A version of this review appeared in The Age, September 20, 2012.
In the original version of my review of a previous film in this computer-animated series, TinkerBell and the Great Fairy Rescue, I puzzled over what the fairy from J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan was doing in Britain rather than Neverland. Quite rightly, an online reader took me to task: Tink and her friends make an annual pilgrimage to bring summer to the mainland, a plot point I had carelessly forgotten.
Changing seasons again feature in TinkerBell and the Secret of the Wings, in which our ever-inquisitive heroine (voiced by Mae Whitman) embarks on a forbidden journey from her home in Pixie Hollow, where the sun is always shining, to the Winter Woods, forever covered in snow. Magically, Tink's wings start to sparkle as she comes into contact with her previously unknown sister Periwinkle (Lucy Hale). Strictly speaking, of course, fairies don't have parents, but it seems that the pair were “born from the same laugh,” which you can interpret as you will.
Space and a certain nausea prevent me from recounting the rest of the plot in detail. Suffice to say that Tink and Peri come close to unleashing apocalypse with their transgressive bond, before the screenwriters relent and decide that love can, after all, cross borders. The Secret of the Wings is better scripted and animated than its predecessor, and the directors Peggy Holmes and Bobs Gannaway deserve credit for smuggling in a more progressive message than you'll generally find in a Disney B-feature. Still, the usual warning applies: adults should steer clear.