In the seventh story about Peter Pan’s favorite mini-sidekick and her extended tribe of fairies, Tinker Bell’s friend Fawn (Ginnifer Goodwin) has a knack for rescuing lost animal souls. A baby hawk with a broken wing? No problem. A snake or a vampire bat needing some TLC? Bring it on! But when she uncovers the historic arrival of the NeverBeast – and he has a hurt paw – she begins his care and gives him a name, Gruff.
Nyx (Rosario Dawson) is the tribe’s chief warrior – and she believes the violent legend of the NeverBeast, that Gruff is a threat. Two sides of the situation, two completely different vantage points. It’s interesting, that the situation plays pretty well in adult situations, too. On one side, we see something as different, dangerous, “other”; on the other side, we see the beauty, opportunity, and wonder of a friend we haven’t made yet. How we approach new opportunities and people determines a lot about how much we enjoy life, and the peace we have (or don’t) in life. The Legend of the Never Beast is certainly making a point.
I have to give it to Disney – they know how to market. My kids were well aware of Miles from Tomorrowland (the new Disney Jr. TV show and now a family favorite) and Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast MONTHS before they premiered. Thankfully, the animation and humor make these more-than-endurable direct-to-DVD/TV output by Walt Disney Studio: they are fun for the whole family!
Joining Goodwin and Dawson are Mae Whitman (Tinker Bell), Lucy Liu (SilverMist), Raven-Simon (Iridessa), Megan Hilty (Rosetta). The voice cast is pretty impressive, and the animation is pretty excellent – like a more detailed version of Sophia the First or Doc McStuffins. It simulates real human movement, expression, and emotion, while at the same time not being too realistic (and therefore scary to little ones).