Disney appears to be reviving a staple of the baby boomer generation's youth — namely, the animated TV special. After "Prep & Landing" for ABC comes "Pixie Hollow Games," a beautifully rendered half-hour that will premiere on the Disney Channel on Nov. 19.
Pixar creative guru John Lasseter is listed right up front as exec producer of the program, which opens with a sweeping shot of the fairie world that — combined with that billing — serves notice this isn't some slapdash effort. Indeed, the fairies have been a big moneymaker for the studio, and the special — which marks the first TV project based on the property — underscores a commitment to that level of importance.
The story centers on a competition in which the overmatched garden fairies, Chloe (voiced by Brenda Song) and Rosetta (Megan Hilty), create an unlikely tandem. In fact, the prissy Rosetta shows up dressed to the nines, figuring she'll be out of the running quick, so she might as well look good as she loses.
What ensues is a whole lot of fun, and happily, not strictly for five-year-old girls. Then again, that's been a hallmark of Lasseter's influence on Disney animation — taking the studio back to its best days, where the material played to adults and children alike. (Full disclosure: My wife works for a division of Disney, but is not, to the best of my knowledge, a fairie.)
Clearly, Disney has plans for the faerie franchise that go beyond this one-shot, but "Pixie Hollow" is a promising place to start.