Actually, Tinker Bell is very much a supporting character in NeverBeast. Truthfully, this is animal fairy Fawn’s (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin, of ABC’s Once Upon a Time) story. She’s such a softie for animals she risks the well-being of all the fairies by bringing a wounded hawk to Pixie Hollow. Those birds apparently develop an inherent taste for fairies when they’re mature, but are safe as youngsters. At any rate, it establishes Fawn as a maverick willing to do pretty much anything to care for animals. When a creature previously known only in legend is discovered near their home, the scout fairies determine to keep it far away from Pixie Hollow.
A predictable story unfolds as the so-called NeverBeast displays seemingly dangerous behavior, despite Fawn’s firm belief that he can be trusted. The giant, furry beast himself (Fawn nicknames him Gruff) will surely delight young viewers. He’s sort of like an oversized Stitch, with the mood swings to match. DisneyToon Studios delivers inventive animation that, while never near the A-level of Disney’s theatrical releases, is suitably colorful and detailed. The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira joins the voice cast as new character Fury, but only for the U.S. release (former Spice Girl Mel B did the honors for the U.K. release). Also among the well-known voice actors is Rosario Dawson as scout fairy Nyx. KT Tunstall contributes the bouncy pop tune “Strange Sight.”
Disney’s high definition transfer is dazzling, while the lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack offers impressive audio that goes far beyond what one might expect of a DTV title. There are several special features, including the brief featurettes “5 Essential Ingredients to Getting Gruff,” “My Dad’s Movie: The True Story of the NeverBeast,” and “Jeff Corwin’s Guide to Real-World NeverBeasts.” There’s also a selection of deleted scenes (with intros by director Steve Loter) and two very brief shorts, “Tink’n About Animals” and “Gruff Love.”