“The Tigger Movie” almost captures the same gentle spirit of whimsy and sweetness that the old Winnie the Pooh cartoons had, but not quite. But for a new generation of youngsters who haven’t seen the old ones, this one will most certainly suffice.
In it, Tigger is dismayed to realize that not everyone can bounce around all day like him. Why? “We’re not Tiggers,” says Pooh, in that delicate way that only Pooh can say things. So Tigger sets out to find his family, if he even has one.
The search is futile, of course — “the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is I’m the only one,” after all — and in the end he comes to realize that his “family” has been with him all along.
As has often been Disney’s strong suit, it’s a sweet message, conveyed in the completely innocent, guileless tone we’ve always associated with Pooh and friends.
In fact, considering how long it’s been since Disney made those classic Pooh cartoons, it’s amazing how much this one has the same look and feel. The characters still climb through the storybook, and they are drawn in that sketchy, not-quite-real style.
Eeyore, for my money, is funny in everything he says. And Pooh, while not the central character here, is just plain lovable all the way around. (A “lullabee” he sings to lull some honey-makers to sleep is particularly lovely.)
There is some oddness near the end, when Tigger and Roo practically become superheroes, overstepping the simple, down-to-earth bounds we’re accustomed to with these characters. But aside from that, they and their friends in the Hundred-Acre Wood are the kid-friendly sort we grownups remember from our childhoods.
Little attempt is made to appeal to adults here; Tigger’s song about what his family might be like, in which we see Tiggers represented in famous paintings and sculptures, is about the only sequence that would go over kids’ heads and make their parents laugh. Still, grownups should find the whole thing pretty enjoyable, in an innocent, unaffected way.
B+ (; )