It’s just not fair! Yes, I had mermaids and magic carpets and white mares and David Bowie in tights (which almost counts as a Sparrow Man). But, when Disney finally got around to making its own Neverfairy paradise of outdoorsy, animal cutesy, dewdrop in your teacup and blueberry on your plate marketing gold, I was too old. Even my sisters were too old, which meant that I couldn’t play with the dolls while I provided free childcare. I don’t have a daughter to buy for and my niece thinks that giving Popochan her bottle is the best kind of play. I do have sons, and I’ve tried to get them into it (Sparrow Men!) but until Fairy toys can survive being catapulted ten feet into a brick wall and down to a muddy puddle, we’ll have to stick with Power Rangers.
I want to sell my kidney and buy Disney Fairy goods, but I don’t have a single excuse!
First, there were the books, which were pretty darn good, and would have made a reader out of fourth grade me, even if I hadn’t already devoured the entire 3-6th grade shelves of our school library. And, check out the character design on those book covers. They have just the right amount of whimsy, floral detail, and pastels with pop to make girls go “coooooo,” and only use pink in moderation. The characters are bursting out the pages, making mistakes, forgiving, and exploring, and doing all the things little girls like to do. They look so good, I almost bought one in Japanese, because then I could say that I was studying, when I was really pretending to paint dots on ladybugs.
But, then there were the movies! Lasseter apparently saved Tink from a fate worse than wet wings when he stepped in and took over was was a derailing, badly plotted project. It pushed the release date back a year, and what came out wasn’t quite up to Disney standards (the first movie still comes across as slightly choppy with sloppy character motivation) but it created a magical world for us. Lasseter didn’t like the sequels that had been proposed with the first film, and I don’t know how badly the original ideas were, but the Great Fairy Rescue, Secret of the Wings, and Lost Treasure are better than the first movie, artistically and story-wise. (Sparrow Men!) And the mini-movie that got Rosetta covered in mud? I could listen to Kristin Chenoweth all day. These go down in the hallowed Disney drawer for generations to come. Like, next Saturday afternoon.
But then there was a game! The first version of Pixie Hollow was sprinkles of lily-petal fun, because you could actually do things. Sometime in the last year, they have revamped it, so that it now costs real money (not just acorns anymore) to buy clothes, decorate your cubby, and access many features. This not only cuts out most out of the magic, but it’s poor marketing, since most online games get their popularity from their mostly-free services that people bug their friends to join. Still, it is fun to flit around Pixie Hollow and visit the various scenes that some underpaid artist worked very hard to make into a pixie-dust-powered wonderland. The details, especially in the shops after you close the dialogue box, are creative and delightful. You can still collect acorns, you just can’t buy anything with them.
But, they didn’t stop there! Disneyland moved Ariel’s Grotto out of the way for a new Pixie Hollow meet-n-greet and photo op center. There may be other things, I don’t know, because I have BOYS, and they don’t have the patience to wait in line for what I hear is a crowded attraction.
The point of this story is that I deserve a re-do of my childhood. I want to pick a new nature-talent every week and go on dates with imaginary Sparrow Men. Or, at least the online Pixie Hollow should go back to letting us buy a limited selection of clothes and decorations for pine cones and daisies.