Tinker Bell (film)

Tinker Bell
Directed by Bradley Raymond
Produced by Jeannine Roussel
Written by Jeffrey M. Howard
Narrated by Loreena McKennitt
Music by Joel McNeely
Edited by Mark W. Rosenbaum
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Home Entertainment
Release dates
  • September 18, 2008 (2008-09-18)
Running time
78 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million[1]
Box office $9,199,510[2]

Tinker Bell is a 2008 computer animated film and the first installment in the Disney Fairies franchise produced by DisneyToon Studios. It revolves around Tinker Bell, 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. Unlike Disney's two Peter Pan films featuring the character, which were produced primarily using traditional animation, Tinker Bell was produced using digital 3D modeling. The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray by Walt Disney Home Video on September 18, 2008.

Tinker Bell is the first Disney film to feature Tinker Bell in a speaking role. Actress Brittany Murphy was originally selected for the part, before the role went to Mae Whitman.[3]


Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) is born from the first laugh of a baby, 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. Tinker Bell is thrilled and cannot wait to go to the mainland for spring.

While out working, she meets Silvermist (Lucy Liu), a water fairy; Rosetta (Kristin Chenoweth), a garden fairy; Iridessa (Raven-Symoné), a light fairy; and Fawn (America Ferrera), an animal fairy. After meeting them, she notices Vidia (Pamela Adlon), a fast-flying fairy who immediately dislikes her because of her unusually strong talent. Vidia challenges her to prove she will be able to go to the mainland, and Tinker Bell creates several inventions, which she shows to the Minister of Spring (Steve Valentine). But Tinker Bell 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 Silvermist, lighting fireflies with Iridessa, and trying with Fawn to teach baby birds to fly, but she fails miserably at all of these. Meanwhile, Bobble and Clank cover for Tinker Bell when questioned by Fairy Mary (Jane Horrocks), the tinker fairy overseer. When Tinker Bell returns, she tries to explain, but Mary simply responds that she knows, and expresses her disappointment with Tinker Bell's actions.

On the beach, Tinker Bell finds parts of a music box and figures out how to put them together. Iridessa, Fawn, Silvermist, and Rosetta 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 Tinker Bell still wants to go to the mainland. She asks Rosetta if she will still teach her to be a garden fairy, but Rosetta says she thinks that tinkering is Tinker Bell's talent.

As a last resort, Tinker Bell asks Vidia for help in becoming a garden fairy. Vidia craftily tells her that capturing the sprinting thistles would prove her worth. However, once she sees Tinker Bell making progress, she lets the captured thistles loose, and in attempting to recapture them, Tinker Bell destroys all the preparations for spring. Tinker Bell decides to leave, but after talking with the light-keeper, Terence (Jesse McCartney), about how important his job is, she realizes the importance of a tinker.

Tinker Bell 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 her to cause the chaos, and Queen Clarion allows Tinker Bell to join the nature-talent fairies when they bring spring to the mainland. Tinker Bell 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."



The film has gone through two dozen script versions and multiple directors.[1] The movie was produced with animation firm Prana Studios from their India location in CGI.[4]

Planned for release in fall 2007, the movie experienced delays in connection with personnel changes in Disney management.[5] 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 the film, including a budget that had expanded to almost $50 million. Pixar Animation Studios 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."[1] Lasseter reportedly said that the film was at that time "virtually unwatchable"[6] and that it would hurt both Walt Disney Feature Animation as well as the Disney Consumer Products line it was meant to support.[7] Morill was moved to "special projects" and the status of the movie was seriously in doubt.[8] 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.[6]


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.[9]


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.[10] Other than the score suite, the only tracks in the film are both parts of "To the Fairies They Draw Near," "Fly to Your Heart" and "Fly With Me."

  1. "To the Fairies They Draw Near" Loreena McKennitt
  2. "Fly to Your Heart" Selena Gomez
  3. "How to Believe" – Ruby Summer
  4. "Let Your Heart Sing" Katharine McPhee
  5. "Be True" Jonatha Brooke
  6. "To the Fairies They Draw Near, Part II" Loreena McKennitt
  7. "Shine" Tiffany Giardina
  8. "Fly With Me" Kari Kimmel
  9. "Wonder of It All" – Scottie Haskell
  10. "End Credit Score Suite" – Joel McNeely


An album of Joel McNeely's score from the film was released on July 22, 2013 through Intrada Records as part of a co-branding arrangement with Walt Disney Records.

  1. Prologue
  2. To the Fairies They Draw Near Loreena McKennitt
  3. A Child's Laughter / Flight to Pixie Hollow
  4. Choosing a Talent
  5. Tink Tours Pixie Hollow
  6. Welcome to Tinker's Nook
  7. Tinker Bell's New Home
  8. Tink Meets the Other Fairies
  9. The Lost Things Theme
  10. Tink Meets Vidia and Finds Lost Things
  11. Tinkering
  12. Your Place is Here
  13. Making Things
  14. Tink Tries to be a Light Fairy
  15. Teaching a Baby Bird to Fly
  16. Hawk!
  17. Tink Finds the Magic Box
  18. Searching for Answers
  19. Sprinting Thistles
  20. Tink Feels Lost
  21. Spring is Ruined
  22. Rebuilding Spring
  23. The Music Box Restored
  24. To the Fairies They Draw Near, Part II – Loreena McKennitt
  25. Tink Meets Wendy
  26. Fly to Your Heart Selena Gomez


The digitally animated character of Tinker Bell 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. Rosetta'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 Tinker Bell character.[11]

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.[12] Except for a few vocal effects, only one contains dialogue.

Title Description
Tink and the Bell Tinker Bell finds a silver jingle bell, makes funny faces at her reflection in it, and then gets stuck in it.
Tink and the Pepper Shaker Tinker Bell finds a pepper shaker and plays with it.
Fawn and the Log Fawn attempts to wake some sleepy squirrels in a log.
Fawn and the Butterfly Fawn attempts to help a butterfly which is having trouble getting out of its chrysalis.
Silvermist and the Fish Silvermist helps a baby fish get over a waterfall so that it can be with its family.
Iridessa and the Light Bugs With the help of Pixie Dust, Iridessa helps make lightning bugs glow.
Rosetta and the Flower Rosetta 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.)
Tink and the Bird This one was shown once on ABC in their special airing of Walt Disney's Peter Pan.

Video game

Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell
Developer(s) Genius Sonority
Publisher(s) Disney Interactive
Distributor(s) EA Distribution
Director(s) Bradley Raymond
Producer(s) Jeannine Roussel[*]
Composer(s) Joel McNeely
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Release date(s) October 28, 2008
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Disney Fairies: Tinker Bell is an adventure game for the Nintendo DS. The game begins with Tinker Bell's arrival in Pixie Hollow, preparing each season. As the seasons progress, more areas from the game become accessible. After all four seasons are completed, every area may be visited and season preparations become optional and vary each time. Various different tasks must be accomplished, which are bestowed upon the player by other characters. Such tasks include deliveries, item repairs, requests for items and searching for insects.

The player plays as Tinker Bell in a free-roaming Pixie Hollow, using the touch screen to maneuver the character, move to other maps and play various minigames. The player must, for example, touch an arrow on the screen to move to another map or characters to speak to them. The touch screen is used in the item repair minigames as well. For example, the player must trace the pattern of a groove to clear it or rub the item to clean stains. The DS microphone is used to create wind to loosen leaves and petals or blow dust from an item being repaired. The highest rank on 'Tinker bell' is Champion of the Craft.

Different gameplay mechanics can also be acquired in-game, which require specific use of the touch screen. These include:

Also present in the game is a "Friendship Meter", which serves as an indicator to measure the player's relationship with other characters. It can be filled by presenting the respective character with their favorite item, accomplishing tasks or even simply speaking to them. The meter can also be depleted, however, by not speaking to the character for extended periods of time, giving an unwanted gift or missing a repair deadline.



The film saw a brief theatrical release at the El Capitan Theatre between September 19 and October 2.[13][14] It was shown on Disney Channel on November 30 as part of "New in November". Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an 89% approval rating, based on 9 reviews.[15] The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 28, 2008.[16] In North America, 668,000 copies were sold on its first day of release, about 22 percent above previous estimations.[17]

DVD sales brought in $52,201,882 in revenue for 3,347,686 units sold.[18]


Five sequels have been released: Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009), Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (2010), Pixie Hollow Games (2011), Secret of the Wings (2012), and The Pirate Fairy (2014).[19] One additional film Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast, was released in Spring 2015.[20]


  1. 1 2 3 McNary, Dave; Gilstrap, Peter (June 21, 2007). "Disney tosses Toons topper". Variety. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  2. "Tinker Bell (2008)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 17, 2014.
  3. Baisley, Sarah (June 20, 2006). "Brittany Murphy to Tone in as Tinker Bell". Animation World Network. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  4. Strike, Joe (March 28, 2007). "Disney DTV Sequels: End of the Line". Animation World. Animation World Network. Retrieved March 23, 2016. The Fairies will be CGI-animated by Prana Studios in India.
  5. Menn, Joseph (December 21, 2006). "Merchandise has less magic with delay of 'Tinker Bell'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  6. 1 2 Hill, Jim (June 20, 2007). "Say "So Long !" to direct-to-video sequels : DisneyToon Studios tunes out Sharon Morrill". Jim Hill Media. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  7. o-meon: Tinker Bell: Return of the Dark Fairy By C. W. Oberleitner
  8. Mushy (June 22, 2007). "Tinkerbell Straight-To-DVD Release in Limbo". MovieWeb. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  9. Goldwasser, Dan (July 9, 2008). "Joel McNeely scores Tinker Bell". Scoring Sessions. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  10. "Tinker Bell - Songs from and Inspired By Disney Fairies". iTunes. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  11. Jackovics, Ted (November 1, 2008). "Southwest Adds Pixie Dust In Deal With Disney". Tampa Bay Online. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  12. Armstrong, Josh (January 23, 2007). "Director Frank Nissen on Cinderella III". Animated Views. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  13. Smith, Dave (June 1, 2012). "Supplement to Dave Smith's Book, Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia" (PDF). Disney Online. p. 87. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  14. Beck, Jerry (August 18, 2008). "A theatrical release for Tinker Bell?". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  15. "Tinker Bell (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  16. Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (July 18, 2009). "THE WORLD'S MOST BELOVED FAIRY RETURNS IN AN ALL-NEW MAGICAL ADVENTURE". DVD Dizzy. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  17. Barnes, Brooks (October 30, 2008). "Disney Hoping 'Tinker Bell' Spreads Fairy Dust on Sales". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  18. "Tinker Bell - DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  19. Beck, Jerry (December 5, 2013). "FIRST LOOK: Disneytoon Studios' "The Pirate Fairy"". Animation Scoop. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
  20. "D23 Expo: New Art From the Upcoming Disney, Pixar and Disneytoon Movies". ComingSoon.net. August 9, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
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