A group of animated fairies in the forest with their wings fluttering from the movies featuring Tinker Bell.
(Disney+)

Tinker Bell May Be Problematic, But Disney’s Working on It

Recently, the news broke that Tinker Bell no longer has a meet and greet station at Disney World. Does that mean Tink is too problematic to be seen in public?

Recommended Videos

Not quite.

In February, PlanDisney.com answered a question from a park goer: Why was Tinker Bell, the iconic green-clad fairy first introduced in 1953’s Peter Pan, no longer available to meet and interact with park visitors?

The website, which isn’t affiliated with Disney, speculated that Tinker Bell’s absence was part of the park’s normal rotation of characters. Tinker Bell can apparently still be seen in other Disney World attractions, like the fireworks show, and she still has a meet and greet opportunity at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

However, there was speculation in some corners of the internet that Tinker Bell had been removed from Disney World’s meet and greets because of her problematic portrayal in Peter Pan. In fact, The New York Times reported in 2022 that Disney’s “Stories Matter” team cautioned that Tinker Bell’s fretting over her waist size and jealousy over Peter’s affection for Wendy was sexist.

Peter Pan is, of course, full of problematic stereotypes. The film’s portrayal of Native Americans is deeply racist. Even its portrayal of Captain Hook relies on antisemitic tropes, queer coding, and disability to make the character villainous. It’s no surprise that Disney is reevaluating the movie.

However, Disney has also rehabilitated Tinker Bell in recent years, giving her a series of movies on Disney+ in which she’s a kind and inquisitive inventor (hence the word “tinker” in her name). In the new film series, Tinker Bell is more concerned with having adventures than keeping a certain body type.

So was Tinker Bell removed from Disney World’s meet and greet rotation because of her problematic portrayal in Peter Pan? Given the fact that the character is currently leading her own franchise—and the fact that the franchise has radically reinvented the character—it’s not likely. Although we don’t know for sure, Disney World visitors who want a photo op with Tink may only have to wait for her to be rotated back in before they get their wish.


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Which Season of ‘The Sopranos’ Is the Best … and Which Deserves To Be Whacked?
Adriana (Drea de Matteo) and Silvio (Steven van Zandt) driving in The Sopranos
Read Article We Ranked the ‘Hellraiser’ Movies, Worst to Best, by the Only Criteria That Makes Sense
Pinhead and his Cenobites in 'Hellraiser: Deader'
Read Article What’s the Eco Pup’s Catchphrase Your Toddler Keeps Repeating From ‘PAW Patrol’?
Rocky on Nickelodeon's "PAW Patrol"
Read Article One Cut ‘Bridgerton’ Character Changes One of Season 3’s Best Scenes From the Books
The Featherington sisters and their husbands in Bridgerton season 3
Read Article We Ranked EVERY ‘Godzilla’ Movie in a Kaiju-Size Spectacle
Shin Godzilla lumbers off into the distance in "Shin Godzilla"
Related Content
Read Article Which Season of ‘The Sopranos’ Is the Best … and Which Deserves To Be Whacked?
Adriana (Drea de Matteo) and Silvio (Steven van Zandt) driving in The Sopranos
Read Article We Ranked the ‘Hellraiser’ Movies, Worst to Best, by the Only Criteria That Makes Sense
Pinhead and his Cenobites in 'Hellraiser: Deader'
Read Article What’s the Eco Pup’s Catchphrase Your Toddler Keeps Repeating From ‘PAW Patrol’?
Rocky on Nickelodeon's "PAW Patrol"
Read Article One Cut ‘Bridgerton’ Character Changes One of Season 3’s Best Scenes From the Books
The Featherington sisters and their husbands in Bridgerton season 3
Read Article We Ranked EVERY ‘Godzilla’ Movie in a Kaiju-Size Spectacle
Shin Godzilla lumbers off into the distance in "Shin Godzilla"
Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>