(2000) Animated Feature (Disney) Starring the voices of Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, John Hurt, Nikita Hopkins, Ken Sansom, Peter Cullen, Andre Stojka, Kath Soucie, Tom Attenborough, Frank Welker, Geoff Koch. Directed by Jon Falkenstein
Bounce!! Bounce!! Bounce!! Most of us grew up with Winnie the Pooh and the ultra-hyper frenetic Tigger. Some of us were fortunate to relive those days in the Hundred Acre Wood through small children of our own (or in my case, one borrowed from my sister). But while Pooh always seemed to headline the various tales, the most popular character from those toons always seemed to be Tigger. Therefore, it is most fitting that he, at last, gets a movie of his own.
Bounce!! Bounce!! Bounce!! Here, Tigger (Cummings) has been told, not unkindly, by his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood that they simply can’t keep up with the spring-bottomed cat because they aren’t Tiggers themselves. This sends Tigger into a right funk; he feels keenly the loneliness of being the only one … the solitary Tigger. With his little buddy Roo (Hopkins), he goes out in search of his family tree just as winter is setting on. His friends Pooh (Cummings again), Piglet (Fiedler), Owl (Stojka), Eeyore (Cullen) and Rabbit (Sansom) all try to help, but their best intentions go awry.
Bounce!! Bounce!! Bounce!! There are quite a few things going for this flick. First, the characters are familiar, so they can get on with the story from the get-go. Secondly, the film is fortunate to have Richard and Robert Sherman, who wrote many of Disney’s most beloved songs, writing several tunes here.
Bounce!! Bounce!! Bounce!! The animation style is primitive by today’s computer-driven standards, but in an odd way that fits Pooh to a T. Pooh looks best in an environment that looks not unlike a child’s watercolor painting, and they manage that effect here. It looks hand-painted, the way animated features were done back in the day.
Bounce!! Bounce!! Bounce!!There is quite a bit of fun going on, particularly during the hilarious Tigger Family Reunion scene, which includes Tiggers in the guise of Marilyn Monroe and Jerry Springer among others. Overall, the mood that is generated here is so warm and quite comforting that several adults in the audience we saw it in the theater back in the day were nodding off with their little ones.
Bounce!! Bounce!! Bounce!! Far too many of the people who originally voiced these beloved characters have passed on, and although John Fiedler is ageless as Piglet, sorely missed are Paul Winchell and Sterling Holloway. However, the Japanese and American animators managed to recapture much of the languid, rainy afternoon feel of the original cartoons, which makes this a recommendation all on its own. When re-viewed recently, I felt that same familiar sleepy-bye-time malaise come over me and quite frankly that can be a good feeling. Not that this movie puts you to sleep mind you – it just makes you feel like a little kid again which as far as I’m concerned is priceless. There is enough action here though to keep most tots awake throughout.
Bounce!! Bounce!! Bounce!! Be warned; true Tigger fans might find this movie addicting in subliminal ways. I wish I’d known; I’m still trying to get Da Queen to stop bouncing.
WHY RENT THIS: Great bonding opportunity between parents and kids. Wonderful warm rainy day naptime warm blanket feeling. Fiedler is wonderful. Lovely artwork.
WHY RENT SOMETHING ELSE: Definitely aimed for a certain age group and/or Pooh fans. Primitive animation by modern standards.
FAMILY MATTERS: Suitable for everybody.
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: The first Disney movie in 29 years (1971’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks) to feature songs by the Sherman brothers.
NOTABLE HOME VIDEO FEATURES: A Kenny Loggins video (with partner Jim Messina he once recorded the classic “House at Pooh Corner”) as well as a sing-along song, a storybook, a game and a feature on how to make your own family tree. The 10th Anniversary DVD Edition also includes a couple of bonus episodes from the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh animated series. The Blu-Ray edition includes a roundtable discussion among the filmmakers and some footage from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in a series of ten “mini-adventures.”
BOX OFFICE PERFORMANCE: $96.2M on a $30M production budget.
FINAL RATING: 6/10
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