Up until 2011’s Winnie the Pooh, Disney’s solid effort in taking the pudgy yellow bear back to his classic roots, A.A. Milne’s lovable characters from the Hundred Acre Woods had devolved into little more than a cash cow franchise for Disney thanks in no small part to Eddie Guzelian, the man responsible for Disney's descent into direct-to-DVD sequel doldrums. They were churning out half-baked movies every year that still amused the kiddies but felt like a money grab to those who grew up with the classic stories and television cartoons. The Tigger Movie unfortunately falls in that spree of Winnie the Pooh movies lacking in merit, and the forced musical numbers would almost be unbearable if it weren’t for the film’s strong message about the broader meaning of family. That theme combined with some great animation redeem it at least a little.
No longer convinced that the wonderful thing about Tiggers is that he’s the only one, Tigger begins longing to meet his Tigger family. The only problem is that he has no idea where they might be or how to contact them. Noticing how much Tigger longs for some contact with his family and (rightfully) figuring he won’t be able to find them, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Piglet, Eyore, and Pooh-bear take it upon themselves to write Tigger a letter and sign it from his family. When he gets the letter, Tigger leaps into a frenzy as he’s convinced his family will be coming to visit, only to be disappointed and run off after his friends’ plan to comfort him backfires.
The songs might grate on the ear, but the overall message of family that The Tigger Movie offers is enough to make that of minor consequence. Granted, the story makes Tigger a little denser than normal to stretch out the idea that his desire to have a family pushes him into denial, but in the end it brings it all back to the basic truth that your family is the people who care for you and love you unconditionally on a daily basis.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
Two music videos and a featurette on Tigger's family pale in comparison as extras to the 10 Winnie the Pooh shorts that also appear on the desk. Those shorts are infinitely more entertaining than the rest.
"The Tigger Movie" is on sale August 21, 2012 and is rated G. Animation, Children & Family. Directed by Jun Falkenstein. Written by A.A. Milne, Eddie Guzelian. Starring Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, John Hurt, Kath Soucie, Ken Sansom, Nikita Hopkins, Peter Cullen.