Seriously. Look at those lids:
As the story goes, I had just turned three when my best friend and I were both cast as Tinker Bell in the pre-school year end performance of Peter Pan. One set of wings + Two Best Friend Tinker Bells = Two one-winged fairies (or one two-headed fairy, either way, that’s friendship.) At my eighteenth birthday, just before we left for college, Rachel cut a symbolic pair of fairy wings in half for us to take our separate ways. And every day in between — especially on summer afternoons after the camp bus dropped us off — we loved Walt Disney’s Peter Pan.
Life-defining childhood moment aside, as a spritely blonde kid with pointy ears, my kinship to Tink ran deep — I dressed as Neverland’s resident Pixie on many occasions, and as an adult, I was powerless against the itty bitty Tinker Bell costume I tortured Dee with not one but TWO Halloweens in a row.
And yet, somehow it wasn’t until this year when I sat my own almost three-year-old blonde spriteling down to watch my favorite childhood movie that I realized that my beloved fairy friend was…well…tempestuous to say the least. I mean, when it comes to welcoming Wendy to the island, even Captain Hook is more hospitable.
So imagine the pleasant surprise upon my arrival at DisneyToon Studios when I realized that this new Pixie Hollow Tinker Bell? Well, she’s all a little girl’s favorite magical creature should be. She’s clever and kind and driven and brave and just the right amount of flawed for us humans to relate to.
My daughter is just turning three, so I missed the first few installments of the Tink franchise, but after watching Secret Of The Wings I was so charmed by this new version of Peter Pan’s sidekick I couldn’t wait to introduce her to Dee. Getting to watch Tinker Bell discover her long-lost sister is the sort of stuff my childhood best friend and I would have spun hours of play out of.
And as for Tink’s plastic surgeon? I actually had a chance to take a sketch class from her after the screening. Her name it Ritsuko Notani and she is the lead character designer for the entire Fairies series. She designed the whole Pixie Hollow crew from scratch, with the exception of 49-year-old Tink, who only needed a tiny nip/tuck to prepare for her moment in the spotlight: The original Tinker Bell was silent, and her mouth needed to be moved about a quarter of the way up her face to account for speech. That’s a procedure I think I could do without…