. Any living plant, animal, and insect has its place. To destroy or remove any part of that system endangers the rest of the system, including the people.
“Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast” is truly a movie for everyone. It’s enchanting, funny, thought provoking, suspenseful, and poignant. It’s a must see and a must buy.
“Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and Disney Movies Anywhere.