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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (Blu-ray)
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (Blu-ray)
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // G // October 27, 2009 // Region A
List Price: $39.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted October 24, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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Oops. Those tiny, glimmering blue shards all over Tinker Bell's living room...? That's what's left of the only Moonstone any of the fairies have managed to track down over the past hundred years.

Her inventions have a nasty habit of going kind of haywire, sure, but Tink's so inventive that the high sheriffs at Pixie Hollow have given her the nod to make the Autumn Sceptre this time around. Every season when the blue moon is at its peak, streams of light beam through the Moonstone that's perched atop the sceptre, and the blue pixie dust that bursts out keeps all the fairies happy and healthy for the year to come. It's an honor and a big responsibility. Tinker Bell's pal Terence wants to help her out but is kinda just getting in the way, so she sends him on a wild goose chase for a sharp thingie so she can put the finishing touches on her sceptre. That does the trick, too: the sceptre looks magnificent, and the Moonstone fits on it perfectly. Tink stumbles over the compass that Terence drags in, though, and...yikes! Smash. What's left of the sceptre is scattered in pieces all over the floor. Terence was just trying to ::sniffles!:: be a good friend, but that hot-headed fairy barks at him to leave. After he slinks off, Tinker Bell stomps on the floor in frustration and...um, accidentally crushes the Moonstone.

The harvest festival is just a few days off, and the Fairy Council doesn't exactly have a backup Moonstone to grab off the shelf. Oh, but wait...! Tinker Bell hears a story about a magical mirror at Fairy Tale Theatre. It still has one wish left to grant, and it ought to be able to whip up another Moonstone. All she has to do is trek to a faraway lost island, make her way past a toll bridgetroll bridge, steer clear of the hordes of ravenous rats that've set up shop in a crumbling pirate ship, and figure out a way to work around that sneaky, mischevious mirror's magic. No problem, right? Well, maybe it wouldn't be if Tink hadn't soured things with her best friend. Her cotton ball balloon has floated off far, far away, stranding her on the lost island without any food or fairy dust, and the clock's ticking down till it's time for the festival. On the other hand, Tink's made a new pal while she's out and about -- a chirping firefly named Blaze -- and with him helping her out, she has the adventure of a lifetime and learns about the true meaning of friendship while she's at it. Yay!

The story is admittedly kind of thinly sketched, and it doesn't have the colossal, sweeping grandeur I would've expected out of a big-screen Disney adventure. That's okay, though. Too cute for words and endlessly charming, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure sets out to entrance young, wide-eyed girls with its magical world and spectacular visuals. It's definitely more of a kids' movie than a family film,
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but I get the impression that The Lost Treasure accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. It's adorable, it has a sweet sense of humor, and there's a worthwhile message about friendship and understanding bubbling underneath it all. The movie's really about that moral message -- about the journey for Tinker Bell to realize just how hot-headed and quick to blame she can be -- more than anything else. There isn't any sort of moustache-twirling villain to get in the way, and there are only a couple of scenes of danger, most memorably a thrilling chase against a gaggle of red-eyed rats. Most of Tinker Bell's fairy friends sit this one out, just popping up for quick, cute cameos, but The Lost Treasure makes up for it by wrangling in Blaze: a precious, plucky firefly with an endearing R2-D2-flavored chirp.

By far the best thing about Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is its breathtakingly beautiful visuals. It may not be in quite the same league as a $150 million Pixar or Dreamworks film, no, but The Lost Treasure eclipses quite a few of the other computer animated films I've caught over the past few years. I love how expressive its characters are, and the animators take care to make sure every smirk, grimace, subtle gesture, and eye movement come through to really bring them all to life. With an exceptional eye for detail, its jaw-droppingly vivid palette, and some terrific character animation, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure really is a theatrical-quality release. Sometimes the fairies themselves have kind of a shiny, plastic look to them, but otherwise, I really can't think of anything to grouse about Tinker Bell's wonderful animation, and I'm especially impressed by its inspired use of light. It's that sort of embellishment that really separates the ordinary and the extraordinary.

I have a lifelong love of animation, and I can't help but marvel at the skill and craftsmanship that have clearly gone into Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure. Disney isn't settling for something chintzy or cut-rate just to squeeze a few more bucks out of parents; this puts a lot of the theatrical releases from Disney's competition to shame, really. On the story side of things, The Lost Treasure is more ordinary, and it's aimed so squarely at young girls that I don't think it'll hold all that much appeal to older viewers. Still, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is precious and sweetly charming -- it's exactly the movie it sets out to be -- and I'd grab a copy for one of my younger relatives in a heartbeat. Recommended.

Again, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure certainly doesn't look like a direct-to-video adventure. The 1.78:1 image is eye-poppingly crisp and colorful -- so richly detailed that I felt as if I could pick out each and every leaf in the Hollow, the tiniest flecks of fairy dust, and every last hair on the forest critters. The strong sense of texture and meticulous attention to detail really shine on Blu-ray, and its exceptionally striking use of light and its bright, vivid colors bowled me over as well. I really can't muster any gripes at all: the presentation on this Blu-ray disc is perfect.

Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure has been encoded with AVC, and the movie and its extras are offered up on a dual layer disc.

The movie's 24-bit, six-channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is wonderful as well. The Lost Treasure's voice acting is rendered cleanly and clearly throughout, balanced flawlessly in the mix with the buoyant score and all of the sound effects. Most of the action is rooted up front, reserving the surround channels largely for atmosphere and to reinforce the music. Still, there's a strong sense of directionality across the front channels, and the rears are used effectively when they do kick in, particularly a terrific split-surround effect when a catapult goes haywire. With its impressively clear and distinct instrumentation as well as its rich, full-bodied sound, the score by Joel McNeely really shines on this lossless soundtrack. The lower frequencies are kind of restrained but have enough heft to do the job, such as the bickering trolls stomping to block Tink in her tracks. Though I do wish the sound design were a little more consistently immersive, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure sounds great on Blu-ray.

This disc features Dolby Digital 5.1 dubs in French and Spanish as well. Subtitles are also offered in English (SDH), French, and Spanish.

  • Magical Guide to Pixie Hollow (5 min.; HD): Lightly
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    animated with paper cutouts, this bonus short is a guided tour through Pixie Hollow with Tink and Terence.

  • Scenes You Never Saw (20 min.; HD): First up is a really cute blooper reel that clocks in at four minutes. There are also seven deleted scenes, each with high-def introductions by director Klay Hall and producer Sean Lurie. Presented here as roughly sketched story reels, we get to catch a frog race between Tinker Bell and Terence, a vortex threatening to swallow Tinker Bell's cotton ball balloon, Terence winding up bruised and battered as he tries to make some new friends in the Hollow, another appearance by the bickering trolls, Terence doing his squeakiest Tink impression to cover for her while she's out and about, Blaze getting -- oops! -- gobbled up for a second there, and a wistful goodbye that was snipped out at the request of John Lasseter. A lot of these scenes are really well done, and they're definitely the highlight of the extras on this Blu-ray disc.

  • Backstage Disney - Pixie Hollow Comes to Walt Disney World (8 min.; HD): This featurette takes a peek at the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden that opened earlier this year at EPCOT, touching on the design of the garden, how the plant topiaries of Tink and her pals were brought to life, and all the nods to these movies that have been scattered throughout.

  • Music Video (3 min.; HD): The last of the extras directly tied into Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is this high-def music video for Demi Lovato's "The Gift of a Friend".

  • Trailers (HD): Also included are high definition trailers for Santa Buddies, Ponyo, G-Force, The Princess and the Frog, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, PixieHollow.com, Disney on Ice, and the upcoming Blu-ray releases of Beauty and the Beast and Dumbo.

Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is a BD Live-enabled disc, although at least as I write this, there aren't any online bells and whistles to dig into quite yet.

This Blu-ray disc comes packaged in a really eye-catching embossed slipcase with glitter sprinkled onto Tinker Bell's wings. There's also a DVD tucked into the set so the kids can watch The Lost Treasure no matter where they are. Tacked onto the front of the case is an $8 discount for anyone picking up this Blu-ray disc and the high-def release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and through the end of October 2009, Disney also has a $10 off coupon.

The Final Word
Though it doesn't have the sprawling scope or quite as endearing characterization of Disney's big-screen animated adventures, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is still cute and charming. The computer animation is absolutely dazzling on Blu-ray too, so beautifully polished that it definitely doesn't look as if it dove directly to video. The extras are on the thin side, and the movie really seems to be aimed at particularly young kids. Still, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure is so adorable and so gorgeously rendered that it shouldn't have any trouble winning over young, wide-eyed girls, and it's nice to see that Disney's added on a DVD so the kids can watch it in the car or at Grandma's house too. Recommended.

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