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Film / Toothless

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Toothless is a 1997 TV fantasy movie that aired on The Wonderful World of Disney.

Katherine Lewis (Kirstie Alley) is a dentist like her father and grandfather before her, and doesn't have the best view of her coworkers or her patients. When she's suddenly killed in a crossing, she enters Limbo, the place where souls are judged to either enter Heaven or Hell. With her profession and icy demeanor not earning her many points with the pearly gates, Katherine does community service as a mythological creature—the Tooth Fairy—to earn her way to heaven.

Katherine is helped in her new job by Raul (Daryl Mitchell) and learns that being the Tooth Fairy has rules of its own, chief amongst them being not to let any mortals see her. When Katherine decides to bend the rules to help children in need, Rogers (Lynn Redgrave), head of Limbo, is determined to send the wayward fairy to the fires below.

The movie has nothing to do with the character of the same name from the book or movie series How to Train Your Dragon.

This film contains examples of:

  • An Aesop: Life is short, so make the most of it—and open your heart to new possibilities.
  • All Just a Dream: Katherine wakes up at the moment of her death to find it was apparently a dream and she's been given a second chance at life.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The entry to Heaven is a literal stairway into glowing light.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted. Rogers succeeds at punishing Katherine with the Hellevator, but because it was All Just a Dream, Katherine is a-okay with a second chance on her life.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Katherine compares her tooth fairy dress to Cinderella on Ice, requests to change to a Tinker Bell outfit, and hopes the designer rots in Hell, which he is. The movie was made by Disney.
  • Captain Crash: A Running Gag is Katherine failing to stick the landing as she flies and keeps crashing into things or people.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: Limbo is a desert waiting area where souls are judged worthy or not, with professions such as dentistry being considered detrimental to entering Heaven.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Roughly half of everything that comes out of Katherine's mouth is snark, especially when she learns the ropes of her new job.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Katherine's character arc revolves around her slowly opening up to the people around her and letting herself care about them.
  • Depraved Dentist: Just being a dentist is enough for Katherine's afterlife to be in jeopardy, as she chose to inflict pain and suffering on countless people. Katherine, of course, denies this.
  • First Person Narration: Katherine narrates the film and introduces her own life and backstory.
  • Go into the Light: Katherine's death at the beginning of the movie has the screen fade to a bright light, and her friend going into Heaven is beamed up in a ray of light.
  • Hellevator: Those condemned to hell are forced into the "Hellevator", a literal elevator to Hell. (The alternative is a Stairway to Heaven, because the Celestial Bureaucracy loves its puns.)
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Katherine reveals herself to the adults in order to tell them off and improve Bobby's life, knowing this will get her sent to Hell for breaking the rules.
  • Ice Queen: Rogers is strictly business and doesn't let old friends or emotions get in the way of her work.
  • Invisible to Adults: Tooth Fairies are normally invisible to adults and can only be seen by children who haven't lost all their baby teeth yet.
  • Ironic Hell: Limbo, actually, but a dentist being a tooth fairy and a former divorce lawyer being Cupid are ironic community service punishments.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: She may be working as a tooth fairy, but she is certainly not up to the task of playing the part.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The movie's prologue begins in 1969 when Katherine's father dies.
  • Missing Mom: Bobby Ps mother has long since passed on.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Katherine is reluctant to care about others due to her grief after her father passed away.
  • One-Word Title: A Pun-Based Title, as it involves dentists and tooth fairies.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The ending shows Rogers in the mortal world as a crossing guard, and Bobby and Thomas both remember Katherine from her time as a tooth fairy.
  • Parental Substitute: Katherine becomes one for Bobby and some of the other kids.
  • Planet of Steves: The afterlife judges are all named "Joe" regardless of sex.
  • Spinning Paper: During Katherine's time as the Tooth Fairy, spinning newspapers recount epidemics of teeth-pulling and lost molars.
  • Spontaneous Crowd Formation: When Katherine appears at school to congratulate Carrie on her test, every kid that can see her swarms her for attention, forming a small mob.
  • Subbing for Santa: The Tooth Fairy, actually. One of Rogers' old friends was Cupid for a while. Other potential jobs include Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Boogie Man, Father Time, and the Sandman.
  • Tooth Fairy: Katherine Lewis, a dentist, becomes a tooth fairy to enter heaven.