The Tigger Movie
directed by Jun Falkenstein
(Disney, 2000)

Ever since that first day of kindergarten when Mrs. Mentzer introduced us, Winnie the Pooh and I have been good friends. Still, even with three decades of Pooh knowledge, I felt fairly unprepared to watch The Tigger Movie without someone who's a little closer in age to -- how shall I say it? -- Pooh's target audience. Miss Sarah Poliski of Lititz, Pa., was happy to help me out.

A little about our guest reviewer, so you can gauge whether the kids in your life might like this little film. Sarah is very experienced when it comes to Disney wisdom. She is 4 (sorry, Sarah, almost 5). She has, in this age of video, watched more Disney movies than I had at her age, even counting the stuff I saw on The Wonderful World of Disney. Her favorite movie is Robin Hood, the Disney version, which she estimates she's seen "about three times." Sarah's mom says Robin Hood has played "more like three times 30" times in their house.

I figured a full hour-plus of Tigger as the central character would be just a little too grating -- I was wrong. Tigger's springy-ness is lightened up by having Roo, a character small children easily identify with, as Tigger's sidekick and best friend. The story is this: Tigger's been boasting forever that, "The wonderful thing about Tiggers is, I'm the only one!" But suddenly, that's a very lonely proposition. Everyone's busy getting ready for winter, and no one else has any interest in bouncing about the Hundred Acre Wood on their tails. Roo makes a valiant effort, but even little kangaroos can't match the springiness of a Tigger.

So Tigger decides to try to find his family -- and, on Owl's advice, begins to search high and low for his "family tree." It's one of those sayings that adultlike Owl knows is a figure of speech but that childlike Tigger takes literally. Tigger runs away from his friends to look for the tree, tries to get them to leave him alone when he realizes there are no other Tiggers and, finally, discovers a family isn't just made up of animals who look exactly alike -- love and friendship make the Hundred Acre Wood clan a family, too.

It's a sweet story. There are some creative little moments, like when Tigger dreams a whole family who appear to him in the guise of art masterpieces. The songs? They're OK -- Tigger's kind of hard to understand. And my immediate reaction that the voices were all wrong might have more to do with the fact that I'm an old person who remembers the fantastic originals.

Here's Sarah's review: "Tigger was looking for his family, but he couldn't find any. All his friends were his family. He took Roo with him. Roo is his best friend in the movie. I really liked Roo. And the best part was when everyone got their picture taken together."

The final verdict? Not quite Robin Hood -- but a good movie anyway. Thank you, Sarah.

[ by Jen Kopf ]

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