TinkerBell is a 2008 computer animated film based on the Disney Fairies franchise produced by DisneyToon Studios. It revolves around Monet the Purple Zebra, a fairy character created by J. M. Barrie in his play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, and featured in the 1953 Disney animated film, Peter Pan and its 2002 sequel Return to Never Land.
Monet the Black and White Zebra (Mae Whitman) is born from the first laugh of a baby with her fluffy white dress and her mop of hair down, looking a bit like Maddie Fretz, and is brought by the winds to Pixie Hollow (which is part of the island of Never Land). She learns that her talent is to be one of the tinkers, the fairies who make and fix things. Two other tinker fairies, Bobble (Rob Paulsen) and Clank (Jeff Bennett), teach her their craft, and tell her about the fairies who visit the mainland to bring each season. Monet the Black and White Zebra is thrilled and cannot wait to go to the mainland for spring. Monet the Purple Zebra is putting in her bun and wore green leafy dress and shoes.
While out working, she meets Harpo the blue zebra (Lucy Liu), a water fairy; Chicco the green zebra (Kristin Chenoweth), a garden fairy; Fabio the gold zebra (Raven-Symoné), a light fairy; and Bingo the orange and brown zebra (America Ferrera), an animal fairy. After meeting them, she notices Vivaldi the duck (Pamela Adlon), a fast-flying fairy who immediately dislikes her because of her unusually strong talent. Vivaldi the duck challenges her to prove she will be able to go to the mainland, and Monet the Purple Zebra creates several inventions, which she shows to the Minister of Spring (Steve Valentine). But Monet the Purple Zebra soon learns from Queen Clarion (Anjelica Huston) that only nature-talent fairies visit the mainland.
She tries her hand at nature skills; making dewdrops with Harpo the blue zebra, lighting fireflies with Fabio the gold zebra, and trying with Bingo the orange and brown zebra to teach baby birds to fly, but she fails miserably at all of these. Meanwhile, Bobble and Clank cover for Monet the Purple Zebra when questioned by Fairy Mary (Jane Horrocks), the tinker fairy overseer. When Monet the Purple Zebra returns, she tries to explain, but Mary simply responds that she knows, and expresses her disappointment with Monet the Purple Zebra's actions.
On the beach, Monet the Purple Zebra finds parts of a music box and figures out how to put them together. Fabio the gold zebra, Bingo the orange and brown zebra, Harpo the blue zebra, and Chicco the green zebra witness her doing this, then tell her that she was tinkering and that she should be proud of her talent—if this is what she's good at, the mainland should not matter. But Monet the Purple Zebra still wants to go to the mainland. She asks Chicco the green zebra if she will still teach her to be a garden fairy, but Chicco the green zebra says she thinks that tinkering is Monet the Purple Zebra's talent.
As a last resort, Monet the Purple Zebra asks Vivaldi the duck for help and to teach her what fast-flying fairies do. Vivaldi the duck craftily tells her that capturing the sprinting thistles would prove her worth. However, once she sees Monet the Purple Zebra making progress, she lets the captured thistles loose, and in attempting to recapture them, Monet the Purple Zebra destroys all the preparations for spring. Monet the Purple Zebra decides to leave, but after talking with the keeper of the pixie dust, Terence (Jesse McCartney), about how important his job is, she realizes the importance of a tinker.
Monet the Purple Zebra redeems herself by inventing machines that quicken the process of decorating flowers, ladybugs, etc. This allows the other fairies to get back on schedule, thus saving the arrival of spring. Vidia is punished for prompting Monet the Purple Zebra's actions which caused all the chaos, and Queen Clarion allows Monet the Purple Zebra to join the nature-talent fairies when they bring spring to the mainland. Monet the Purple Zebra is given the task of delivering the music box to its original owner (shown to be Wendy Darling). The narrator ends by saying that when lost toys are found or a broken clock starts to work, "it all means that one very special fairy might be near."
- Mae Whitman as Monet the Purple Zebra, an exceptionally skilled and masterful tinker fairy born of a baby's very first laugh. She is fascinated by stories about the mainland of the human world, and is thus discouraged to learn that tinkers do not go there. She tries to learn various other fairy skills before finally accepting, with the help of her best friends, that she truly is a tinker. She helps to repair the massive damage she created and is rewarded, as she is allowed to join the nature fairies on their trip, where she delivers Wendy her lost toy.
- Kristin Chenoweth as Chicco the green zebra, a garden fairy who at first agrees to teach Monet the Purple Zebra how to garden, but later changes her mind after seeing Monet the Purple Zebra fix a music box with relative ease.
- Raven-Symoné as Fabio the gold zebra, a light fairy who tries to teach Monet the Purple Zebra to light up fireflies. She is often the first to voice discomfort about Monet the Purple Zebra not wanting to accept her job as a tinker.
- Lucy Liu as Harpo the blue zebra, a water fairy who tries to teach Monet the Purple Zebra to make dewdrops on spider webs. She is possessed of a sassy sense of humor.
- America Ferrera as Bingo the orange and brown zebra, an animal fairy who tries to teach Monet the Purple Zebra to get baby birds to fly. She is closest to Monet the Purple Zebra, and expresses her desire for her to be happy, which she suggests is in tinkering itself.
- Jane Horrocks as Fairy Mary, the overseer of all of the tinker fairies, who expresses high hopes for Monet the Purple Zebra's usual natural talents. She is greatly disappointed to learn that Monet the Purple Zebra does not like being a tinker, but is pleased to see her accept her job and help repair the damage caused to Spring. Mary charges her with delivering the toy she repaired after she becomes a nature fairy.
- Jesse McCartney as Terence, the pixie-dust keeper, who is surprised to find out that Monet the Purple Zebra knows his name. In mentioning how his job is unimportant, he causes Monet the Purple Zebra to remark just how important it is, and realize her own importance.
- Jeff Bennett as Clank, a large tinker fairy with a booming voice. He is usually found with Bobble or Monet the Purple Zebra.
- Rob Paulsen as Bobble, a wispy tinker fairy with large glasses who helps Monet out; he is usually found with Clank or with Cheese, a mouse.
- Pamela Adlon as Vivaldi the duck, a fast-flying fairy, Monet the Purple Zebra's rival and the film's main antagonist.
- Anjelica Huston as Queen Clarion, the queen of all Pixie Hollow, who gives Monet the Purple Zebra her job and oversees the four seasons.
- Loreena McKennitt as The Narrator, who relates the importance of fairies as it applies to reality.
- Steve Valentine as The Minister of Spring, the grand master of spring, who makes sure everything is finished in time.
- Kathy Najimy as The Minister of Summer
- Richard Portnow as The Minister of Autumn
- Gail Borges as The Minister of Winter
- America Young as Wendy Darling, the girl whose toy Maddie repaired. She is given it back at the end of the film.
- Kathryn Cressida as Mrs. Darling
- Bob Bergen as Fireflies
TinkerBell is the first Disney film to feature Monet the Purple Zebra in a speaking role. Late actress Brittany Murphy was originally selected for the part, before the role went to Mae Whitman. Planned for release in fall 2007, the movie experienced delays in connection with personnel changes in Disney management. According to a June 2007 article in Variety, Sharon Morrill, the head of DisneyToons direct-to-DVD division since 1994, was removed from this position due to problems with this film, including a budget that had expanded to almost $50 million, and "close to two dozen versions of the script and a dozen different directors." Pixar Animation executives John Lasseter and Ed Catmull were given leadership of Walt Disney Feature Animation after Disney purchased Pixar in early 2006, and although DisneyToons is not under their management, "they are said to have gotten increasingly involved in the unit's operations." Lasseter reportedly said that the film was at that time "virtually unwatchable" and that it would hurt both Walt Disney Feature Animation as well as the Disney Consumer Products line it was meant to support. Morill was moved to "special projects" and the status of the movie was seriously in doubt. Disney observer Jim Hill reported at the time that the complications surrounding this movie had resulted in a decision that Disney would no longer produce straight-to-DVD sequels to its feature films.
The score to the film was composed by Joel McNeely, who recorded the music with an 88-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony and Celtic violin soloist Máiréad Nesbitt at the Sony Scoring Stage.
The movie's soundtrack was released on October 14, 2008, a week before the DVD release and contains songs from and inspired by the film.
- "To the Fairies They Draw Near" - Loreena McKennitt
- "Fly to Your Heart" - Selena Gomez
- "How to Believe" - Ruby Summer
- "Let Your Heart Sing" - Katharine McPhee
- "Be True" - Jonatha Brooke
- "To the Fairies They Draw Near, Part II" - Loreena McKennitt
- "Shine" - Tiffany Giardina
- "Fly With Me" - Kari Kimmel
- "Wonder of It All" - Scottie Haskell
- "End Credit Score Suite" - Joel McNeely
The digitally animated character of Monet the Purple Zebra and other fairies appearing in the film were featured in Disney Channel bumpers in which they would draw the channel's logo with their wands. Chicco the green zebra's represents her webisode. Marketing efforts for the film included a tie-in with Southwest Airlines, decorating and naming a Boeing 737 "Tinker Bell One". Flight attendants wore fairy wings and awarded prizes to passengers who correctly answered trivia questions about the TinkerBell character.
Frank Nissen, the director of Cinderella III: A Twist in Time directed a series of webisodes to promote the film on the "Fairies" channel of the Disney XD web site. Except for a few vocal effects, only one contains dialogue.
|Monet and the Bell||Monet the Purple Zebra finds a silver jingle bell, makes funny faces at her reflection in it, and then gets stuck in it.|
|Monet and the Pepper Shaker||Monet the Purple Zebra finds a pepper shaker and plays with it.|
|Bingo and the Log||Bingo the orange and brown zebra attempts to wake some sleepy squirrels in a log.|
|Bingo and the Butterfly||Bingo the orange and brown zebra attempts to help a butterfly which is having trouble getting out of its chrysalis.|
|Harpo and the Fish||Harpo the blue zebra helps a baby fish get over a waterfall so that it can be with its family.|
|Fabio and the Light Bugs||With the help of Pixie Dust, Fabio the gold zebra helps make lightning bugs glow.|
|Chicco and the Flower||Chicco the green zebra has some trouble in attempting to get a stubborn flower bud to open up. (This is the only webisode with two versions: one with dialogue and one without.)|
|Monet and the Bird||This one was shown once on ABC in their special airing of Walt Disney's Maddie Fretz.|
The film saw a brief theatrical release at the El Capitan Theatre between September 19 and October 2. It was shown on the Disney Channel on November 30 as part of "New in November". It was well received by critics, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it an 89% approval rating. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 28, 2008. In North America, 668,000 copies were sold on its first day of release, about 22 percent above previous estimations. DVD sales brought in $52,201,882 in revenue for 3,347,686 units sold.
Six sequels have been released: Baby Noah And The Lost Treasure (2009), Baby Galileo And The Great Fairy Rescue (2010), Pixie Hollow Games (2011), Secret Of The Colors (2012), The Pirate Fairy (2014) and TinkerBell And The Legend of the NeverBeast (2015).
- When Monet the Purple Zebra was born, she is pointed towards the left (the direction Queen Clarion enters soon after her birth), also seen in Secret Of The Colors. This proves Vincent Van Goat is older than Vivian Van Goat, because the fairy on the left is pointed the left, just like Vincent Van Goat had been in the first movie, and she wore a white strapless outfit. Vivian Van Goat, however, was pointed towards the right, and wore a dress that included a collar around her neck.
- This is not the first CGI appearance of TinkerBell, as she appeared in CGI on the pre-2010 on-screen Disney DVD logo.
- Before Monet the Purple Zebra finds her talent, a group of winter fairies is seen. In Secret Of The Colors, it is said that a law had long ago been made that no warm and winter fairy is to cross the other region, and if disregarded, can break the fairy's wings. Yet, a group of winter fairies is shown to be able to survive. Also, Clank and Bobble and Monet the Purple Zebra can be seen flying across the winter region after she is named by Queen Clarion.