This movie opens not with Tinker Bell, but with Zarina, a fairy we haven’t seen before. She’s a Dustkeeper fairy, one of the workers who maintains the flow of pixie dust for the others. We find out she’s an inquisitive fairy, running experiments on the dust even though tampering with dust is forbidden. She goes to Tink for help because Tink has a reputation for fringe activities. Much as Tink has done in every movie so far, Zarina overreaches herself and gets herself into trouble. At that point it jumps further in time and switches more to Tinker Bell and her friends, and we find out Zarina’s become a pirate! Hijinx ensue.
I loved Zarina’s questions and her ambition in a world where everyone’s encouraged to go with the flow. Everyone’s supposed to know their lot in life and not make waves. She seems more self-aware than Tink was about it, but it also gave a good opportunity to show how much Tink herself as grown over the course of the series. I like how integrated she’s become with her friend group and that Vidia’s part of it now. I especially love that the plots don’t come from interpersonal conflict between the fairies, but also don’t come from big “pure evil” type interlopers. It makes for a surprisingly realistic series.
The plot is more action-and-adventure than the other movies have been, and it has more to do with Peter Pan, what with the pirates and all. They visit some locations on the island that were in Peter Pan, and some characters actually make appearances, but they’re much younger. So, it’s established there’s probably 15-20 more years before the events of that movie. Fans of Tom Hiddleston’s voice, you will enjoy! It seems like this movie signals a change in the series, but honestly I’m not sure what sort of change — more adventure? More Peter Pan? More movies about other characters?
Plot events also result in the fairies switching talents around, which was fun. It also means they wear different clothes — come to mention it, they’ve done a pretty good job of (subtly!) putting Tink in different outfits throughout the series, which adds interest as well as a reason to sell more toys. I just thought I’d comment since it is done so subtly and naturally, it’s not one of those “This is the movie where she wears the parka!” things.
I thought the animation wasn’t quite to the level it was in Secret of the Wings, especially where the dialogue was concerned. The mouths didn’t seem to be quite in sync or something. The pirates have a musical number with dancing, and I noticed the same thing… It just didn’t seem as natural as before. Plus, I had some plot questions: Where does Zarina get tiny pirate clothes? Also, for those who have seen the movie: Exactly how long did Zarina plan to let everyone sleep, and did she know the winter fairies would wither in the heat if someone hadn’t been there to arrange snow? Because they could’ve all died, and I feel that wasn’t properly addressed.
That aside, The Pirate Fairy was another great installment in the series, and I love the way the world is slowly unfurling and being enriched with every movie. I’ll be finishing off this series tomorrow with the Pixie Hollow Games special (which actually should’ve come before Secret of the Wings… sorry)!