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Tinker Bell films
The Tinker Bell films are a series of computer-animated direct-to-TV/DVD feature films starring the Disney interpretation of Tinker Bell and a host of fairy characters created by Disney as part of their Disney Fairies franchise. The films are:
- Tinker Bell (September 2008)
- Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (October 2009)
- Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (September 2010)
- Pixie Hollow Games (TV special) (November 2011)
- Secret of the Wings (Christmas 2012)
The four feature-length films are each set in one of the four seasons (Tinker Bell in Spring, Lost Treasure in Autumn, Great Fairy Rescue in Summer, and Secret of the Wings in Winter). Pixie Hollow Games, which began as a feature film but ended up as a shorter television special, is set during the Fairy Olympics. The order of the films and their titles have undergone changes since the original announcement of the series. Originally all of the sequels were to be titled Tinker Bell and the..., but this pattern was dropped with the Pixie Hollow Games special, and promotional material for Secret of the Wings, while featuring Tinker Bell very prominently, does not include her name in the title. With rumors that Disney intends to continue making films in this series (the rumored titles "Tinker Bell and the Golden Mine" and "Tinker Bell and the Far Away Pirates" have appeared online), this suggests that the focus might move to the other characters.
The series very nearly didn't happen, due to internal squabbling at Disney. According to a June 2007 article in Variety, Sharon Morrill, the head of DisneyToons direct-to-DVD division since 1994, was removed from this position due to problems with the first film, including a budget that had expanded to almost $50 million, and "close to two dozen versions of the script and a dozen different directors". Pixar Animation executives John Lasseter and Ed Catmull were given leadership of Walt Disney Feature Animation after Disney purchased Pixar in early 2006, and although DisneyToons is not under their management, "they are said to have gotten increasingly involved in the unit's operations." Lasseter reportedly said that the film was at that time "virtually unwatchable" and that it would hurt both Walt Disney Feature Animation as well as the Disney Consumer Products line it was meant to support. Morill was moved to "special projects" and the status of the movie was seriously in doubt. Disney observer Jim Hill reported at the time that the complications surrounding this movie had resulted in a decision that Disney would no longer produce straight-to-DVD sequels to its feature films, as had become commonplace (even cranking out sequels to classics such as Cinderella). Apparently Tinker Bell was considered a "spin-off" rather than a "sequel", and the fact that the initial feature went directly to DVD has exempted the rest of the series from this prohibition.