While in L.A., we stopped by DisneyToon Studios to screen The Pirate Fairy. Now, my daughter loves Disney fairies and I happen to know all about Tinkerbell. 😉 Her only request when I left for L.A. was to get a picture of the Pirate Fairy (she just turned 4). I’m happy to say I did just that and then some.
After screening The Pirate Fairy, we sat down and interviewed the filmmakers. We met with both Director Peggy Holmes and Producer Jenni Magee-Cook and were able to discuss the making of the film as well as ask some questions.
About the Movie
From the world of “Peter Pan” comes “The Pirate Fairy,” a swashbuckling new adventure about Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks), a smart and ambitious dust-keeper fairy who’s captivated by Blue Pixie Dust and its endless possibilities. When Zarina’s wild ideas get her into trouble, she flees Pixie Hollow and joins forces with the scheming pirates of Skull Rock, who make her captain of their ship. Tinker Bell (voice of Mae Whitman) and her friends must embark on an epic adventure to find Zarina, and together they go sword-to-sword with the band of pirates led by a cabin boy named James (voice of Tom Hiddleston), who’ll soon be known as Captain Hook himself.
My Review of The Pirate Fairy
I’ve seen every Disney Fairy movie ever made. Honestly, between my childhood and living through my daughter’s childhood I’ve seen them all. So, I was super excited to be able to watch The Pirate Fairy before it comes out April 1st on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
The Pirate Fairy flows seamlessly in the family of Disney Fairy movies. It is the story of Zarina, who is a very curious fairy. She finds her talent is less than welcome in the lives of the other fairies and she leaves, not to be heard of for a while. In the mean time, she changes to become the Pirate Fairy and hooks up with a band of pirates and criminals. Oh no! No, worries. Tinkerbell is there and if you’ve seen any of the other films, you know that there is a moral to the story and a happily ever after.
There are a few surprises within the story that I can’t share, but you’ll be like – “really? That’s awesome!” Characters show up along the way and you find out where they ‘started’ from in the world of fairies. This is a movie that will keep a smile on your face the entire way through. I cannot wait to share this movie with my little ones. It is bound to be a new favorite in our house.
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Once we sat down with Director Peggy Holmes and Producer Jenni Magee-Cook we found out a bit more about the behind the scenes process of making The Pirate Fairy.
This is an amazing movie with an amazing cast. How did the casting go about?
Peggy: …the Fairies Franchise series, our main girls Tinker Bell, Silvermist, Rosetta, Iridessa, and, Fawn and Vidia have all been cast since the beginning. We have Jason Henkel here [DisneyToon Studios] who is like our casting director. And he’s fantastic. And then in this particular case, the cast we added which was, Christina Hendricks and Tom Hiddleston, we worked with Jason, we talked about sort of what we wanted the, what the characters were like. And then he brings a list to us and in this case they are our top picks for each character, which was incredible.
Let’s talk about Christina a little bit.
Jenni: Christina. We really-really wanted you to like her. And we wanted to find a character that was likeable, but yet you could understand made a big mistake, and goes away. But also had to be powerful, I mean, she’s a seven inch fairy fighting pirates. So she’s got to be vulnerable and sweet out front.
But then she’s got to be tough when she’s a pirate, so it took a really big range of acting and Christina Hendricks is amazing. And we all knew her from Mad Men and we knew she could have that sharp tone- tough wit, but she has such a sensitive soft side to her also. And she has such a passion for this passion and really excited by coming in and doing a fairy. She’s a, a huge Disney fanatic, so Iremember we showed her around the building and we were in the story room showing her art and she- she just was totally in the story about how it dawned on her. She was going to be a fairy… so to become a fairy and part of the Disney legend, she was just thrilled to do and you can see that on the screen what she brought.
About Tom Hiddleston
Peggy: So then Tom Hiddleston was first choice yes…he did it, which was just amazing. And one of the great things about Tom is first of all he’s a triple threat right. He can sing, dance, and act, which is amazing.
He’s got a really, extensive, education background at RADA and things like that. And so, one of the things that Tom really understood for this character is that Hook is a bigger than life character. So Hook is a bigger than life character. So Tom, we listened to the original book Hans Conried and what Tom understood very clearly was that was a big performance but believable for the day. It was a completely believable villain for the day.
Tom understood how to then get a bigger than life character, a bigger than life performance that was believable for today’s audience. And Tom got that right off the bat. And had so much fun giving us little glimpses of aha- like the big laughs and just giving us little glimpses, because he’s only twenty years old. Our thought was that, that basically Hook is not as bitter, and evil as he is in Peter Pan yet.
Because he hasn’t had all the failures. But you can see he’s going to start to have a lot of failures and a lot of things that go wrong for him. And he’s got big ideas that just don’t work out. You know, so Tom really had a handle on kind of how to make this character super charming and loyal and very unassuming. And then make that flip, which was great.
Start to finish, what was the time frame to complete The Pirate Fairy?
Peggy: You know, we actually made this film in fifteen months.
Jenni: This was an incredibly fast project. The clearing of the story and Peggy had a really clear idea for the emotional track she wanted to take Zarina on.
Because everything is about telling and supporting that story. So clarity of that was great. The help from the entire studio to put it together and our families understanding they’d see us in fifteen months.
Peggy: You know, one thing I’d like to mention in casting is Jim Cummings, who plays two of the pirates and here, he plays Oppenheimer, the little old guy and he plays the big round guy. Jim is just a classic Disney voice over actor. And he’s so amazing, so I always like to just talk about Jim, because he’s just part of Disney history. So amazing. And he also sang. All the guys sang all their own stuff.
Jenni: The pirate song was really fun to do, because we got to have the guys in and sing that and that brought their personality to the characters. So it was really helpful casting people who could sing and could act, it wasn’t mandatory.
But it worked out really uniquely on this project to have that ability. So it just lets them do little bits that you can hear and really feel the character.
The Pirate Fairy coming to Blu-ray combo pack on April 1st. Pre-order now.