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My daughter keeps asking me this good question. She is watching Disney's Tinker Bell movies, in which fairies are producing and using fairy dust to be able to fly.

Is this only the case in the Tinker Bell movies? If they have wings why would they need fairy dust to fly?

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    Maybe the wings are too small to support her weight and the fairy dust has the magical power to provide additional uplift ;)
    – Ghanima
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 13:40
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    @Ghanima Had similar thoughts... Fairies, the bumblebees of the magical realm? Hm... :D
    – Mario
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 15:58
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    Tell her its like gasoline. Why does a car need gas if it has wheels and an engine?
    – EricSSH
    Commented Jan 7, 2015 at 23:08
  • Why do people need Segways when they've got legs?
    – Misha R
    Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 5:44
  • Butterflies and moths have dust on their wings and if you touch them it comes of and they can't fly.could this be the same dust?.
    – Sue
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 10:27

5 Answers 5

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In the new Disney Fairies : Tinker Bell movies, both dust and wings are essential components of fairy flight.

  • Without wings, a fairy can't fly. We see this in "Secret of the Wings" where Tink wraps her wings inside her coat and crashes. It appears that it's the wings that are suffused with fairy dust. We see it falling away whenever any of the fairies fly fast.

enter image description here

  • Without Pixie Dust, a fairy can't fly. We see this in "Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure" when Tink runs out of dust. Her wings appear to be capable of small amounts of lift (and changes in direction) but without the boost offered by Dust, the wings are solely capable of short hops, not self-powered flight.

enter image description here

Later, in the same film we see this damaged parchment. Although some of the words are illegible, the bottom part seems pretty clear. Without both Pixie Dust and Wings, fairies can't fly. The dust also has a secondary effect of allowing the fairy to use their inborn magical skills, presumably using the same A+B formula.

enter image description here

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    But this doesn't explain why it just says that Tinkerbell needs fairy dust (and wings) to fly, which the question states. Commented May 6, 2015 at 14:56
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    @wikis - Because her wings provide insufficient boost. She can't fly with them. ..
    – Valorum
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 15:25
  • And without wings, she can't perform turns and changes of direction (easily)
    – Valorum
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 15:26
  • Wow, @Richard, just wow. Commented May 6, 2015 at 16:13
  • I think if you add that to the answer it might be perfect. Commented May 6, 2015 at 17:00
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I just happened to read the original book - one of the originals, anyway - recently. It's not directly explained, but I was left with the idea that the "slightly inclined to enbonpoint" Tinkerbell didn't need the fairy dust herself ; her fairy dust was needed for anyone else to fly.

ch. III Come Away, Come Away! :

Of course Peter had been trifling with them, for no one can fly unless the fairy dust has been blown on him. Fortunately, as we have mentioned, one of his hands was messy with it, and he blew some on each of them, with the most superb results.

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  • Of course there's no indication that this restriction applies to Tinkerbell in the books
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 18:41
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    And in the original film. She seems to manufacture the stuff
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 18:42
  • @Richard: Kind of like the "dust" (actually tiny scales) from the wings of butterflies and moths.
    – Joe L.
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 19:13
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    In the film, Peter holds her wings and the dust comes off of her body; i.sstatic.net/XVbGy.gif
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 19:23
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In the book, fairies don't need dust.

In the Disney films, both dust and wings are necessary. I guess the dust helps the fairies to fly in the same way as a balloon, but that they need their wings do direct themselves.

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When a fairy applies pixie dust to themselves, they sprinkle it directly on their wings, so their wings are flying, not their bodies. The wings help them control themselves, so if they didn't have wings they would be out of control. So when a human sprinkles pixie dust on themselves, they fly out of control.

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  • Do you have a source?
    – Null
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 20:14
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Fairies have wings, but their wings are to weak to carry there fat bodies (or so to speak). However fairies have pixie dust to help them. The dust in question lets them fly, so they have wings for the sole purpose of velocity*.

*Velocity: the speed and direction of which things travel

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    Quote from?.... Commented May 6, 2015 at 14:49
  • Google does not find it seem like a quote from nowhere. Commented May 6, 2015 at 16:16

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