By CAINE GARDNER
With Christmas right around the corner, parents are looking to wrap up their holiday shopping, and Disney DVD has three offerings that are sure to please the youngsters in any household.
Ever wonder how the most famous fairy came to be? Tinker Bell answers that question and shows how the journey of Peter Pan's little sidekick began.
The film begins with the creation of Tinker Bell and how she struggles to find her way in the fairy world. Designated as a tinker fairy, she soon realizes that her dream of going to the mainland will never happen. After learning this fact, Tinker Bell sets out to change her destiny and tries to become another distinction of fairy and achieve her dreams.
Unknowingly, Tinker Bell destroys the progress the fairies have made and spring may have to be postponed. I bet you didn't know fairies control our season changes did you? Once it's determined that spring must be delayed, Tinker Bell uses her ingenuity and discovers ways to bring spring to the mainland and in the process realizes her dreams.
The unexpected thing about Tinker Bell is that there is no antagonist in the film. There is no evil menace that lurks in the shadows waiting to wreak havoc on Tinker Bell and her friends. I wasn't sure how this would work, but it works wonderfully.
Disney DVD blasts another one out of the park with their Platinum Edition of Sleeping Beauty.
Beauty is stunning in its presentation and audio clarity. The film has been digitally restored and is presented in a new widescreen edition.
The classic tale of a beautiful princess who is cursed by an envious sorceress is the perfect embodiment of a fairy tale. Other stories are designated as fairy tales, but Sleepy Beauty is the pure definition. It has it all, a beautiful princess, an evil sorceress, good fairies and the dashing prince.
Sleeping Beauty is filled with wonderful songs, agonizing perils and of course a happily ever after. Whether you're a first time viewer or seen the story a hundred times, Sleeping Beauty: Platinum Edition is sure to enchant the child in all of us.
Wow. That's the one word that came to me after my first viewing of Wall*E. I'm a huge fan of animated features, but this is by far the best. I'm not talking about right now, but ever. I know that's bold with fellow Disney/Pixar heavyweight features out there, but this was the first time I believe that an animated movie was more than just a cartoon.
Wall*E is the charming story of a lone surviving robot left behind on Earth after mankind has fled the planet. Man was evacuated after excessive consumerism has left the Earth covered in trash. Sent out on luxury space cruisers, mankind awaits the day to return after the Wall*E units have rid the planet of trash.
This lone Wall*E unit, who has been cleaning for 700 years, has developed a sense of curiosity and has become a little eccentric. A collector of knickknacks, the robot finds something he's never encountered before -- a plant.
Enter the love interest EVE, a sleek, white robot sent to find vegetation on Earth. Wall*E falls head over tracks for EVE and when she is retrieved, he clings to the side of the ship to follow her -- how romantic.
This is where the story really treads a fine line between a kiddie movie and a flick that is driving home a message.
Aboard the Axiom, we are introduced to the human race. A motley collection of obese, immobile individuals on float-chairs who have become reliant on technology for everything. Not too appealing, but maybe not too far from the truth.
Besides being a scathing portrayal of the future of our society, Wall*E is a love story, plain and simple. Never is this acknowledged more than when EVE sees a recording of when she was deactivated on Earth and witnesses the lengths Wall*E went to to bring her back.
There are moments that are a little heavy for little ones toward the end, but like any good Disney film, there's a happy ending.
Final Cut: All three features offer something for kids of all ages. Tinker Bell and Sleeping Beauty are wonderful examples of Disney's magic, but Wall*E adds a whole new dimension to the Disney lore. Don't be surprised to see Wall*E close to the top of many Top 10 list for 2008.
Also check out: www.bannergraphic.com/blogs/cainegardner/entry/22678/