“The Tigger Movie” (2000) MOVIE REVIEW
WARNING: The Following review contains possible spoilers
Tigger is upset that his friends can’t bounce with him, because they’re not equipped or skilled enough to keep up with him, so Tigger wonders who he could bounce with? When he learns that he could have a family, he becomes determined to find them, but his friends are worried that this will lead to disappointment, so they write him a letter to keep his spirits. This letter though, makes Tigger assume that his family is coming to visit him, sending his friends into a panic, so they decide to dress up as Tiggers, in hopes that he won’t be sad.
As to be expected from a movie about Tigger, this is a very bouncy and hyperactive film, with a frantic pacing that can often get distracted. While it’s not surprising, it still makes it difficult for me to say “Oh yeah, the story is really well told and has a nice flow”, because the choice to make Tigger into the star, has inherently resulted in a film that reflects his unpredictable off the wall personality, which isn’t going to make for a solid narrative.
So yeah, I get that a film about Tigger was bound to be unfocused, but that doesn’t mean that this an entirely a good thing, as the story’s cohesion is sacrificed for the purpose of staying true to Tigger’s personality, and this does explain why Tigger best suits being a supporting character in an ensemble cast. To be fair though, Pooh also brings the film to a hault in one scene, turning the search for Tigger’s family into a chance to steal honey, by singing a lullaby to some bees, which adds nothing to the main story.
The film also opens by addressing Tigger’s flaw of getting carried away, criticising that he doesn’t watch where he’s bouncing, but this fault is brushed aside, because the movie wants to focus more on Tigger’s search for his family. For most of the film, it felt like Tigger’s poor actions weren’t that big of deal, even though the movie wanted to draw attention to them at the start, which made me feel distracted, often asking “Are we going to go back to helping Tigger be a more careful bouncer?”.
It’s not until the very very end, that Tigger tries to make up for this, and while it’s sweet how he does this, it all seems… last minute? When he could have learned how to be more sensible while bouncing throughout the film, maybe even while also on an adventure to find his family, like discovering that safe bouncing is more practical.
However, the strength of the film, is it’s theme of non-biological family, this is where the film shines the most. While Tigger is adamant to find his “real” family, he doesn’t seem to notice that he already has a loving family, they just don’t happen to be Tiggers, with Roo in particular showing a particular brotherly affection to Tigger.
This leads to a surprisingly deep conclusion, with Tigger never finding his fellow Tiggers, and the realisation that his adoptive family is his true family, that’s a rather risky ending for a Winnie the Pooh movie! Teaching possibly orphaned kids, that they might not reunite with their biological family, but that’s okay, because the family you make yourself or get adopted by is just as valid and special.
Something great about this film too, is that it was the first time in 28 years that the Sherman brothers had worked with Disney, with the talented duo providing a string of new original songs. These musical numbers do seem to appear out of nowhere, sometimes don’t really do much for the story, but they’re all very fun and lively, oozing with the wacky charisma we expect from the Shermans, perfectly fitting a film about the silly Tigger.
To be honest, I don’t remember many of them that well, except maybe Pooh’s lullaby to the bees, but I can imagine some people, particularly the target audience of little kids, to remember all the lyrics by heart. Like I said, they are entertaining songs, I just don’t think they’re catchy or memorable enough to stick with me personally.
To Conclude, “The Tigger Movie” is a very hyperactive and unfocused film, letting Tigger’s boundless energy drive the story, which is fine if you just want to see Tigger being Tigger, but this is a film that’s still trying to tell an adventure tale, and Tigger isn’t exactly a character designed for moving a story forward.
That being said, it’s message about finding your family is quite mature, plus Roo and Tigger’s brotherly bond is super cute to watch, and the Shermans’ songs are great additions. Overall, it’s an okay Disney Pooh film, certainly one of the more flawed ones, and one that lacks the franchise’s quiet atmosphere that I usually enjoy, but it’s a good effort for what it is.
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