Sheer Delight

What do you find delightful? A couple of weeks ago a friend told me what delighted her: the Disney Fairies movies.

“You should watch them,” she suggested.

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I wasn’t too keen on the idea, believing that only girls three to six would take an interest in them. I couldn’t help recalling some of the Barbie videos I sat through multiple times while babysitting a little girl. (She insisted on watching the same movie over and over.)

Anyway, my friend talked me into watching Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Never Beast—a 2014 film she’d watched with her daughter. It’s part of the fairies series that centers on Tinker Bell, the character from J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan/Peter and Wendy, who became iconic because of the 1953 Disney movie, Peter Pan, and her place as Disney’s mascot. But there are other fairies as well.

Having seen the play and read the book, I can say categorically that Tinker Bell was never one of my favorite characters, though she is way more interesting than Wendy. My interest, however, wanes in stories where one person is jealous of another person because they both want to be loved by the same person. So the thought of watching a series where jealous Tinker Bell is the main character failed to fill me with delight. But because I trust this friend’s opinion, I bit the bullet.

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She was right. Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Never Beast was delightful. I also realized that I’d fallen into the jaded adult trap with my presumption that I would fail to find enjoyment in a product intended for three- to six-year-old children. And I call myself a writer of books for children? Shame on me for trying to avoid a product many kids (and parents) love.

The title of the movie is a bit of a misnomer, since another character figures heavily in the action. (And I don’t mean Peter Pan.) But since this post is not a movie review per se, I’ll move on to why it delighted me.

Delight is one of those subjective terms that are hard to quantify. After watching the above film and another—Tinker Bell, the 2008 origin story of Tinker Bell—I tried to figure out why I was so taken with these Disney Fairies movies. The animation? The idea of fairies taking care of plants and animals or inventing labor-saving gadgets? The world building in general? Probably a combination of all three. Whenever I feel stressed, as I have lately, watching a show or movie with lots of beautiful forests and flowers; cuddly, friendly animals; and well-rounded characters who blow it badly and have to make good relaxes me. But I’m especially delighted in the premise that a fairy is born because of a sound of delight—the first time a baby laughs. Little world-building details like that help ensure that I’ll be pleased with the result.

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Fairy tales/folk tales have always delighted me. Journeying through a book or a movie to a world where dragons or fairies exist always makes me giddy. Even if horrible things happen, the whimsy of the world keeps me glued to the pages or to the screen.

Another film I find extremely delightful is Iron Monkey, a 1993 film directed by Yuen Wo Ping. I have the Quentin Tarantino Presents version on DVD. This is a Robin Hood-kind of story—a fictional account from the childhood of a real person: Wong Fei-hung, a martial artist and physician. Obviously this film is very different from the Disney Fairies. 🙂 But it has a similarity in that it is the fantastical story of an iconic character and one in the making. I appreciate the beauty and skill of the fight choreography. Martial artists defy gravity as they battle each other. And the Iron Monkey’s determination to help the oppressed poor makes me cheer. (Warning to any newbies: this film is violent. If you are unused to martial arts films from China, you might skip this one. I grew up watching these films.)

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I don’t expect everyone to share my delight. But I’m sure something delights you. If so, what? While you think about that, I hope this post by Penny O’Neill over at the Life on the Cutoff blog delights you as it delighted me: https://lifeonthecutoff.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/an-occurrence/

Then feel free to come back and walk among the flowers in the garden where I live.

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Iron Monkey image from qavobrae.livejournal.com. Yu Rong Guang as Iron Monkey from movies.film-cine.com. Tinker Bell posters from aceshowbiz.com and tclnews.blogspot.com. Disney fairies from fanpop. Pixie Hollow image from disneysonlineworlds.com. Flower photos by L. Marie.

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30 thoughts on “Sheer Delight

    • It’s like Disney “rebooted” Tinker Bell. 🙂 Since we’re in her world, it’s interesting that we can finally hear her talk, instead of only hearing the tinkling.

  1. I share your delight!

    I did a school project in Year 12 on the Cottingley Fairies and got quite obsessed, so all throughout uni, fairy things got bought for me and I had pictures of them on my wall and that sort of thing… so it was pretty inevitable that my friends and I were going to watch the Tinkerbell movie soon after it came out. And we were actually more impressed by it than we expected it to be. I remember us watching the second one at a friend’s house, and there’s a particular moment where all three of us gasped in horror with our hands flying to our mouths… and then we burst out laughing and were saying “Wow, we’re really invested in this, aren’t we?”

    The second one is my favourite followed probably by the fourth (The Secret of the Wings), and the only one I didn’t particularly like is the third one (The Great Fairy Rescue) but I should probably give it another chance. I like that they’re starting to branch out and focus on the other fairies as well now. And there are also books! (Though I haven’t read any). Also, I am dying to get back to Disneyland and visit Pixie Hollow there. Damn Pacific Ocean being in the way.

    I think I’m going to have to look up this Iron Monkey movie. It sounds up my alley.

    • Ha ha! I’m picturing your friends and you realizing how hooked you were. I probably had the same look on my face.

      Everyone says the same thing about the movie you didn’t particularly like! Maybe it was not one of their better efforts. I thought Neverbeast was very poignant and beautiful. As for the books I read Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg years ago. That was good.

  2. Never saw Iron Monkey, but I do remember seeing the first two Tinkerbell movies. Mostly because they entertained the kid when he was only a few months old. My choices were those and the Daily Show for about a week. I can’t think of anything that has given me sheer delight, but plenty of things I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. For example, the movie ‘John Wick’ was a blast to watch because it had such an interesting world. Even though they didn’t explain much, there was enough context to figure stuff. This made me pay more attention and I didn’t feel like I was being clobbered with things.

    • I recommend Iron Monkey. I have GOT to put John Wick in my queue. You mentioned how much you liked it and I wanted to see it. Well, then I promptly forgot about it.

      Does your son like Curious George? The kids I know are obsessed with him.

  3. There have been a few animated films I fell in love with and could watch several times over. Beauty and the Beast is one. Toy Story 3 is another. It’s all about the writing, isn’t it? Whether it’s cartoon characters or not. 🙂

    • I cried like there was no tomorrow while watching Toy Story 3. Such a sweet story! Beauty and the Beast is a favorite. Love the songs in it. Tangled is still probably my favorite Disney princess movie.

  4. I am “delighted” that you linked up to my post – a nice surprise this morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you . . . and funny your should mention Tinker Bell, for I just watched The Secret of the Wings with my granddaughter, who kept saying “I know you’re going to like it, Yia Yia” – and I did, and we did watch again the next day.

    The flowers are beautiful. I can see why you envoy the grounds you live on with such blooming delight and your favorite tree. Enjoy! 🙂

    • I figured you would have seen them with your granddaughter, Penny. That movie is on my list to watch. I love these films, just as my friend predicted.

      Yes, the flowers are blooming nicely. I try to talk to them to make sure they know they can keep blooming. 😀

  5. I enjoy “Kid Flicks” with a bit of magick in the mix ~ Shrek, Mary Poppins, Harry Potter, Up, Nanny McPhee, Peter Pan, etc., etc., etc.

    The most delightful film I’ve seen ~> The Odd Life of Timothy Green.

    Timothy Green shares the key to life with viewers in a tale filled with unexpected magic and inspiration. In his short life, Timothy lived in the now. He didn’t argue, fuss, or fight over “nothing.” He loved with an open heart and gave IT his all. He did the best he could, with what he had, where he was. He bloomed where he was “planted.”

    He didn’t stress over imagined slights, close calls, or things outside his control. He embraced all with joy. He spread laughter like fertilizer.

    He smiled like the sun. 😎

    • I saw Timothy at the theater. Loved it so much! Such a sweet film. I totally agree–he bloomed where he was planted. 🙂
      Love all of the films you mentioned. I just recommended Nanny McPhee to a friend–the same one who recommended the Disney Fairies movies.

  6. I’m not big on fairies or folk tales, to be honest, but I love the Disney animal films – The Lady and the Tramp and the spaghetti scene being a major delight! And the siamese cats in The Aristocats. But something else that took me by surprise and delighted me was watching some of the BBC costume dramas on Blu-ray for the first time and noticing the intricate details of the costumes – something I’d never really been aware of on either TV or DVD versions. I found myself watching the whole of Pride and Prejudice again just looking at the fabulous needlework… must have been good to distract me from Darcy!

    • Oh, then you will love The Making of Pride and Prejudice by Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin. I grabbed that the moment I noticed it on Amazon. I has a lovely chapter on the costumes, including a sidebar on the fabrics used. Worth having!!!

      I also love the Disney animal films, including 101 Dalmatians and The Rescuers. Such fun!

  7. That “first time a baby laughs” part that you mentioned definitely brings me delight. There’s no better sound in the world than to hear Angus squeal with his own delight when I tickle and play with him!

  8. I would probably enjoy these movies and I am thinking about adding them to our Netflix queue. I guess it is the little girl in me, but there are quite a few kid’s movies I love. My favorite right now is WALL-E… so sweet.

  9. Inside Out, the latest Pixar movie, is a delight! And clever. And funny. Interestingly, in addition to people with kids, moviegoers included couples and a group of 20-something guys. Guess they were all finding delight in a “kids’ film.”

  10. Heh. This time our tastes differ. I do NOT like the Tinkerbell movies. Beloved and I previewed the first and then decided they would never, ever be allowed for our sanity’s sake. Of course, we don’t like Tinkerbell, period. Except maybe the Hook version of her. She’s good.

    I do, however, watch Veggie Tales, He-Man, She-Ra, TMNT, and several PBS Kids programs with my kids. (Wild Kratts & Word Girl rock!) Not to mention numerous kid movies, some of which Beloved and I bought more for ourselves than the kids. 😛

    • I love the VeggieTales too. So clever. I’m glad PBS is showing the 80s cartoons. 🙂 They’re cheesy fun.
      I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Michael Bay TMNT movie though. 😦

      • Clarification: PBS does not show TMNT or such. I meant them as separate… whatevers. I’ve been, erm… very distracted of late.

        Beloved and I watched the new TMNT movie. It had some great nods to the original series, but we prefer the original TMNT movies.

      • I might give it a shot at some point. I’m in the mood though for some old cartoons like He-Man. Haven’t seen that in ages!

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