Because we borrowed the Tinkerbell movie from the library, I have no idea what happens in the middle third of it. We have slowly and painfully discovered that the middle third of EVERY movie from the library is scratched and un-viewable.
But the other two thirds I really liked.
It feels different from other Disney movies because it lack music or comic sidekicks so my preschoolers were bored. But, have no fear, Tinkerbell’s tiny fairy body is anatomically impossible and her eyes are way too big, never quite letting you forget it’s a Disney movie.
It’s the conflict in the movie that grabbed me and pulled me in. It’s a conflict that could not be resolved through meeting one’s true love or escaping the tower, village life, cultural norms, or the Underwater Kingdom.
The story is about Tinkerbell fighting and then accepting her gift and her path even though it means realizing that she does not have other gifts and can’t pursue other paths.
Brave Statement, Walt (and your people.)
After growing up in a generation raised to believe we can do Anything, I now turn to my little daughters and find myself echoing the same belief.
Except I want to add, in a hushed whisper, “but you can’t do EVERYTHING.”
Following the generations raised to inherit careers, jobs, sameness, our mark is one of vocational revolutionaries.
Except that the dreams we dream big and the questions we love asking in the classroom can become our burden in the workforce, and sometimes even the cause of paralysis.
If we can do ANYTHING, what should we do? Where should we go? What is important enough? How do we avoid settling? Why are we sometimes miserable when we actually decide what to do? And the belief that anything is everything leads so quickly to contentment with nothing.
And some of us, when we do find our unexpected path, are ashamed to admit that what gives us the most joy and purpose is about as sexy as tinkering (probably less.)
Tink goes through a process (anyone been there?) And it’s not a pretty one (are there pretty processes? sign me up. ) But when she accepts her calling, complete with its limitations, she finds joy and freedom.
I must confess that Tink, in the end, still gets to go to the mainland, though Tinkers usually stay back. I rationalize this with my understanding that they do have to retain a link to JM Barrie’s story.
But really, it’s Disney, and they have to sell merchandise, and wish upon stars, so every protagonist gets the exception. For our select purposes, we will call this GRACE: Hello King Triton letting Ariel have legs.
And by the way, my inner Rage Against the Princesses not so secretly hopes that part of Tink’s process was a real awkward, ugly, lonely phase in her 20’s that I happened to miss because it was in that scratched middle third…
Should you order Tinkerbell on Netflix tonight? No. Are you confined indoors with sick young children and it’s between this and Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom? Choose this and get excited for some personal growth.