Quite simply superb. I had no idea how – being honest I never thought that – they could top the thrills of Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue, but somehow they did it.
And yes, on the face of it, it’s a simple story of a young fairy finding the fairy sister she never knew she had, having various snow-related adventures together in the company of cuddly animals, and eventually saving the fairy dust tree from destruction by a cold snap, but peel away the layers and you find a razor-edged investigation of loss, rebellion, friendship, forbidden love, and how snow is actually delivered in hand-woven baskets by owls. Labour intensive, but beautiful.
I guess if I had one small criticism it would be of the ending, in which SPOILER Tinker Bell’s broken wing was mended with a device that felt a little deus ex machina to this viewer, adding a slightly saccharine false note to what had, up to that point, been a near perfect balance between a superficial shininess and a deep undercurrent of loss and pain. Damn those studio executives and their fumbling populist fingers! Still, overall, magnificent. The characters may be fairies, but it’s all about what it means to be human.