Sprinkle, sprinkle little star...
And you thought it was just a fad...
We've seen the schedule released last year showing the timeline for the "Tinker Bell" series of the Disney Fairies franchise. It originally started out as a quartet of films; each reflecting on a different season (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter).
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure.
Tinker Bell: A Midsummer Storm.
Tinker Bell: A Winter Story (working title).
And with the success of the first film and the rough layout of the continuing stories, the Mouse has announced that there will be another film after that one entitled: "Tinker Bell: Race Through The Seasons."
That will take us past 2012. But what they haven't announced is that there are plans for more Disney Fairy films after the fifth Tinker Bell film. In fact, there will probably be a couple more at least, taking us close to the middle of the next decade. That puts this series on the road to a decade worth of properties so you have to know the company is very serious about these films.
They're deep into story on the series thanks to the attention that John Lasseter has give it. Now, I know this series isn't for everyone. It's definitely not for me. But there is a huge following of Tink out there and they love her and I prefer this as part of the Disneyverse than seeing a Hannah Montana t-shirt or a High School Musical lunchbox. And one other thing is that these films actually have plots and characters. And they're pretty good... just not my taste. Lasseter has cared enough to be involved in the creation of story from beginning to end. With the exception of the first film, he's been involved with the plot far more than any film by a Creative in the studio. When Eisner was there, he let the Suits over at Disney Consumer Products just pump out crappy sequel after sequel. Hence the deserved title that came to be known as "Cheapquel" to all this dreak.
Luckily the person that DCP had handling Disney Toon Studios was relieved of her position and all future titles were put under Catmull and Lasseter's supervision. And it's worked out so far. The artist and everyone in management over there has been decidedly upbeat with the infusion of trust that the Mousetro has given to them. Just like the WDAS brand, he expects more of them and they've been delivering when respected and given the ability to show their talent. Plot and story points actually get thought out, not thrown in on these films. Take for example the third film, which will be out next year, it's being animated right now over in India, but the story lines are still being reworked, extended or tweaked. When a new plot device is discovered to advance the story, it goes in. If a new suggestion will help out with making it better, it'll get serious attention. There is actually real care being taken to handling these properties because they want the product to be worthy of the Disney name. The stories for the fourth one are getting more and more in depth with it also being refined as the production dates move closer. The fifth film, which Lasseter admitted will be released around the same time as the Olympics will have a topical narrative to tie into that atmosphere, but as of right now they're in early story development. As for a sixth and seventh or even an eighth outing of fairies? Story plots are being pitched and thrown around at a leisurely pace. But it's been made known that such ideas are welcomed. Good ones will move further down the creative assembly line.
There are good things happening in the home distribution division of the Mouse and I have a feeling that a year or two from now, animation at the theatrical and home areas of Disney will be thought of in a much better light by the people that purchase tickets and DVD's. Quality has a way of doing that. I have a hunch that those fairies will have a hold on girls for a long time to come. Now when it comes to boys? I have a feeling we're going to see Disney get a grasp on them soon enough. After all, you didn't think Tink was the only series they've been developing, did you?