Reviewed by
Colin Jacobson

Title: The Tigger Movie (2000)
Studio Line: Disney

In the classic tradition of Disney's animated feature films, the first Winnie the Pooh theatrical feature in twenty-three years weaves magical storytelling, charming characters and memorable songs into an enchanting tale of adventure and heart.

As it happens, everybody -- Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Roo, Rabbit, Owl -- is busy preparing a suitable winter home for Eeyore. When everything they do seems to get undone by Tigger's exuberant bouncing, Rabbit suggests Tigger go outside and find other tiggers to bounce with -- a notion Tigger finds ridiculous because, after all, he's "the onliest one!" Or is he? And so begins Tigger's amazing journey to find his family.

The Tigger Movie is filled with joy and wonder of what it means to be a family -- and that families come in all shapes and sizes. Enriched with seven delightful Pooh songs, this whimsical and touching film will bounce right into your heart -- and feet.

Director: Jun Falkenstein
Cast: Jim Cummings-Tigger/Winnie the Pooh, Nikita Hopkins-Roo, Ken Samson-Rabbit, John Fiedler-Piglet, Peter Cullen-Eeyore, Andrew Stojka-Owl, Kath Soucie-Kanga, Tom Attenborough-Christopher Robin, John Hurt-Narrator
Box Office: Budget: $20 million. Opening Weekend: $9.427 million (2723 screens). Gross: $45.542 million.
DVD: Widescreen 1.66:1/16x9; audio English DD 5.1, Spanish & French Digital Stereo; subtitles none; closed-captioned; single sided - dual layered; 23 chapters; rated G; $29.99; street date 8/22/00.
Supplements: Never-Before-Seen Kenny Loggins Music Video "Your Heart Will Lead You Home"; "Round My Family Tree" Sing Along Song; Disney DVD Storybook: The Tigger Movie; The Tigger Movie Interactive Trivia Game; How To Make Your Own Family Tree; Matching Game; Theatrical Trailer.
Purchase: DVD | The Tigger Movie: A Read-Aloud Storybook - Ellen Titlebaum | Song & Story soundtrack

Picture/Sound/Extras: A/B+/D+

What's the difference between a "direct-to-video" (DTV) film like The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea or Pocahontas II: Voyage to a New World and The Tigger Movie? There isn't much of one, except the latter actually made a theatrical appearance in February 2000. Other than that, Tigger bears the mark of most of the DTV presentations in that it was produced by one of Disney's TV animation units and doesn't live up to the high level of quality usually found in their "classic" titles.

However, that shouldn't mean that Tigger isn't worth a look, as the movie's actually a mildly entertaining piece. The story follows standard Disney "inspirational" fare. Although he used to think the best thing about Tiggers is he's the only one, Tig now starts to feel rather alone and he decides to seek out his family. A mass attempt ensues, and some confusion makes a mess. Eventually, Tigger realizes the inevitable: Pooh, Piglet, and the others are his family, even if they're biologically not Tiggers.

Technically I suppose I should have warned you that potential spoilers appeared in that last paragraph, but if knowledge of the film's ending actually affects your enjoyment of Tigger, you need to get out more. Tig's "revelation" about the true definition of a family can be seen a hundred acres away, but the predictability doesn't really bother me. After all, how many Disney films provide any kind of real surprises? As with lots of other films, the fun comes from the execution, not from twists and turns of the plot.

In that regard, Tigger is a moderate success. It's certainly not a classic Disney offering by any stretch of the imagination, but it only pursues modest goals, and it generally achieves them. One area in which it mildly excelled came from its songs. The film used new tunes from famed Disney music-writers the Sherman brothers; they were responsible for the ditties in films like Mary Poppins. The new tunes aren't classics, but they're more interesting than the usual dreck we hear in these lower-budget Disney productions, and the musical numbers featured in the film are occasionally pretty entertaining; for example, Tigger's show-stopper "Round My Family Tree" positively recalls Aladdin's "Friend Like Me".

Unfortunately, most of the original vocal talents behind Pooh and the gang have moved on to other worlds; only John Fiedler as Piglet remains. Jim Cummings handles both Pooh and Tigger and does a remarkable job. Frankly, had I not known that original Pooh Sterling Holloway died long ago, I'd still think he had the role, and I didn't realize that someone other than Paul Winchell performed Tigger until the end of the movie. (For the record, Winchell appears to be very much alive. One website said Disney "canned" him as Tigger because he sounded "too old". I don't know if this is true, but it's the only explanation I could find anywhere. Winchell's official website - - makes no mention of his "retirement" from the role.)

Other parts of the production are better than expected as well. Though completed by one of Disney's TV animation arms - apparently the Japanese crew did this film - the artwork flows more smoothly than usual for this semi-bargain fare. The characters and settings look accurate to the original cartoons (the original Disney styles, that is, not those shown in A.A. Milne's books), and the motion seems relatively fluid. It doesn't match up more sophisticated movies from Disney, but at least it succeeds fairly well, unlike some of the other TV animation-created pictures.

Overall, The Tigger Movie defines the word "modest". The film shoots for small goals and achieves them in an acceptably enjoyable manner. All aspects of the picture are reasonably well-executed and the tale provides a quietly entertaining experience. It ain't art, but it'll do.

The DVD:

The Tigger Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. As is often the case with Disney's animated offerings, the picture looked absolutely terrific with nary a flaw in sight.

Sharpness seemed immaculate. The image appeared perfectly focused and crisp from start to finish, and I witnessed no signs of softness or fuzziness. Moiré effects and jagged edges looked absent, and I also saw no artifacts from the anamorphic downconversion on my 4X3 TV. If any print flaws appeared, I couldn't find them; I detected no signs of scratches, grain, grit, hairs, tears, speckles or other concerns.

Colors seemed lovely, with some bright and accurate hues throughout the film. The movie's palette tended toward fall colors, which were lush and rich; between this element and Tigger's fur, orange dominated the proceedings, and these tones appeared precise and clear. Black levels were deep and dense, with fine contrast, and shadow detail looked clean and smooth; low-light situations were depicted cleanly and with excellent delineation. The Tigger Movie provided a nearly-perfect viewing experience.

The film's Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack wasn't quite as strong, but it seemed solid as well. The forward soundstage appeared very active, with a high level of discrete audio emanating from the side channels; effects, music, and even a little dialogue came from the right and left speakers, all of which helped created a nicely-broad spectrum of sound. The surround channels seemed less active as they tended to stick to ambient music and effects. However, at times they came to life nicely, especially during the snowstorm toward the end of the film; the wind and other nature sounds swirled about effectively.

Audio quality seemed fine at all times. Dialogue appeared crisp and distinct, with good intelligibility throughout the film and no signs of edginess or dullness. Effects were clean and accurate and they displayed no distortion; even during louder scenes like the snowstorm, these elements remained clear and realistic. The music appeared smooth and bright, with some moderate low end as well; the songs were nicely musical and bouncy. Dynamic range wasn't a stand-out aspect of the mix, but the track seemed fairly brisk and it showed decent bass at times, whether through rumbling effects or in the songs. Ultimately, it was a somewhat modest soundtrack but it appeared more than adequate for the material at hand.

Although The Tigger Movie isn't formally part of Disney's "Gold Classic Collection", it includes supplements similar to what we usually find on those titles. We get what appears to be the standard 16-question trivia game; it poses queries about the movie that are pretty simple for anyone who's seen the film. If you get them all correct, you then are allowed to watch an 80-second featurette about the origins of Pooh and his friends plus how they came to the big screen. Obviously, it's a pretty superficial program, and it honestly isn't worth the effort if you don't want to play the trivia game anyway.

A second game appears on the DVD. Called the "Thingamajigger Matching Game", this features three rounds, each of which poses about six questions. For example, you may be shown four objects and you have to choose which belongs to Pooh. It's simple but actually kind of fun. Unfortunately, you get no "reward" ala the trivia game if you answer all the problems correctly.

"Round Your Family Tree" offers kids simple directions to create their own family trees. It's basic but makes a nice educational tool for little ones. The "DVD Storybook" allows children to read a text version of Tigger. As always, one can choose to follow the story with or without narration.

In addition to the film's theatrical trailer, a couple of musical features appear. We get the music video for Kenny Loggins' "Your Heart Will Lead You Home". The song is perfectly atrocious - though pairing "perfectly atrocious" and "Kenny Loggins" is redundant - and the video dull; it follows the usual "lip-synch/film clip" motif and is perfectly boring. The "Round My Family Tree" Singalong is exactly what the title describes; it allows viewers to do their karaoke best along with the aforementioned tune.

Yes, Tigger includes the standard complement of pre-movie advertisements. I've mentioned these with every Disney DVD review for the last six months and I'm sick of it! However, duty calls, so I'll continue to inform readers of their presence as long as they continue to be present.

Tigger features promos for Toy Story 2, Buzz Lightyear, and The Little Mermaid II. If one wants to skip these, this is easily done either by pressing the "skip" button on your remote or just through the use of the "menu" button.

Although it doesn't qualify as one of Disney's all-time great films, The Tigger Movie is more "success" than "failure". It never attempts to be anything other than a cute little story about the real nature of family, and it provides a moderately endearing program. The DVD offers absolutely fantastic picture plus very good sound and a few minor extras. The Tigger Movie won't make you forget any of Disney's real classics, but it's a fun little experience nonetheless.

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