TINKER BELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE is Available on Blu-ray & DVD September 21st and below you can read what its star Michael Sheen thought of making the new animated children’s film.
How would you describe the new Tinker Bell DVD?
Tinker Bell And The Great Fairy Rescue follows Tinker Bell and her friends in another fun animated adventure. It’s an enchanting, magical and extremely sweet story where Tinker Bell meets a human for the first time.
What can you tell us about your character in the movie?
I play a character called Dr. Griffiths in the film. Dr. Griffiths is a scientist and a workaholic – and he has an eight-year-old daughter nameed Lizzy. He doesn’t have too much time for his daughter because he is obsessed with his work, but he loves her dearly. When Tinker Bell flies into Lizzy’s life, my character has a very tough time believing his daughter has become friends with a fairy.
Why do you think Tinker Bell is such an iconic character?
A lot of children are interested in fairies; especially young girls – and Tinker Bell is the uber fairy. She’s the pin-up girl of fairies. She’s the ultimate fairy, but she’s also got a mischievous spirit and she’s very strong-willed. I think a lot of youngsters recognize themselves in Tinker Bell. She’s loved all over the world, so she must be doing something right.
Why is Tinker Bell so popular?
Tinker Bell is someone that young girls aspire to be and she’s someone they like to emulate. She’s a great character in that respect. She’s a strong-willed, rebellious and mischievous fairy – and she plays up to those characteristics in the movie. She’s also good-hearted underneath it all. It’s through the intervention of Tinker Bell and the other fairies that Lizzy and her father rediscover each other and find each other again. That’s a great achievement. In this movie, I like to compare Tinker Bell to Emma from the Jane Austen novel. Both characters meddle in other people’s affairs, but ultimately it all comes good in the end. They’re very similar.
How did you get involved with the new Tinker Bell movie?
I’ve started to work for Disney a lot in recent years. I worked on Alice In Wonderland a while ago and I’ve also filmed a new Tron movie, which is released later this year. Disney just got in touch and asked if I would be interested in Tinker Bell And The Great Fairy Rescue. I jumped at the chance.
What attracted you to the project?
I have a daughter and fairies meant a lot to her growing up. She’s always been fascinated by magic and pixie dust, so the idea of being involved in something my daughter could watch was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. She was really excited when she found out that I was going to voice a character in a Tinker Bell film. She was over the moon, which made me a very happy father.
Your character in the film is a workaholic who struggles to balance his work life and his family life. Can you relate that struggle?
I think parenthood is a wonderful balancing act. On the one hand, you want to spend as much time with your children as possible. On the other hand, you want to set an example for them to see that you’re fulfilled in your life and in your work. I want my daughter to grow up and do something that she’s passionate about and I hope that the example that her mother and I set will help her do that. At the same time, I don’t want to let work take over and become my priority in life. Striking the right balance is a tough juggling act for all parents – and it’s something we all struggle with.
Your character is a scientist in the movie. Are you a very scientific person in real life?
I’ve become more scientific as I’ve grown older. When I was in school, I was never interested in science. All I wanted to do was act, draw, play soccer and read books. But as time has gone on, I’ve become more and more interested in the field of science.
What scientific theories do you enjoy talking about?
I like the idea that different sides of the brain deal with different things – and most people tend to rely on one side more than the other. There’s the rational and logical side of the brain and then there’s the intuitive and creative side, but maybe that changes as you grow older and you can rely on both sides. That’s certainly what’s happened in my life because I’m an actor, so I’m creative, but I’m also very rational and logical.
Do any other topics interest you from the world of science?
I’m not sure I should admit to this, but I’ve started to become extremely interested in quantum physics. I love them because they deal with issues that crop up in science fiction, like parallel universes and things like that. That’s when science starts to mean something to me. I’ve got no interest in the scientific world of Bunsen burners and potassium, but I’m there as soon as you talk about parallel worlds. Quantum physics has started to become much more interesting, mysterious, magical and exciting to me than ever before.
You mentioned earlier that you were a fan of art and drawing at school. Are you interested in animation?
I’ve always loved animation and animated films. When I got to drama school, I was deeply interested in comic books and graphic novels. In fact, one of my favorite writers is Neil Gaiman who is a novelist that made his name through comics and graphic novels.
When did you realize you had a passion for comic books and graphic novels?
I suppose my early love of drawing and art was partly behind my interest in graphic novels, although I’ve always loved the classic Disney animated films too. I’m very fond of Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and all those classic animations, as well as the original Peter Pan. In later years, I’ve discovered that the best scripts and best stories are from animated movies because so much effort, love, care and craft is put into them.
How difficult is it to record your voice for an animation?
It’s different to acting in a live-action movie because you have to rely on the director a lot more with an animation. You can’t see the animation or any pictures because they animate the cartoon to the sound of your voice, so you’re stuck alone in a sound booth with a microphone and that’s it. You have to use your imagination and it’s quite complicated because the director is the only person with the whole film in his or her head. You have to rely on them to get the story and the vision across to you. It’s a shot in the dark and you spend a lot of time imagining where you are in the story. You imagine the scene in your head and you imagine the other characters around you, so it can be quite challenging but it’s also a very interesting and enjoyable process.
Where did you record your voice for the movie?
We did three or four recording sessions in Los Angeles where it was just me in a sound booth with a bunch of people watching in. The director, producer, writers and various others are on hand to help out – but there were no other actors in there with me. It was the director who provided the voice of my eight-year-old daughter in the film. I tried not to be put off by a hulking American middle-aged man pretending to be a small English girl and I just spoke from the heart. The director did a marvelous job, though. He made a great eight-year-old girl.
The movie is soon to be released on DVD. How much of a fan of DVDs are you?
I’m a huge fan of DVDs. I’ve got the biggest DVD collection of anyone I know – and I’m always being told off for bringing more and more DVDs into my home. How many DVDs have I got? Thousands and thousands of them.
How would you describe your DVD collection?
You name a film and I’ve got it. I’ve got a very wide taste and interest in films, so I’ve got everything from documentaries about the universe to classic Disney animations. There are movies from Fellini, David Lynch, Scorsese and Coppola – but I also love world cinema, 50s movies from Britain, science fiction, drama, comedies, cartoons… Everything.