The Magical World Of Disney #92: The Tigger Movie

The Tigger Movie is a 2000 American animated musical comedy-drama film written and directed by Jun Falkenstein from a story by Eddie Guzelian. Part of the Winnie-the-Pooh series, this film features Pooh’s friend Tigger searching for his family tree and other Tiggers like himself.

The film was the first feature-length theatrical Pooh film that was not a collection of previously released shorts.

This is also the first film in the series where Tigger is voiced by Jim Cummings (who also voices Pooh), Tigger’s original voice actor, Paul Winchell, officially retired from the role in 1999 after A Valentine for You and died in 2005. Cummings had already played Tigger in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue and the final 2 seasons of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. It was followed by two theatrical animated films: the second Piglet’s Big Movie (2003) and the third Pooh’s Heffalump Movie (2005).

The film features original songs from the Sherman Brothers. Originally, the film was slated for a direct-to-video release, until then–Disney CEO Michael Eisner heard the Sherman Brothers’ score, and decided to release the film in theaters worldwide. The film is also the highest-grossing film in the Winnie the Pooh franchise.

Tigger goes looking through the hundred-acre-wood to find his family.

This is the third theatrical release for Disney Movietoons, the same satellite division for Disney that also did Ducktales: The Movie – Treasure Of The Lost Lamp, A Goofy Movie, and Teacher’s Pet, all of which we’ve looked at in the past and all of them are enjoyable.

With The Tigger Movie, you are definitely getting a lot more of what you would expect from not only this studio but also as a Winnie The Pooh movie for the most part.

The premise alone is very interesting, Tigger always sings about how the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is that he’s the only one but let’s be honest, everybody had to have come from somewhere so why don’t we learn more about Tigger’s family….well, okay, to be fair you don’t really learn a lot about Tigger’s family in this particular movie but you get the argument I’m making, and it is an exciting adventure to watch, you want to learn more about where Tigger came from and his determination to find out where his family is leads to a lot of the more thrilling moments of the film, and I’ll delve a little more into those a little later on because trust me, there’s a lot of those in the last third of this movie.

This is the first time that Jim Cummings, who had long been the voice of Winnie The Pooh since all the way back in the New Adventures era, is now also doing the voice of Tigger, a role he still holds to this day and replacing Paul Winchell, who was still alive at the time but had retired from the role in 1999 and passed away in 2005. And once again, Cummings, already a master for the various ranges of voice acting he can bring to a role, fits the role of Tigger so well, he’s so comfortable in the role right away and he gets in it right off the bat. A lot of the voice actors from New Adventures return with a couple of new additions including Nikita Hopkins taking over the role of Roo, Kath Soucie taking over the role of Kanga, and the recently deceased John Hurt as the narrator.

I also thought it was kind of amusing that Tigger would be jealous of Winnie The Pooh much like Donald Duck is jealous of Mickey Mouse and Daffy Duck is jealous of Bugs Bunny, it’s a brief scene but it’s a funny little opening.

As far as the rest of the movie goes, it’s overall fairly enjoyable. The animation is once again really nice, the fact that this was suppose to originally be a direct-to-video feature before the Sherman brothers came in to write songs for it and it still looks this good is very rewarding in its’ own merits. The colors and visuals especially when we get to some of the heavier stuff are fascinating, the winter colors they end up using are so impressive and amazing to look at.

There’s a lot of really good emotional moments in this, the connection between Tigger and Roo is very good, you can definitely buy the whole big brother-little brother vibe they are trying to go with these two, something that would continue on with future Pooh projects after this.

The music in this is really good, the Sherman Brothers prove that they’ve still got what it takes to make great music and it shows with some of these songs. It was also a pretty big deal because this was the first time the Sherman Brothers had been returning to Disney since Bedknobs & Broomsticks in 1971, they had also done the songs for Snoopy Come Home in 1972, but a 28 year hiatus between then, that was a really big deal.

Their last fully original feature film score was for the Oscar nominated film, Bedknobs and Broomsticks which was released in 1971. Originally slated for video or television release, the score was so well received (in demonstration form) by then Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, that the project’s priority level moved up to feature theatrical release. The score of the film is composed and conducted by Harry Gregson-Williams, just before he’d reach composer success with Shrek 18 months later.

This was due in great part to the perceived caliber of the song score throughout the studio. All the songs were created new for the film except for “The Wonderful Things About Tiggers” which was originally written in 1968 for the featurette, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (released in 1968). That song was also by the Sherman Brothers. The “punch line” of the song: “But the most wonderful Thing About Tiggers is I’m the only one…” provides the basis of The Tigger Movie’s storyline.

While a lot of the songs in this are really good, Round My Family Tree kind of sticks out the most to me. Not because of the song itself, it’s a great song, but the way it’s presented in the movie, it’s just so weird to see a Winnie The Pooh movie of all things use pop culture references and several of them, check this out:

Yeah, I never thought I would see the day when there’d be a Jerry Springer parody, of all things, in a Winnie The Pooh movie. It’s out of the norm but at the same time, it’s still great to look at animationwise and again, the song is really good.

“Your Heart Will Lead You Home” was the last song written for the film and is a collaborative effort between the Sherman Brothers and singer Kenny Loggins. Richard Sherman described the song as “a song about the picture, as opposed to songs of the picture.” And I gotta say, this is the most underrated song Kenny Loggins has done:

The third act of the movie is where a lot of the action takes place and there’s a surprising amount of action in the third act, like you thought the scenes in Pooh’s Grand Adventure were too thrilling for you, watch the stuff they pull in the third act of this film:

I mean, my god, I know that for these big screen theatrical adventures based off of TV shows, they’ve gotta go for bigger climaxes but for Winnie The Pooh, you’re not really expecting something this epic and insane to happen. Is it a little overkill? Honestly, it is, like I know that the Whoop-De-Dooper-Loopety-De-Looper-Alley-Ooper Bounce (lord knows if I actually spelled that correctly) is a recurring theme in the movie but when does it give superhero like abilities to dodge icicles and get out of a flying tree as a giant rock is about to hit it.

I guess you’ve gotta suspend your disbelief and just go with it because it’s running on cartoon logic and to be honest, it’s a nicely animated sequence. But yeah, there’s a lot of thrilling moments that happened in that final act.

Overall, The Tigger Movie is a fairly enjoyable movie, it has nice animation, really great music, a nice plot to work off, the voice work is great, the message of the film is nicely done, it can get a little too over the top especially towards the end but on the whole, it’s still a fairly enjoyable movie. Heck, to be honest, there’s not a bad Winnie The Pooh movie that I can think of. The Tigger Movie is still a fairly enjoyable movie, if you like Winnie The Pooh, then you’ll definitely get what you’re asking for here.

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