Written and Directed by Jun Falkenstein
Starring Jim Cummings, Nikita Hopkins, Ken Sansom, John Fielder, Peter Cullen
My Advice: Matinee.
OK, I'm eight years old again. I'm going to see Disney's latest installment of Winnie the Pooh films, The Tigger Movie. Pretty cool right? Well, in a word, yeah… it was pretty cool indeed. Or as I would have said at the age of eight, "that's pretty trippy." So there I sit with my best friend in the whole world, who at the age of 28 is actually my fiancé and best friend in the whole world, all eager for the movie to start. Here is what I saw.
The movie starts with a nice little intro of live action, in obviously what is Christopher Robin's (Tom Attenborough) room, and goes into the beginning of a classic Pooh movie. Its right here that things start to change, and it stops being a Pooh movie and becomes, ahem… (pause for dramatic effect) The Tigger Movie. See that's one of the things that you have to understand, this movie comes with more action than the typical Pooh movie. It has some excitement. I actually saw where a reviewer in a local paper complained that it wasn't like the other Pooh movies. Gee, maybe that's why they called it The Tigger Movie.
When I go see a kid's movie I tend to try and gauge how good the movie is on a couple of levels, one is how the kids in the audience respond. The other is from and adult perspective. I mean sure, we can go see movies with pocket monsters and mighty morphing teenage thunder frogs or what have you, but as adults we are usually disappointed in the movie, the amount of our kids' time we just wasted, and we're disappointed with the knowledge that we are teaching a child that the only way to fix things is to whip a magic ball out of our pants and beat someone else into submission using a fictional character who is the equivalent of a fighting cock. Sorry, got a little carried away there. I'm biased. Sue me.
For the kids: Now, truth be told, there were places in the film where the kids in the audience were fidgeting around and not watching the movie, just waiting for something interesting to happen. These were the couple of slow spots where it became necessary to setup some of the plot (obviously this was done for the adults), but no child under the age of seven cares much for plot--you just have to keep the story flowing for them to be interested. But it all panned out in the end. It was really charming to see a little girl of about five actually standing own her feet shouting words of encouragement to the animated cast for the entire last 15 minutes of the movie. And since this was an 8:45 showing that demonstrated just how engaging the movie was. I would have to say that no child left disappointed.
For the adults: From an adult level, I liked the method of storytelling, its nice to see people remember what books are used for. I can see it thirty years from now, I'll be sitting there with my grandkids, watching this movie on my very antiquated DVD player, and little Bailey III will be asking, "Gee grandpa what's that weird thing that keeps showing up with words on it." Sorry, there I go again. Anyway the animation is classic Pooh style, but seriously, the 100 Acre Wood should only look one way. The real fun was some of the music. Parts of the Tigger musical number were inspired; the song on what it takes to be a Tigger was a lot of fun. All in all I enjoyed the movie a lot. My fiancé, ah, sorry my best friend, was beside herself, she happens to be a real Pooh fan, but what eight year old girl isn't? The story had a nice message to it, but I won't give it away, you'll have to see it for yourself for that.
While it wasn't a big budget summer blockbuster animation release for Disney, it was solid. For a 28-year-old going on eight, it was a lot of fun.
Suggestion: if you have a child under 10 it's probably worth a matinee. How many good movies are there out there that you can take a child to? Over 10 it's a rental.
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