Pigletís Big Movie
2 out of 5 stars
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This Winnie the Pooh movie couldn't be any more childish if it tried. In fact, I doubt anyone much beyond Teletubbies age will enjoy it, as it tells its sweet story in such a precious way, accompanied by a series of cute Carly Simon songs (in the vein of Bryan Adams' ditties for Spirit). It's a patchwork story, made up of short segments in which Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit and Eeyore reminisce about Piglet's role in their past escapades, all while looking for their little pink friend, who they think is lost (he's not, don't worry). Of course, after taking him for granted and underestimating the tiny guy's importance in their life, they all learn big lessons.

It's not a bad film by any means, but it's just so soft and adorable--and more than a little condescending even to its youngest viewers--that it's hard to imagine it becoming an enduring classic. The vocal work is adequate; the voices are exactly right, but they seem a bit lacklustre somehow. The animation is good, with gorgeous watercolour backgrounds; but it's directed with staggeringly bad continuity (watch the sticks grow and shrink both in number and length, for example) and a disregard even for child-eyed internal logic of the Hundred Acre Woods. And while the script has some superb dialog and a few sharp moments in it, there are some serious lapses in the plot. And its message about finding your value in society isn't exactly original either. While young children are still likely to be entranced seeing their beloved characters up on the big screen, it never comes close to touching the child inside the grownups. And that's the real mistake.

cert U mild peril, overpowering cuteness 13.Apr.03

dir Francis Glebas
scr Brian Hohlfeld
voices John Fiedler, Jim Cummings, Kath Soucie, Ken Sansom, Nikita Hopkins, Peter Cullen, Tom Wheatley, Andre Stojka, Carly Simon
release US 21.Mar.03; UK 18.Jul.03
03/US 1h15

House at Pooh Corner. Pooh and Piglet decide where to put Eeyore's new home...

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© 2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall