Children's & Middle Grade · Fantasy · TV & Movies

“Secret of the Wings”: More on Discrimination in Pixie Hollow

Please note you can’t find this movie by searching “Tinker Bell” on Netflix, you have to search “Secret of the Wings.” Carry on — spoilers ahead.

Tinker Bell Secret of the Wings DVD cover

In the fourth Tinker Bell movie, we discover that warm-temperature fairies aren’t allowed into the Winter Forest, and winter fairies aren’t allowed into the warm-weather segments of Pixie Hollow. This is something of a return to the themes of the first movie, where Tinker Bell wants to go somewhere and the others won’t let her, based on her nature. The stated reason is her wings will freeze and break in the cold, but sewing a parka doesn’t make any difference to the rule. This time she just does it without asking, and while she’s there, she meets Periwinkle.

Normally I wouldn’t like it when a character just does whatever she wants in flagrant disregard for the law, but I’m not terribly impressed with Pixie Hollow’s management and hate “It’s for your own good” paternalism, and I just really don’t care about Queen Clarion and Lord Milori’s dumb rule in this case. Not only do they forbid travel between the seasons, they forbid any interaction at all, just based on their own bad experience.

This does bring up a question that arises in fantasy and sci-fi sometimes though: What’s discrimination, and what’s legitimately based on the existence of different species? There are biological differences between the winter and warm-weather fairies, and a fairy could die (or never be able to fly again) if he or she is in the wrong temperature for too long, so it takes some work to get warm clothes or air conditioning, and there’s a danger involved. But with those precautions, it’s safe, and fairies would be undertaking the journey of their own accord, and they work out pretty easy ways to adapt at the end.

On the same note, the bugs and animals don’t speak, but are generally very expressive and sentient. Are they slaves? Are they paid for all the little jobs they do for the fairies? For that matter, is anyone paid for work in Pixie Hollow? It seems the whole society is built around work based on your talent, so maybe bugs are also taking part in the same joyous moneyless society that results from everyone being happy to work instead of forced to work.

Tinker Bell Secret of the Wings

There are more romance elements in this movie, but I thought they were done well and they’re not the main topic. (Periwinkle asks Tink if Terence is her boyfriend, the monarchs apparently had quite an intense romance and they smooch at the end, and there’s a pretty typical swoony romance in the background between two of the supporting fairies). Again, the movie is visually gorgeous, and it was fun seeing Tink wander around without her wings since they’re so associated with her at this point. I also loved the way Tink and Periwinkle’s friends came together to welcome and support each other, and I’m loving the new friendship between Tink and Vidia. As with The Lost Treasure, there’s no scary villain in this movie, just interpersonal interactions.

My political-science-student complaints aside, I really enjoyed the movie and it was another great installment in a series that is, surprisingly, consistently good.

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9 thoughts on ““Secret of the Wings”: More on Discrimination in Pixie Hollow

  1. The rule seems a lot like the stupid “no attachment” thing in Star Wars — just a random nonsense thing someone thought up for plot purposes because they needed a conflict.

    I like the way it played out in the end, but the plot device itself was random.

    I wondered that about the animals to, and I kept hoping someone would mention/explain it, but you’re right, it’s probably just too dense for little kids movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so happy that they chose to have Tink and Vidia become friend bit by bit over the course of the movies! It was a brilliant idea rather than having kept the rivalry in a rigid way. Now I’m wondering about how the insects and animals also participate and how the whole economical-political work in Pixie Hollow!

    Like

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