If we realize it or not, when we are entertained by a story, it is because there is at least one character we’ve identified with. When there is a film, or a book of other sort of media that we say we didn’t like, it is usually because what was presented didn’t resonate enough for us to be invested.
"Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast" came out on Blu-ray combo pack last week. Unless you are a small child who currently dreams about being a princess, there usually is not enough substance in a home entertainment release like this one to make watching worth it.
Sure, if you are an adult who remembers their innocent memories about what great things there are in this world and others beyond, you can tap into "NeverBeast" for a fun, little ride.
However, and we’ve found this true for writers who use animation to share stories, that if a story is presented on multiple levels, there can be that identification for anyone. We take ownership of characters we enjoy.
That being said, and I’m probably not alone in this, most of us older than say the age of 12 will love this film. And it isn’t because of Tinker Bell or her friends who live in Pixie Hollow.
Those under 12 will love this film for a multitude of other reasons. The rest of you out there will find yourself identifying with Gruff, the NeverBeast.
Gruff has a job to do, he is misunderstood, and is looked at by some as a problem to be dealt with. By the end of the film, he’s the hero.
"We showed (John) Lassiter the end of the film," said director Steve Loter. "What he said is that we now have to earn that ending."
Lassiter, the head of Walt Disney Animation as well as CEO of Pixar, knows a thing or two about telling good stories. In this Tinker Bell film, he provides the guidance and lets his team do what they do best. The proof is in the proverbial pixie dust as you witness children flying with this adventure.
Ginnifer Goodwin of ABC’s "One Upon a Time" fame as Snow White provides the voice of Fawn, the animal fairy. The talented Rosario Dawson of "Men In Black II" and "Sin City: A Dame To Kill For" plays Nyx, a scout fairy. Also, there’s the returning voices of the other Tinker Bell films with Mae Whitman as Tinker, Megan Hilty as Rosetta, Raven Symone as Iridessa, Lucy Liu as Silvermist, Pamela Adlon as Vidia and Anjelica Huston as Queen Clarion.
Jeff Corwin, known for his guide to real world animals that runs on ABC most Saturday mornings, plays a small role in the film, and is the narrator host for a short on the Blu-ray that teaches children of some of the creatures that exist in the real world. The extras also include a great tale of Loter’s journey as the director and as a dad and how his interaction with his daughter and large dogs influenced his tone and take on the film.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.