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The Tigger Movie

Rated [G], 76 minutes
Lead Voices by Jim Cummings
Narrated by John Hurt
Based on characters by A.A. Milne
Story by Eddie Guzelian
Screenplay and Directed by Jun Falkenstein

IN SHORT: For the Kidlets

Cranky walked in to The Tigger Movie with no great determination, other than to watch the kidlets to see if they took to one of the pals of Pooh.

That pal would be the tiger of the title, possessed of a spring-like tail and the determination to "bounce" all day long with as many friends as possible. Problem is, none of the other creatures of the Hundred Acre Wood can bounce. The littlest kangaroo, named Roo, can hop (of course) and is determined to be the bestest bouncer possible with his bestest pal Tigger. Somewhere along the line, Tigger comes to the self-realization that he's the only tiger in the Wood and he decides that he wants to find his family. The wisest resident of the Wood, Owl, tells Tigger to find his family tree, which is literally Tigger does. He goes out looking for tigers in trees.

All the rest of A.A. Milne's stable of characters are present: Eeyore the donkey, Piglet, Kanga (Roo's mom) and Winnie the Pooh all determine to try and convince Tigger that there is a family "out there" that loves him. Their plan backfires when the striped one throws a reunion party. Even at a tight 76 minutes, there's still a whole lot of story packed in here. Tons of it. Not to mention half a dozen songs by the Mary Poppins team of Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman, who deliver a tongue twisting followup to their classic "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" as Tigger explains the ultimate "Whoop-de-dooper-loopy-looper-alley-ooper bounce" to Roo.

The Tigger Movie is paced for the single digit kidlet, and that easily wears thin on grownups like Cranky. By the time you hit song number 5, "Round My Family Tree" you'll realize that particular song, packed with visual and aural puns that will fly over the head of any kid, is strictly for us old folk. It's animated in a Busby Berkeley style and is easily the high point of the musical numbers. It's also the point where the rest of the adults in the audience, myself included, started to shut down.

I must compliment Jim Cummings, who voices both Tigger and Pooh, on a dead on recreation of the voices (Cummings succeeded Sterling Holloway as Pooh since the "New Adventures", Paul Winchell was the original voice of Tigger) of the original Disney cartoons back in the 60s. Other cast voices include Kath Soucie as Kanga, Nikita Hopkins as Roo, Andre Stojka as Owl, Peter Cullen as the always morose Eeyore and John Fiedler as Piglet.

I would have been pleasantly surprised if this flick held my adult attention, as limited as it is, for the full run of the movie. Then again, it's February. That means Tigger will be out in time for end of year holidays and, face it, that's when the big business kicks in. For now, it's a good place to park the youngest kidlets (I'm guessing 5 and under. My nephew, who's 6, is already deep into Pokemon and views Pooh and Co. as "for babies". Go figure).

And that being the case (I love kidlet movies, sometimes) I can forego the normal ratings numbers for The Tigger Movie. It's fine for single digits. Most of it stirs up that old nostalgia for me, and that's fine for a while. I've been through better. I've been through much worse.

And all the parents of those single digit kidlets will have something else to put under the tree, etc. etc. etc.

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