WERE it not for the introduction of de rigueur 3D, this fourth computer-animated feature based on JM Barrie’s scantily-clad fairy would surely have fluttered straight to DVD.
The Secret of the Wings is lightweight enchantment, which expands Tinker Bell’s universe into the magical Winter Woods.
The contrast between the colourful flora of Tinker’s Nook and this snow-laden new landscape should provide the animators with myriad opportunities for invention.
Unfortunately, imaginative flourishes are in short supply and the level of detail of the animation on both characters and backgrounds merely adequate.
And the plot is as flimsy as one of Tink’s wings.
In the magical realm of Pixie Hollow ruled by Queen Clarion (voiced by Anjelica Huston), Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) and her flighty friends busy themselves gathering berries and coaxing flowers to bloom.
Fairy Mary (Jane Horrocks) oversees the final shipments of baskets, which snowy owls collect and fly into the Winter Woods.
When the time comes for the animals to cross the rubicon, Tink helps Fawn (Angela Bartys) to lead the critters to the checkpoint and watches with envy as the four-legged charges magically sprout winter fur.
“There’s a whole other world over there,” coos Tink, aware that she and her pals are forbidden from crossing the divide into the kingdom ruled by Lord Milori (Timothy Dalton).
Curiosity gets the better of the mischievous fairy and Tink hitches a ride inside the last basket to the Winter Woods.
Holmes and co-director Gannaway’s sweet yet slight adventure has its heart in the right place. Unlike the fairies, though, the film never gains altitude.