Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast (G)
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This is the sixth movie in the Tinker Bell franchise. (Ginnifer Goodwin replaces Angela Bartys as the voice of Fawn.) I've been waiting a long time for any of Tinker Bell's friends to have a more prominent role than Tink herself, in this franchise. I suppose Rosetta did first, in the TV special Pixie Hollow Games (though that was more about a new character named Chloe). But Fawn's lead role here is the first time any of them have carried a movie. And it was well worth the wait. But I think this might be the end of the franchise, which would be a shame. I still want all of Tink's friends to have their own movies.
Anyway, it begins with Fawn trying to hide the fact that she's been nursing a baby hawk back to health. This would cause a panic, because adult hawks eat fairies. And indeed, the secret leads to a certain amount of chaos. But really, that's just to set up the idea of Fawn making decisions with her heart instead of her head, and subsequently, her desire to change that about herself. Of course, her decision to do things "by the book" from now on doesn't last long, when she discovers an animal she's never seen before. That starts with a somewhat cliched "thorn in the foot" situation, but it soon moves past that. Fawn, true to her nature (and her talent), manages to gain the trust and friendship of the creature, which she names "Gruff." She then begins spending all her time studying his activities, rationalizing that it's her job as an animal fairy to learn all she can about animals.
Meanwhile, there's a group of scout fairies, led by Nyx (Rosario Dawson), whose job it is to protect Pixie Hollow from potential threats, such as hawks. Of course, Nyx doesn't trust Fawn, so it's obvious that she'll eventually learn of Gruff's existence, and perceive him as a threat. So she's sort of the film's antagonist, but she means well. Anyway, she learns of a legend concerning a creature called the NeverBeast, which fits Gruff's description. Apparently, a comet that passes by every 972 years (and which just passed by during this movie) coincides with the awakening of the NeverBeast. And the legend makes it seem that the beast is a threat to the very existence of Pixie Hollow. But Fawn refuses to believe Gruff could be a monster. So, she enlists the help of her friends to try to keep Gruff away from Nyx and the scouts.
And that's all I want to say about the plot. It takes a few turns before reaching its happy(ish) ending, but I don't think anything that happened particularly surprised me. Still, it was a really fun movie, with a fair bit of humor and a lot of heart. And again, it was great to see Fawn as the protagonist. And... I dunno what else to tell you. Except, again, I really hope this isn't the end of the franchise. Oh, also, there's a bonus short film on the DVD called "Tink'n About Animals," which was pretty cute.