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Disney Awaits First 3D BD ‘Tinker Bell’

8 Oct, 2012 By: Chris Tribbey

GLENDALE, Calif. — Peggy Holmes — director and screenwriter for Disney’s first “Tinker Bell” film since the 2010 Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue — had two things prevalent in mind while working: 3D and Blu-ray Disc.

Secret of the Wings, out Oct. 23 on disc, marks the first time Tink shows up in 3D Blu-ray. Besides being a gorgeous, full-length Disney animation and relaying a heartfelt tale of harrowing discovery and newfound family, Holmes stresses that the story of Secret of the Wings was first designed with a high-def picture and 3D images in mind.

“We work in the highest level of [cinema] and Blu-ray makes animation look more brilliant,” she said.

Added producer Michael Wigert, who served as associate producer on fellow Disney titles Meet the Robinsons and Bolt: “We look at 3D as a story element, just as important as costumes and locations. We just want to do the best 3D possible.”

They succeeded. And Disney slated its disc SKUs appropriately: Up front is a four-disc combo of the release that includes a 3D Blu-ray, standard Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy versions of the film.

Secret of the Wings sees Tinker Bell venturing out of the warm fairies’ forest sanctuary, into the Winter Woods. Waiting there? Her long-lost sister (and new Disney fairy) Periwinkle. But the story’s not all sisterly reunion: There’s a dangerous reason why warm fairies aren’t allowed in the Winter Woods.

“I wanted to make the Winter Woods feel like you were really there,” said Holmes, who also directed the direct-to-video The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning in 2008. “We wanted to make [the viewer] feel like they were really there.”

Both Holmes and Wigert praised the work of the voice cast, which includes Anjelica Huston, Timothy Dalton, Lucy Liu, Mae Whitman and Lucy Hale.

“It’s like Tinker Bell just came in the room,” Wigert said of Whitman and her voice work.

Disney made sure its Blu-ray and DVD releases got special sound treatment as well, according to Secret of the Wings sound engineer Paul McGrath. Besides him and his team recording lines up to 60 times to get just the right one — a total of more than 10,000 takes overall for the film — his team at DisneyToon Studios made a different mix for home entertainment versus the limited theatrical release.

“Otherwise you’d be adjusting the volume all the time with [the theatrical mix] at home,” he said.

Bringing Tink’s sister, Periwinkle, out as a new Disney character was a “big deal,” according to Secret of the Wings associate producer Lorri Broda, and that called for “the best designer in the world” in Ritsuko Notani, long-time character designer for Disney (“Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid” TV series).

“It was a bit challenging for me, but [Secret of the Wings] was a big, fun project too,” she said.

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