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Sugar, A Little Snow Fairy #3: The Bear Pianist PDF Print E-mail
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R1 DVD Reviews
Friday, 06 February 2004 00:00
Sugar - Volume 3This latest disc of Sugar contains a self-contained story arc dealing with the titular Bear Pianist. Can theatre teach the season fairies anything about finding their twinkle?

9 - The Bear Pianist
A travelling theatre company, The Hammond Troupe, have arrived in town. Sugar & the other season fairies have a hard time separating fiction from reality, Norma's off in a world of her own at the thought of going to see the show, Greta considers this 'travelling theatre' thing to be decidedly third-rate (until she sees it, at least), while Saga strikes up a friendship with Vincent, aka the Bear Pianist from the troupe's current play.

10 - A Backstage Happening
Norma's developed a crush on one of the troupe's actors - and Saga's been dreaming about Vincent as well. So the girls are looking for any excuse to visit the troupe, and the fairies are still trying to figure out what this 'play' business is all about (except the Elder, who sees an opportunity to cosy up to Ginger. Shame for him she's more interested in going to see it with Turmeric...). Still having failed to grasp that theatre isn't real, they set out to 'save' the Bear Pianist...

11 - My Favourite Piano
Saga's peeved at Vincent for his reckless piano playing - she firmly believes that a real pianist should take care of his piano, and last time she saw him play, he definitely wasn't being gentle. Seems he may be able to see season fairies, though, which keeps Sugar and friends interested in him - could he be able to help them find their twinkle? Off they go with their best attempts to get Vincent's attention and help... Oh, and Norma's new heart-throb? Turns out he's a she...

12 - Goodybye, Mr Bear
Vincent's injured his hand & is unable to play the piano as a result, so the search is on for someone to replace him in the play. First suggestion: Saga, whose playing impressed Vincent last episode. Her first response is to refuse - still living under the shadow of her mother's talent, she's not confident enough of her skills. She's also still a bit pissed at Vincent over his mistreatment of his piano. But some persuasion by the people around her (and the fairies) leads her to change her mind...

And so the search for the Twinkle gets put to one side for a disc, as the focus shifts almost entirely to Saga & the visiting Hammond Troup. While Sugar & co are here, they're almost filling the 'comic filler' role, with their importance much reduced compared to the first 2 volumes. In some ways' it's like the writers discovered 24 episodes was too much for the story they'd planned, & suddenly needed to pad things out a bit...

Not that that's a bad thing. For those who find Sugar's antics to be a bit too much at times, there's a welcome relief from having her pushed to the background, while the general feel of the show remains very much intact. So far so good.

As for the story itself - I don't know. It didn't really grab me too much - Vincent's the only member of the troup that you get to see a significant amount of, so in some ways it's a waste that all these new characters appear and then get ignored. The section dealing with Saga's reaction to how Vincent treats his piano gives a good insight into how she feels about music & the influence her mother has had on her, but otherwise very little of note really happens. Still, it's enjoyable fluff to watch, so long as you aren't expecting things to really move forward.

Overall, then, something of a missed opportunity. A fairly good self-contained story arc which feels a bit out of place amongst the usual fairy antics, but still enjoyable to watch. Think of it as Sugar without Sugar (ie, the life of Saga & friends), and you've got the idea...

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