|Piglet is surely the sweetest character of the Hundred Acre Wood bunch and his story makes for quite an entertaining and innocent film, filled with everything fans of Winnie the Pooh expect. There's friendship, laughter, and lessons learned for anyone lucky enough to see this film and it doesn't matter one bit whether that viewer is five years old or a hundred. With last year's "Tigger" movie doing well at the box office, Piglet's Big Movie is another case of Disney taking an animated film off the direct to video track and placing it on the big screen.|
There have been criticisms that in doing so, Disney puts a product on the screen that isn't as polished as it should be. And in a few cases, those critics have been right. The recent sequel to the Jungle Book should never have seen the big screen. The slapped-together soundtrack and after-school type animation did not do that film's predecessor justice. But in Piglet's film, the sincerity of the characters is much more genuine and the sweetness of the story glosses over any deficiencies in this film's trek to the big screen.
But that's not to say that the film is a bad example of an animated picture. If anything, for its audience, the film is sufficiently drawn and the entertaining story and characters of the piece more than make up for the fact that it doesn't look as "advanced" as some animated theatrical releases. The stunning popularity of the Winnie the Pooh characters has been quite an economic boon to the Walt Disney company, but with Piglet's Big Movie, no one can accuse the company of putting a defective, rushed product out into the marketplace (like one can about the aforementioned Jungle movie).
This film will surely entertain anyone under the age of ten, but will probably win over some of the older fans in the audience because of its refusal to become an annoying mindless cartoon with no purpose save to teach kids how to karate chop their friends. Not to impugn Japanese Anime in any way, but those films are usually created for an older audience and allowing the younger set to watch them isn't always a good idea. But for parents (and childless viewers especially) who believe that going to the movies to see an animated film is a good chance to take a nap while the kids are occupied, those viewers might be surprised when they have problems sleeping due to their interest in this film.
The lessons learned in this film are very basic, yet genuine, but they are not a pedantic force throughout the film that will turn off anyone just wanting good entertainment. That is perhaps the success of the Pooh films in that there is always a wonderful message (usually about friendship, as it is in this film) to be had, but the characters themselves have enough wit and likeability to ensure viewers won't be reminded of that purple dinosaur and his educational diatribe every time they see a Pooh film.
Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, and the effervescent Winnie the Pooh are characters that a large portion of audience members will have "grown up" with and watching them as an adult is just an entertaining experience as one would have had in childhood. True fans of the original books by A.A. Milne might complain that some of the author's original sagacity is absent from this Disney film, and they might be right in some respects, but not entirely.
After all, this is a Disney film and that company has not been historically proven in making the most intelligent animated films. But Disney does do simple and sweet very well and Piglet's Big Movie is an example of that. This film is a precious seventy-five minutes free of breaking news reports, job stress, and the seriousness of real life. It's a heart-felt and charming story about friendship and buddies and it's a worthwhile theatrical experience, whatever your age or interests.
Review by Kelsey Wyatt.