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Piglet's Big Movie

  Piglet's Big Movie
"You look like a stuffed pig."

© 2003, Disney
All Rights Reserved

It seems there is trouble in the Hundred Acre Wood. Little Piglet has been left out of the daily activity of retrieving honey for Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, and Rabbit, and he’s beginning to feel neglected by his friends. Piglet sets out into the forest to figure out his place in the world, while the rest of the gang happens upon a scrapbook Piglet has kept detailing the adventures the group has shared. Understanding that they’ve overlooked their friend, the group takes off after Piglet, recounting stories of their time together along the way.

If you think “Piglet’s Big Movie” (IMDb listing) sounds exactly like one of those clip shows a prime time television program makes when it wants a vacation, you’re right. This new, warmly reliable Disney offering is in the same vein as their 2000 effort “The Tigger Movie,” but simply moves down the line to the next character. Trust me, if this film is profitable, you’ll see “Eeyore’s Excellent Adventure” soon enough. In many respects, I’m perfectly accepting of such a proposal, as this film doesn’t have that icky feeling of some Disney sequels (“The Jungle Book 2”), and focuses on the characters in place of trying to live up to an original film. The “Winnie The Pooh” franchise doesn’t really have an iconic film it is known by, and without high expectations, this chapter in the saga can breathe easily.

With this in mind, and with a lower budget keeping it out of the crosshairs of Disney executives, the filmmakers behind “Piglet’s Big Adventure” are able to bring a little more imagination to their picture. One sequence featuring the characters drawing Piglet with crayons particularly impressed me. It’s animated in a crayon-like fashion, very rough, but gorgeously innovative at the same time, and it keeps the drab, Disney sweatshop, lowball animation at bay for a precious minute or so. If only the studio would take on this kind of fun, creative, artistic diversions with their big-budgeted animated fare!

Also of note is the music, provided here by Carly Simon. I’m not normally a fan of Simon’s work, but she fits in perfectly with the laid back atmosphere of the film, delivering tunes that actually have some staying power, and sweetly underscoring the action onscreen.

The overall message of “Piglet’s Big Movie” is to appreciate your friends, and to make sure they know you love them. Now there’s a theme that isn’t explored nearly enough. This is a sweet, touching, unexpectedly short (about 65 minutes) picture with shortcomings that are easily covered by its ambitions. The Hundred Acre Wood never looked so appealing.

Filmfodder Grade: B

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