Indeed, I despise the entire Winnie the Pooh franchise. Even as a kid, I never understood the appeal of this dimwitted bear and his numbskull friends. I've long believed The Hundred Acre Wood to be populated with jerks, idiots, and whiners, and there's nothing charming or whimsical about the adventures its inhabitants take.
The worst offender is Tigger, a bouncing, frenzied id who leaves devastation in his wake without an ounce of empathy. His clueless buffoonery and rampant stupidity are meant to make us giggle, but they fill me with dread - not only does he ruin everything in his wake, he's actually happy about it, a dangerous combination. In the first five minutes of "The Tigger Movie," he pesters Pooh, burns Piglet's furniture, and nearly kills Eeyore. That Eeyore escapes death by sheer dumb luck is supposed to be a punchline. But it makes me weep. Oh, and Eeyore's house is demolished, just in time for winter. "Sorry, Eeyore," says Tigger. "Looks like you'll freeze to death come January. Now watch me bounce! Hoo-hoooo!!"
I say all of this right up front because many of you like Tigger. Some of you might very well even love him. If this is you then, you will most certainly enjoy "The Tigger Movie," a Disney feature originally released in 2000 as the first of three theatrical sequels to the Pooh franchise. My daughter, age nine, certainly enjoyed it well enough, and perhaps her opinion is more trustworthy than my own.
I'll admit the film does display a certain warmth in its second half, once all the Tigger frenzy gets out of the way, and its ultimate message - family is all around you, in your loved ones, and is not bound by blood relation - is certainly worth repeating. It's not as gentle as "Piglet's Big Movie" or as cute as "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" (but then, I didn't like those movies, either), but it does build to a certain sweetness that should appeal to most youngsters.
But I can't let it off that easily. The story, which is reminiscent of, of all things, "Muppets from Space," deals with Tigger's sudden realization that the "I'm the only one" line in his "Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" song means he's actually quite alone in this world. Where's his family? Who's in his family tree?
When he writes a letter to what he assumes to be his family and no reply comes, Tigger is sent into great despair. The others in Pooh Corner decide to fake a letter, which Tigger, ever the doofus, misreads as a message saying they're all arriving tomorrow. This traps the friends in a deeper lie, which they opt to continue by cheaply dressing up in makeshift Tigger costumes and invading the bouncy one's home. Because Tigger is stupid, he falls for it - until Roo mistakenly ruins his disguise. Tigger, disgusted, runs away into a snowstorm, forcing everyone to chase him.
The whole thing has the potential for charm, but it never works. The "we lied to you because we care" theme is rather off-putting, or it would be had the script not spent the first ten minutes actively convincing us to hate Tigger with every fiber of our being. He's presented as a jerk, a dolt, and a crass buttinsky, and then we're asked to worry over him.
The plot is unexceptionally lightweight-ness of the plot - not in the deceptively simple sort that most great for-toddlers storytelling features, but in the dumbed-down, "it's just for kids so why bother" manner of bland kiddie fare. The majority of the film is annoying, most notably a string of bad jokes and bouncy tunes that earn nothing but cringes (the delightful closing theme from Kenny Loggins notwithstanding). Even at a brief 77 minutes, we're left feeling the story and its characters have been stretched too thin. It's certainly been stretched well past my breaking point.
Disney previously released "The Tigger Movie" in August 2000. Now comes a the "Two-Disc 10th Anniversary Edition" - a name that's a full year off the mark, and hyping a second disc that barely counts, but that's Disney for you.
The disc is coded with Disney's "FastPlay" viewing option.
Video & Audio
I haven't seen the previous DVD release for comparison, but the 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer here is simply splendid. Colors pop off the screen with rich clarity, while the lush background designs display a soft autumn warmth.
The Dolby 5.1 soundtrack plays it low-key with the surround mix, but that's hardly a drawback. Dialogue and music sound clean and fresh, with a nice depth to the cartoon effects. French, Spanish, and Portuguese 5.1 dubs are included, as are optional English SDH, French, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles.
New extras for this re-release are limited to a digital copy of the movie (which takes up the entire second disc) and two "bonus episodes" from the 1988-91 series "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh." In "King of the Beasties" (11:41), Tigger lets newfound pretend royalty go to his head; then, "Tigger's Houseguest" (10:39) is a termite that threatens to eat all of the Hundred Acre Wood.
All other bonus material is carried over from the original DVD release. We start with a music video for Kenny Loggins' lovely theme song "Your Heart Will Lead You Home" (4:48), which mixes movie clips with footage of Loggins in the studio.
A "sing-along" presentation of "Round My Family Tree"(2:38; 1.66:1 anamorphic) is simply a clip from the film with added subtitles.
Three kid-oriented games offer uncomplicated thrills for young fans: The "Tigger Movie Trivia Game" asks questions about the story; in "Thingamajigger Matching Game," you match characters with their beloved possessions (or "thingamajiggers"); and "Round Your Family Tree" teaches kids how to chart their own family tree.
As you can guess from the title, the "Tigger Movie DVD Storybook" (7:55) offers a rundown of the plot in storybook form, which kids can read on their own or have read to them via an optional audio track.
The film's theatrical trailer (1:56; 1.66:1 flat letterbox) and a batch of previews for other Disney titles round out the set; some previews also play as the disc loads.
All bonus material and games are presented in a 1.33:1 format, except where indicated.
If you have the original disc, I see no reason to upgrade here. For the rest of you, you'll do fine to merely Rent It - after all, your kid might like it for the weekend, but it hardly earns repeat viewings.