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The Pirate Fairy
  • Composed by Joel McNeely
  • Walt Disney Records / 2014 / 22m

The sixth film in Disney’s series for girls featuring Tinker Bell, The Pirate Fairy sees the fairy and her friends transported on a pirate ship, whose crew includes a young Captain Hook.  I don’t suppose many members of the Movie Wave audience have watched any of these films, but they will surely be aware of their music, composed by the wonderful Joel McNeely.  Only the score to the first one had been given an album release beforehand, but his short score to this instalment was given an unexpected digital-only release by Disney to coincide with the film’s appearance on home video.  And while the album may be short (two songs – a teeny-bopper ballad from Natasha Bedingfield and an enjoyable sea shanty – and barely 15 minutes of score), the music is anything but insubstantial – full-bodied, big and symphonic, it is full of life and action and adventure.

The first three cues are all very brief and start things off in twinkly, magical fashion before the score springs to life in the ceremonial “Four Seasons Opening Ceremony” and then the fantastic “Captain Zarina”, which introduces a grand swashbuckling pirate theme – not the most memorable melody, perhaps, but it ticks all the other boxes.  “James Betrays Zarina” is a sweeping piece full of adventure and emotion and is one of the highlights for sure – once it gets going, everyone’s swash gets well and truly buckled.  “A Very Familiar Coat” is a slightly darker piece of action music, a bit mickey-mousey but a whole load of fun.  “Fairy Dusted Festival” which closes the album is unsurprisingly sweet and lovely, a delightful finale.  The Pirate Fairy is so short there’s no real time for McNeely’s music to get going, but even so it is terrifically enjoyable and given the album’s low price, if you like rousing action/adventure scores with the Disney touch then you just can’t go wrong.

Rating: *** 1/2

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  1. Matt on Monday 5 May, 2014 at 22:40

    The Tinker Bell scores are fantastic. Having a three year old daughter, I’m forced to watch some of these from time to time, but the scores for all these movies are fantastic! Fans of big, orchestral fantasy music should definitely check out this as well as Intrada’s original Tinker Bell release. They need to release the other scores to this series. They only get better with each film.