Chil­dren may not recog­nise Mae Whit­man’s face but chances are her voice will ring a bell, a Tinker Bell

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - MOVIES - Words caris bizzaca

RE­MEM­BER the cute-asa-but­ton kid who played the Pres­i­dent’s daugh­ter in In­de­pen­dence Day? Well, you would prob­a­bly recog­nise the now 26-yearold Mae Whit­man from TV se­ries such as Ar­rested De­vel­op­ment and Par­ent­hood, or movies in­clud­ing Perks of Be­ing a Wall­flower and Scott Pil­grim vs. the World.

For kids though, it’s her voice that will ring a bell. A Tinker Bell ac­tu­ally.

Since she was 18, Whit­man has voiced the fairy from Peter Pan in a se­ries of spin-off movies, with Tinker Bell & the Pirate Fairy mark­ing the fifth in the an­i­mated fran­chise.

Even now, the thought that she’s play­ing a char­ac­ter she used to watch as a kid is daunt­ing.

“(Es­pe­cially) if I think about it too hard,” she says.

“But I have so much sup­port from the team at Dis­ney.

“I mean, if any­thing it just makes me want to not back off and re­ally make sure we’re hon­our­ing Tinker Bell and who she is.”

Also join­ing the voice cast for this lat­est film are Mad Men ac­tress Christina Hen­dricks and The Avengers vil­lain Tom Hid­dle­ston. Hen­dricks plays fairy Za­rina, who steals Pixie Hol­low’s Blue Pixie Dust and joins forces with a pirate crew, in­clud­ing the cabin boy, a young James Hook (played by Hid­dle­ston).

Whit­man felt a lot of nos­tal­gia with this film be­cause of the Peter Pan links. .

“We’ve had small ref­er­ences here and there be­fore, but I think this is re­ally one of the first times you get to see so much of Neverland and you get to see an­other straight-up char­ac­ter from there like Cap­tain Hook and the pi­rates,” Whit­man says.

Also, for those who love Peter Pan, it’s amaz­ing to see a younger ver­sion of Hook and find out what he was like.

“That’s an­other of my favourite things. Peter Pan is my favourite Dis­ney movie so to be able to be a part of that world... is re­ally, re­ally ex­cit­ing.”

Whit­man, who also voices April O’Neil in the new Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles TV se­ries, says work­ing in an­i­ma­tion means she can tackle more di­verse char­ac­ters.

“You get to re­ally try dif­fer­ent things and be dif­fer­ent people be­cause you’re not limited to how you look,” she says.

“And my favourite part about it is that you can wear sweat­pants.

“My favourite part of any day is if I can wear sweat­pants. It’s re­ally the best.”

Tinker Bell & the Pirate Fairy is out now

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