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With: (voices) Jim Cummings, Nikita Hopkins, Ken Sansom, John Fiedler, Peter Cullen, Andre Stojka, Kath Soucie, Tom Attenborough, John Hurt
Written by: Jun Falkenstein, based on a story by Eddie Guzelian, and characters created by A.A. Milne
Directed by: Jun Falkenstein, Nick Bates
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 77
Date: 02/11/2000
IMDB

The Tigger Movie (2000)

3 Stars (out of 4)

A Tail of Spring

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

My wife and I are huge fans of the A.A. Milne "Winnie-the-Pooh" books and of the original movie The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (released in 1968). But Tigger is not my favorite character. So although I was looking forward to The Tigger Movie with some trepidation, I was pleasantly surprised with the result.

Though not a masterpiece by any means, The Tigger Movie accomplishes everything it sets out to. Since it is a big-screen release, the filmmakers felt compelled to include a couple of big "money shots" that feel out of place. One is a crafty musical number called "Round My Family Tree" that looks like something out of "Animaniacs," and the other is a loud avalanche sequence. (Animation fans should take heart: the work on this film is top-notch, unlike the current "Pooh" cartoon that runs on Saturday mornings.) But the overall content and tone of the movie left me feeling fine.

Everyone knows Tigger's theme song, which includes the lyric, "the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is that I'm the only one." In The Tigger Movie Tigger (voiced by Jim Cummings, who also provides the voice of Pooh) decides that that's not such a wonderful thing after all. He begins to long for his own family, other Tiggers that he can spend time with. The rest of the animals in the Hundred-Acre Wood, Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Rabit, Kanga & Roo, and Eyeore decide to make him feel better by writing a letter to him from his "family." But Tigger mistakenly assumes that they're coming to visit him, which puts the rest of the characters in an awful fix.

The thing that really struck me about the movie was its theme of family. The Pooh characters are like a family in spite of the fact that none of them are related by blood (except Kanga and Roo). At one point, Roo asks his mother why he can't have a brother like Tigger, she responds that Roo does have a brother like Tigger -- Tigger himself. The other thing that struck me, and this is the reason I love these characters so much, is that they act like a real family. Each of the characters have different sides, especially the annoying and deplorable sides. I mean, really, who would want to spend any time with Eyeore, who constantly complains? As for the others: Owl talks your ear off about boring things, Rabbit is stuck-up and bossy, Tigger is inconsiderate and destructive, Pooh is selfish, Piglet is cowardly, Kanga is overly protective, and Roo is a squeaky kid. Yet, they're each part of the family, so we love them anyway, and unquestioningly.

So, after spending 75 minutes with these cuddly folks, the message we're left with is not only to cherish your family, but also that anyone you love can be part of your family as well. And that, coupled with superior animation, is certainly better than whatever message the insipid Pokemon is delivering to kids.

DVD Details: In 2009, Disney released a 10th anniversary special edition DVD, with music videos and games and sing-a-longs for kids. It comes with two new made-for-TV Tigger cartoons, neither of which is terribly interesting. There's also a theatrical trailer and other previews. The second disc contains the "digital copy." I like The Tigger Movie, but this disc is more for kids and doesn't have very much to offer for animation buffs.

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