The Walt Disney Company did not create Tinker Bell, arguably the most popular fairy of all time. Tinker Bell was the creative genius of author, J. M. Barrie. He included the little pixie in his play, Peter Pan, written in 1904, and the play’s novelization in 1911. You may remember that Barrie was immortalized by actor Johnny Depp in the movie Neverland.
In Barrie’s version of Peter Pan, Tinker Bell was a fairy sidekick to the boy who would never grow up. She was conceived as a tinker fairy that mended kettles, pots, and pans. She appeared as a spot of bright light, much like a firefly, and never actually spoke. A tinkling bell, which only Peter and those who understood fairy could interpret, supplied her dialogue. She was very jealous of Wendy and anybody else who shared Peter’s attention. This jealousy drove her to be vindictive, but she was always loyal to Peter and would protect him at any cost.
Disney released their film adaptation of Peter Pan in 1953. This animated version elevated Tinker Bell from supporting character into a full-fledged star. Animator Marc Bell conceived her as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed female with an hourglass figure, who leaves a trail of pixie dust wherever she goes. She wore a short green dress with pointed trim, and green slippers with white puffs. Actress Margaret Kerry modeled her, in order to give her a more realistic human form, and the look stuck. But she still lacked a human voice and her signature wand.
Since her humble beginning as a flickering light, Tinker Bell has gone on to super stardom as the unofficial mascot of The Walt Disney Company. She has played hostess to Disney live-action television programming, and is featured prominently at the Disney theme parks. Banking on the huge marketing potential of the fairy, Disney finally gave Tink a voice (courtesy of Mae Whitman), a wand, and her very own franchise in 2005 entitled Disney Fairies. She has starred in many direct-to-DVD features set in Pixie Hollow, and fronted an extensive line of merchandise.
In honor of the fairest fairy of them all, eFairies.com has gone all Tinker-mania with over thirty new Tinker Bell figurines. Tinker Bell is also well-represented by items such as the Cottage Music Box, a Statue likeness, Costume knock-offs, Screen Savers, colorful Wallpaper, and so much more!
No, Disney did not create Tinker Bell. But Disney did reinvent the perky pixie who has made generations of children (and adults) believe in the magic of fairies.