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The Tigger Movie

Review by Joe Barlow
Posted 11 February 2000

Written and Directed by Jun Falkenstein
Starring the voices of Tom Attenborough,
Peter Cullen, Jim Cummings,
Ken Sansom, and Andre Stojka

After nearly a century of playing second fiddle to the amiable Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne's celebrated bear of very little brain, Tigger bounces into the limelight in a film of his very own. With The Tigger Movie, Disney allows the Master Bouncer's many fans an opportunity to tag along on his quest to discover his roots. Unfortunately, Tigger proves himself a less capable host than Pooh. Although the film's heart is in the right place, the story never really hits its stride, lurching towards its conclusion with a jerky, uneven momentum.

If we've learned anything from Disney's insanely catchy Tigger song, it's that Tiggers are wonderful things--and the most wonderful thing of all, we are told, is that poor Tiggy's the only one. While the thought of being unique once excited the bouncy rascal, he has finally come to understand the implications of this statement: he is an outcast, with no relatives. Determined to find his family tree, our plucky protagonist (accompanied by his faithful sidekick, Roo), sets off on his search. Naturally, things get pretty silly before we're done.

I'm not even sure there's a reason to review The Tigger Movie; the film's target audience--children in their single digit years--certainly aren't going to read this. Nor do most parents use movie reviews to determine which films their family should see. (If they did, the universally-praised Iron Giant would've been the highest grossing movie in history.) But for those rare individuals who actually use film criticism for its intended purpose, here's the rub: The Tigger Movie has enough going on to ensure that the kids won't get bored. Parents, however, may have a bit less fun.

The movie is not without its charms: the colorful animation--and the equally colorful voices of the Hundred Acre Wood's inhabitants--are well done, and some of the film's songs rank among Disney's best. But the overall impression is one of mere competence, rather than excellence. This is a harmless piece of fluff; it'll keep the kids out of your hair for ninety minutes, but it lacks the wit or crossover potential of the studio's best work, like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, or The Lion King. However, the novelty of seeing a movie centered around a Milne character other than Pooh is a point in its favor. Personally, I'm waiting for The Eeyore Movie. I've even written a great opening line: "I was born the son of an ass, in the summer of '23..."

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