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May 2010 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family / Columnists / Cinematters

‘Tooth Fairy’

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All those years of piano lessons are in jeopardy when your daughter fails to win admission to a prestigious music school. She is crushed. The starry-eyed girl you once knew seems to be gone; her dream of performing in the world’s great music halls, abandoned.

But as a volunteer at the Special Olympics, your daughter gets a new viewpoint. She sees young athletes persevere despite much greater odds than those she has faced. The experience reawakens her own dreams. Before long, she’s back at the keyboard preparing to fulfill those dreams no matter what.

She learns to never give up on her dreams — an inspirational message at any age. And it’s one that motivates aging hockey player Derek Thompson in “Tooth Fairy,” available this month on DVD. Pick up a copy and watch it with your family before launching into a lively discussion with our Talk Together points. Then reinforce the message with our “Sweet Dreams” family activity.

In “Tooth Fairy,” fan favorite Derek has earned a reputation as a brute on the ice. In fact, he’s called the “tooth fairy” because of his habit of hitting opponents so hard their teeth fall out! But when Derek steals money left under a little girl’s pillow by the real tooth fairy, he winds up in big trouble. Soon Derek sprouts wings and is transported to “fairy central” to face his punishment: he must work two weeks as a real tooth fairy.

He is assigned to Tracy, a “wingless” fairy whose job is to teach him the ropes. Derek balks at his sentence and writes off the encounter as merely a dream. But he’s definitely not dreaming when his wings pop out during a hockey game the next day. Tracy accompanies an unhappy Derek to collect a child’s recently lost tooth. He fumbles through his new duties, making no effort to embrace his job as tooth fairy.

Then, in a moment of frustration, Derek lashes out at his girlfriend’s son, telling him to give up his dream of playing guitar in a band because, chances are, he’s just not good enough. Angrily, the boy’s mother breaks off her relationship with Derek. Tracy, too, is ready to give up on Derek’s becoming a good tooth fairy and fulfilling his sentence.

Finally, Derek admits his attitude stems from his own failure to succeed in hockey after an injury many years earlier. With lots of practice and perseverance, Derek scores a goal, wins the hockey game and helps Tracy become a real tooth fairy. His final tooth fairy job is to collect his girlfriend’s daughter’s tooth. He also makes amends with her son. Derek completes his sentence and learns to never give up on dreams — his or anyone else’s.

Talk together

Derek seems to enjoy his position as “team bully” on the ice. What does he really dream of doing? Why hasn’t he pursued his dream? How does this affect his attitude toward dreams in general?

Tracy also has a dream — to be a tooth fairy. What keeps him from working toward that goal? How does Derek prepare him for the job?

Which of Derek’s tooth fairy “tools” would you most like to try?

Plan a family movie night this month! Check out our archives at www.Cinematters.com and get some great ideas for fun with your favorite films!

Updated 4:12 pm, July 13, 2010
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