“I quite often remember to forget these sorts of things.”
I’m not too worried about spoiling the film, due to its age. Chances are you saw it when it came to theaters, or in its 10th anniversary reissue. The Tigger Movie taps into what makes a great children’s tale, and that’s addressing our deepest fears. When it came time to revisit The Hundred Acre Wood and attempt to coax a bit more out of the supporting characters, writer/director Jun Falkenstein chose wisely to begin with Tigger. Anyone who’s ever been around children has undoubtedly bore witness to a manic phase which defies description, unless it’s “bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy” a la Tigger himself.
All Tigger wants, as we open our tale, is what he always wants — someone to bounce with. Asking all his friends and getting turned down — while destroying their property for the umpteenth time — Tigger is told no one else is a Tigger, and so no one will bounce like him. And while Tigger usually delights in being the only Tigger (indeed his theme song tells us “The most wonderful thing about Tiggers, is I’m the only one!”), when Roo suggests he find his family, Tigger sets off.
At first blush, The Tigger Movie is a fun reacquaintance with Winnie the Pooh and the gang. But at its core, this is a heartbreaking issue. Who among us cannot relate to that feeling of being alone in the world? What child has not longed for a place where they belonged without question?
Of course, this being a Winnie the Pooh story, we have a bit of a complication. When Tigger gets advice from Owl, he misconstrues his friend’s words and begins looking for his family tree. Literally. This is bound to lead to disappointment and indeed it does. Even though everyone save Rabbit and Kanga join in the search, there are no Tiggers to be found.
That’s when the gang (minus Rabbit) decides to manufacture a letter to Tigger from his family, with each contributing something of their own personality. This leads to Tigger singing “Round My Family Tree” which is probably the film’s weakest section. The over-abundance of pop culture references was obviously created for the parents in the audience, and it feels a bit like pandering to what has become the norm for kids’ movies. Not to mention the fact that the animation deviates from its classic style, and I happen to be a fan of that simplicity.
Though his friends have the best of intentions, it only escalates the problem, as Tigger now believes his whole family is coming to meet him. This being the case, everyone decides to dress up as a Tigger, so as not to disappoint him. But he ends up crushed by the truth and decides to leave The Hundred Acre Wood in order to find the real Tiggers. Thankfully, Christopher Robin shows up and clues in Tigger (and any audience member who missed the memo) just who his real family is. A lesson is learned and a party ensues wrapping up the story — a lesson which only increases in resonance with age. How we define family is something we still struggle with, and often times it’s the family we choose who mean the most.
Presented in beautiful 1.78:1/1080p MPEG-4 encoded high definition, the visuals are super crisp with rich color palette. The Blu-ray serves to bring the foreground animation into sharp relief without sacrificing clarity of the backgrounds, which can sometimes happen in lower resolution. The audio arrives in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, a format Disney is known for employing well. The additional alternate language tracks (French and Spanish) are offered in Dolby 5.1 Surround, which is an upgrade from what you’d expect. Watching the Blu-ray and DVD side-by-side there’s no comparison. The Blu-ray Master Audio track is called “Master” for a reason, and does more than justice to the songs by Richard M. Sherman and Roger B. Sherman and Harry Gregson-Williams’ score.
The bonus features start with carrying over some from the 10th Anniversary DVD release, which include five Winnie the Pooh short cartoons, and the “Round My Family Tree” sing-along song. These can be found on both the Blu-ray and bonus DVD Copy. The Blu-ray exclusive features include Kenny Loggins’ music video for “Your Heart Will Lead You Home,” a behind-the-scenes featurette, and five more animated shorts. There is also a pullout family tree included in the packaging, so you and your little ones can diagram your own dysfunctional collection of limbs. This replaces the “How to Make Your Own Family Tree” featurette which had been on the previous DVD release.
Completely missing from this release are the interactive trivia game, the Thingamajigger Matching Game, and the Disney DVD Storybook. So, if you own the 10th Anniversary DVD and are a fan of those special features, hold on to it.
Although it’s not exactly a “special feature,” there is a cool enhancement to this Blu-ray. When you hit pause, instead of merely freezing the frame, the disc enters something called “Disney Intermission.” This is mini-animation featuring parts of the movie and a few games, lasting up to 12 minutes before repeating. It’s narrated by John Hurt (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) who also provides the film’s narration.
The Tigger Movie (Blu-ray) Bounce-A-Rrrific Special Edition is a beautiful reissue, closer to the classic A.A. Milne sensibilities than some of the later offerings in the Pooh-verse, which strengthens my confidence in recommending a purchase.