Prilla is new to the world of Pixie Hollow, the fairy hideaway in Never Land. In fact, Prilla is new, period. A fairy pops into existence in Never Land every time a baby in the human world laughs its first laugh, and Prilla is a recent arrival, so she still hasn’t discovered her talent. In a world where every fairy has a talent – a magical way with plants or animals, super-speedy flight, control of water, or any of a host of other abilities – not having a special ability leaves our heroine feeling left out. That is, until she uncovers her talent by using it to save another fairy.
Prilla’s Talent is the first of a series of graphic novels following Disney’s fairy Tinker Bell and her friends on adventures in flying and friendship. It contains four stories: the eponymous one summarized above plus “Like the Wind,” in which Prilla challenges mean fairy Vidia to a competition; “The Sound of Friendship,” in which Tinker Bell prepares for the Bluebell Festival while shy sparrow man Terrence works up the courage to ask her to go with him; and “Best of Friends,” in which something seems to be wrong between Tinker Bell and her best friend Rani.
The world of Pixie Hollow is developed well in this short volume, from fairy sayings (Tinker Bell tells Prilla not to say “sorry” – “Fairies say ‘I’d fly backwards if I could.’”) to the rich, colorful backdrops of the stories. There’s some expansion on the fairies’ arrivals in Never Land: because they are “born” in this way as apparent adults, fairies don’t have childhoods, nor do they seem to age. Another thing I learned about Disney’s fairies from Prilla’s Talent: apparently Tinker Bell is an actual tinker. As in, repairs metal objects. In “The Sound of Friendship,” she fixes a broken bell. NOW IT ALL MAKES SENSE.
The writing is smooth and, at times, clever. The fairies have some snappy dialogue, which makes sense when you realize that, despite the young intended audience of the book, the characters aren’t actually children. (One glance at Tinker Bell’s figure will tell you that.) On the other hand, their speech is still mostly simple and straightforward and the plots and problems are decidedly child-friendly.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there isn’t a lot of character development. Prilla, as a wide-eyed newcomer, is still getting to know everyone. Tinker Bell is the nice one who takes Prilla under her wing (that play on words was unavoidable, and I’m sorry). Minor characters Rani and Beck are Tinker Bell’s best friend and the one who’s good with animals, respectively, and Vidia is the one who’s mean for no reason. Terrence appears only briefly outside of “The Sound of Friendship.”
The art is reminiscent of that of the Peter Pan animated movie from which Tinker Bell hails: bright and detailed, with plenty going on. Children who liked Tinker Bell in the movie – and the tireless legions of young fairy fans – will enjoy Prilla’s Talent.
Disney Fairies, book 1: Prilla’s Talent
by Bruno Enna, Augusto Macchetto, Giulia Conti, and Stefan Petrucha
Art by Giada Perissinotto, Marina Baggio, Roberta Zanotta, Janice Chiang, Elena Pianta, Federico Bertolucci, Lito Milano, Manuela Razzi, and Andrewa Cago