Sitting down with Producer Jenni Magee-Cook and Director Peggy Holmes at DisneyToon Studios in Glendale, California back in February, there was an overwhelming sense of joy and enthusiasm as they begun discussing the creation of THE PIRATE FAIRY, the latest installment of the Disney Fairies franchise, which hit Blu-ray and DVD this week. “I wanted to tell a story about a girl that makes a mistake,” explains Holmes in discussing Zarina, the “Pirate Fairy” herself (voiced by MAD MEN‘s Christina Hendricks), and a new resident of Pixie Hollow that leads Tinker Bell and friends to a world not previously-explored in the series: Never Land.
“Everyone makes mistakes, and ultimately, your friends will be by your side,” she continues, about the message present in what is a very different kind of adventure for the Fairies, and one that serves as both a sequel to the recent series, and a prequel to 1953’s PETER PAN.
Having just viewed THE PIRATE FAIRY in the very screening room where Disney Animation Chief John Lasseter and the crew gather to brainstorm and give notes, the message rings true, and stands as something I can relate to my own daughters, in teaching them right, wrong, and how to rectify those situations that might go differently than intended. While the message is an important narrative, the historical ties to Disney past is also key, such as the development of a familiar… yet, much younger crocodile that eventually grows up to cause a certain Captain to require the use of a shining, silver… hook.
Among the many aspects of THE PIRATE FAIRY that stands-out is the musical element, bringing into the film a pair of songs by Natasha Bedingfield, and an impressive, Pirate-themed song-and-dance performed by actor Tom Hiddleston (THE AVENGERS‘ Loki). “If it wouldn’t have been Peggy who directed this, we would’ve made her come on to do that song,” quips Magee-Cook, referring to “The Frigate that Flies” and the ability of Holmes to “choreograph things without making them look choreographed.” You see, there’s a ROCK connection in Holmes past, as she’s a noted choreographer whose body of work includes the 2001 Mark Wahlberg film, ROCK STAR, along with WAYNE’S WORLD and FAME L.A., among others.
As noted in my formal review of THE PIRATE FAIRY, this is a film that will appeal to girls and boys alike, and a story that’s already been enjoyed by my little ones here at HQ.
Big thanks to The Walt Disney Company for inviting me to pay their studios a visit funded by Scrooge McDuck himself. In fact, THE PIRATE FAIRY is now close by at all times, as a signed piece of production art now hangs in my office, alongside a collection of artifacts and photos brought back from my recent adventures…
Disney’s THE PIRATE FAIRY is available on Blu-ray and DVD via (my affiliate) Amazon: