TeaTheir German-Luxembourgian animation is a passable, if underextended 10-and-a-half hours, in Pixar’s orbit in terms of visuals and its central conceit of tooth-faring business as Deliveroo-esque big-tech. I am heavy. Courier Dress. But unlike Inside Out and Soul’s pint-sized psych explainers, there’s virtually no philosophical sprinkles on the cupcakes here. Not that this would stop young people from eating it anyway – but they might have enjoyed a few more nutrients.
The temptation to become a fully recognized Tooth Fairy seems simple enough. As the disco earworm at the beginning of My Fairy Troublemaker has it, “Sneak in, take the tooth, make the toy, and disappear!” Cookie-ridiculous, misbehaving Violetta (voiced by Jella Haase) is the only intern who fails to make the grade, in contrast to her sweaty partner Yolando (Julian Mau). Trapped in her belief that she is in fact “the most special Tooth Fairy who ever lived”, she steals a gem that allows her access to the human world. But in hijacking Yolando’s assignment to obtain an insulator from town kid Sami (John Chadwick), she finds an ally in her older half-sister Maxi (Lisa-Marie Korol), when she becomes trapped in our reality. .
Beginning with a very annoying protagonist in Violetta, director Caroline Origer sets the bar way lower in terms of engaging the audience. Maxi, uncomfortable in her new family, and Violetta, both in danger of turning into a flower because she has been exiled for a long time, are outsiders. But the film is more confident in relying on childish antics — Violetta’s chocolate fixation, Sami’s itching powder stunt — than anything sentimental. Nor is the larger ecological theme dealt with with any subtlety: nefarious developer Rick (Tim Grobe), who seeks to demolish an urban greenhouse that contains a tree holding the key to Violetta’s return, is literally worth dollars. – Icon belt buckle.
Fortunately, there’s a subtlety in the animation that the story doesn’t; The competition is probably a fraction of the budget for Pixar’s cadence and texture. The silvery mane of the elderly Chief Fairy of Dandelion Seeds is a very nice touch. More politeness and details like that would help.
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My Fairy Troublemaker is released in UK cinemas on 26 May and is available on digital platforms in Australia.