For generations, children have been entertained and delighted by a tiny pixie fairy that leaves a sparkling trail in her wake, Tinker Bell. The un-official mascot for Disney, she has finally come into her own with the release of two animated movies that have given her a voice other than the sound of ringing bells. Now that she has something to say, will tiny Tink be a good influence on my little girl?
Who Does She Think She Is?
A fictional character created by British playwright Sir James M. Barrie for his 1904 play and 1911 novel Peter and Wendy, she was described as “a common fairy” who would mend pots and kettles; hence the name Tinker Bell comes from the idea that she was an actual tinker. In early plays she is portrayed by a beam of light and instead of actually speaking, her voice was the sound of tinkling bells. But the first real image of Tinker Bell came from the 1953 animated Peter Pan film by Disney, although she did not have any dialogue in this movie. In later film adaptations of the story of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell has been known to speak, but now with her own movies, she’s ready to take center stage.
She’s Not Perfect… But That’s Okay
The original Tinker Bell was prone to extremes in moods because it was explained that fairies could only hold one emotion at a time in their tiny bodies. So she could not feel sympathy at the same time she was mad which would cause her to be mean occasionally, even though she was mostly friendly and helpful. In her new movies, Tinker Bell stays somewhat true to this, she can be moody and impatient and this gets her into trouble. What makes her a good influence anyway is the fact that she learns from her behavior, and comes to understand the value of her friendships.
In the first movie, our favorite fairy is trying very hard to learn to do something other than be a tinker, because she wants desperately to visit the mainland for spring. So she tries very hard to learn to do other things like lighting fireflies or teaching baby birds to fly, but fails at these other tasks. Also, one of her attempts is sabotaged by a jealous fairy. In the end it is her skill at tinkering that saves the day and she realizes the value of embracing her own special talent.
In the latest release, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, she is involved in a mishap that results is breaking a special moonstone which is supposed to help replenish the supply of pixie dust in Pixie Hollow. She blames her friend for the mishap and rushes off to try to find a way to fix the problem. In the end, she realizes that blaming others and hurting the feelings of her friend was wrong.
Yes, We Should Clap For This Fairy
In the original telling of the story of Peter Pan, we encouraged to clap if we believe in fairies. While little Tink isn’t perfect, her modern animated version has lots of great qualities that promote kindness and good self esteem. So despite her beginnings as a tiny, chirping, sexually suggestive imp, Tinker Bell today is a character that is alright for my daughter to look up to. (Or is it look down to?)