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Soundtrack review: Tinker Bell: Great fairy rescue (Joel McNeely – 2015)

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Soundtrack review: Tinker Bell: Great fairy rescue (Joel McNeely – 2015)


Intrada can just keep the Tinker Bell releases coming and I’ll be a happy camper… After the joy I had listening to „Tinker Bell and the lost treasure” (and my one month old year old girl can confirm because she loved it too) I jumped at the occasion to hear and write about „Tinker Bell and the great fairy rescue”. Joel McNeely has created a unique and magic sound to the franchise and the goods just keep on coming. This is a rare case where I know before listening to it that I am going to enjoy this score… How could I not? I’m sure Joel McNeely didn’t magically lose his powers overnight… This time, Tinker Bell attends fairy camp on the mainland and befriends Lizzy, a human girl who wishes to meet a real fairy.

“Introduction” is something I could play over and over again and watch my baby girl smile. It is the essence of a magic score in just one minute. It has that unmistakable lullaby sound that makes sure you know that if you go to sleep you’ll wake up in a world of fantasy. “Fairy camp” is Irish folk music delight. It just makes me dream of open green fields and moments when nothing else matters but joy. I listen to “The horseless carriage” and feel obligated to close my eyes and see what kind of images start dancing there. Screw reality. Joel McNeely’s music never tears the thin fabric that separates reality from fantasy. He keeps the sound gentle enough so there’s no danger of falling out that world. His magic wand is the flute that never leaves and his star dust comes from the children’s choir that gives an almost Christmasy sound to the music.

I like the feeling of discovery in “Tinker bell: Great fairy rescue”. There’s a sound that makes me think of kids (or fairies) tip toeing into a world which looks magnificent and mysterious to them. The orchestra follows their steps, hides around a corner or behind the door and lets us peak and watch those adventures. Even the danger in cues like “Tink is captured” or “Trying to escape” sound as if perceived from children’s eyes. The composer never lets the music get out of this amazing snow globe it’s trapped in.

I like the stride in the adventurous “We’re going to build a boat”. It has that exuberance that only children can muster. And that’s only the start… once the adventure gets going, the music just takes off and the orchestra just soars: “Riding the rapids” is so spectacular that it makes me wonder what I like more form this score, the magical moments or the action ones. Not a bad choice to have.

“Tink returns” is the cue that has the best of both worlds. If someone would ask me for a reference cue for this score, that’s the one I’d recommend. If it touches you, you’ll love “Great fairy rescue”. “Father never has time for me” is an emotional highlight of this score and the flute is joined by the violin. It’s the first moment of this album where I can hear a solo violin and I love it.

“Lizzie flies” is the kind of cue that comes, grabs you by the hand and makes you forget whatever you were doing or thinking and just play with it. You can’t focus on anything else when a gorgeous melody like this one comes along. This is one of those pieces that remind me why I love film music so much.

“Tinker bell: Great fairy rescue” is a delicious and spectacular score which makes me feel the same way John Powell’s “How to train your dragon” scores made me feel. Fantasy / adventure scores rarely get better than this. There’s magic, there’s heart and there’s soul in Joel McNeely’s music and it’s a delight to be able to hear such a beautiful score. Every moment is a dream come true and every cue is a treasure in itself. I just forget about the world when I am immersed in this composition. Intrada should just keep them coming and Disney should keep making the movies.

Cue rating: 93 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 44

Album excellence: 61%



The Horseless Carriage

Tink And Vidia Discover The Fairy House

We’re Going To Build A Boat

Tink Wants To Leave   Launching The Ship

Riding The Rapids

I’ll Never Forget You

Tink Returns

Father Never Has Time For Me

Lizzie Flies

Father Discovers Tink   Vidia Is Captured

Flying To London

Race To Save Vidia

Father Believes





Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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