Piglet's Big Movie

The hits and misses of Piglet's Big Movie are a good example of what is good and bad about the state of children's movies today. "Children" or "family" movies are often a misnomer. They usually mean that kids are the primary audience, and that the humor and everything else is on a level that condescends towards them. This usually includes some sort of crude humor (usually flatulence related) that elicits laughs and little else (think most of the Nickelodeon movies). Piglet's Big Movie is on the opposite end of the spectrum. This truly is a wholesome movie (well, aside from the fact that most of the animals wear no pants). There is a moral lesson in it that children can learn and appreciate, however it borders on dull for anybody over the age of ten. This is the kind of movie that, when looking back, people will wonder why they liked it as children.

As Disney continues its legal wranglings over profits (hmm...who gets DVD royalties on this one?) associated with A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh properties, Piglet's Big Movie serves as another unnecessary sequel. It's script by Brian Hohlfeld (He Said, She Said) is harmless but fairly uninspired. As the title implies, it's all about Piglet (voiced by John Fiedler, The Tigger Movie). It seems that Piglet gets no respect. He's such a little guy that people seem to forget he's there. That includes his friends Pooh, Tigger, and Rabbit. He finds them in the middle of a plan to get some honey. They didn't invite him because they felt he wasn't big enough to help. Well, he does help, and they promptly forget him. Dejected, Piglet walks away. Later, his friends cannot find him, and become worried.

Together with Kanga and Roo, they set off to find him, using Piglet's scrapbook as a guide. This serves to frame three stories about Piglet and how being small doesn't necessarily mean that one cannot do big things. The entire structure is great for small children. Director Francis Glebas gives three relatively short segments that are concise and to the point. The movie is short enough to keep their attention span, yet probably too long for their parents. Whether Piglet is helping Pooh make a house for Eeyore or meeting Kanga and Roo for the first time, it's always clear that he has a huge part to play. As his friends reminisce, they begin to realize how good a friend Piglet has been to them.

Carly Simon wrote the songs, and most of them follow the same themes of the film. They all work fine except for one where she sounds like she's wailing. The animation is that of the Pooh style. It's nothing complex or great, but it is not meant to be. The shapes and colors are simple but never simplistic, and much of the spirit of the original Milne stories remain, aside from an unintentionally added element of blandness. Everything about Piglet's Big Movie evokes a nostalgic sense of yesteryear. Studios don't make movies like this anymore, since children raised on computers and cartoons always want something more. It's admirable that Disney, Glebas, and Hohlfeld wanted to make such a good and decent movie. Now, the next thing they have to work on is making it accessible to all ages. Then, they will truly have something good on their hands.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 15 minutes, Rated G.

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