Volume 96, Issue 92
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

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MOVIE REVIEW: Piglet's Big Movie

Piglet's Big Movie not full of Pooh

Piglet's Big Movie (animated)
Featuring the voices of: John Fiedler, Peter Cullen, James Cummings
Directed by: Francis Glebas
Songs by: Carly Simon

By Jessica Burgess
Gazette Staff

Yes, this is a student newspaper, and, yes, this is a review of Piglet's Big Movie – it's likely that at least a few Gazette readers will be going to see it. Why? Because anything Winnie the Pooh-related has two major audiences: four-year-olds, and university girls with a Piglet, Pooh or Tigger fetish. Whether this kind of behaviour is a mild case of arrested development or a sign of deeper issues, is hard to say – but Disney is laughing all the way to the bank.

Piglet's Big Movie doesn't have much of a plot, or any state-of-the-art real-life animation. There is no villain, no struggle between good and evil and most certainly no romance. That said, this is still a good movie which has a lot to say about the importance of friendship and loyalty.

The film has lots of similarities with the original Disney adaptation The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The voice of Piglet is still John Fiedler, the flat animation looks the same and the colours are still dull. The pace is slow and simple, and it was a refreshing change from the typical overwhelmingly sappy Disney fare. Unfortunately, the deep narrator's voice has been replaced with Carly Simon's cheesy friendship songs. The songs have a jazzy, modern tempo which don't seem to fit with the simple visuals.

The movie starts out with Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit and Eeyore trying to trick some bees into leaving their hive, in order to get the "hunny." Piglet is excluded from the plan because he is too small and would just get in the way. Piglet then wanders around the Hundred Acre Wood by himself, feeling left out and useless. Some time later, Pooh and friends realize Piglet is missing and try to find him at his house. Piglet is nowhere to be found, but they find his scrapbook of memories. The rest of the movie is a montage of memories that are based on the actual writings of A.A. Milne.

The strength of the film lies in its characters. Kids are likely to "get" this movie because it mimics playground politics – someone gets left out, someone's feelings get hurt, etc.. Piglet and his friends paint a fairly accurate portrait of postmodern life: single mom Kanga, depressed Eeyore, obsessive over-eater Pooh, manic Tigger, over-compensative brainiac Rabbit and neurotic Piglet.

The movie is short (75 minutes), but probably the perfect length for impatient kids. Compared to the very "real" animation by Dreamworks and Pixar, the retro style of this movie really can't compete. But for those who long for the days when animation was simpler, and when it was merely a few drawings magically brought to life through basic animation techniques – instead of computer-generated special effects – Piglet's Big Movie is a brief reminder of those days.


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