The Tigger Movie is a 2000 animated family film directed by Jun Falkenstein. Part of the Winnie the Pooh series, this film features Pooh's friend Tigger in his search for his family tree and other Tiggers like himself. As such, the story line may be viewed as an allegory about an adoptee's search to understand the meaning of family.
The film was the first feature-length theatrical Pooh film to not be a collection of previously-released shorts, which is the case with 1977's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Thanks to its success, three more feature-length Pooh movies were released to theaters: Piglet's Big Movie in 2003, Pooh's Heffalump Movie in 2005, and the 2011 film the same name as the bear.
The film features original songs from the Sherman Brothers, the long-time Disney songwriting team who are well known for their contributions to other Disney films such as Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Jungle Book, as well as the original Winnie the Pooh shorts. The film was originally slated for direct-to-video release until Disney CEO Michael Eisner heard the Sherman Brothers' score and decided to release the film in theaters worldwide.
The film starts in Christopher Robin's room. The narrator is about to tell a story about Winnie-the-Pooh, from a book, when he is interrupted, by Tigger, a exuberant tiger (presumably Panthera tigris). Tigger, who is tired of all the stories being about Pooh, then proceeds to rearrange some the letters in the title to spell out The Tigger Movie. Tigger then bounces inside the book, and the story begins. While trying to find somebody to play with, Tigger gleefully bounces around the Hundred Acre Wood, disrupting his friends' attempts to prepare for the winter and accidentally causing a huge rock to fall on Eeyore's house. Rabbit leads the others in trying to remove it with an elaborate pulley system known as his Rock Remover (which collapses) and Tigger intervenes. He activated his most powerful bounce called the Whoopty-Dooper-Loopty-Looper-Alley-Ooper bounce, knock the rock (which gets tangled with the crumbling Rock Remover along with Tigger's friends) and getting everyone covered in mud (except for Roo, a joey who instead fell in-between a tree branch) and Rabbit to get annoyed that rock remover was ruined by Tigger's bouncing. Feeling alone, Tigger sulks on a bridge and Roo, trying to cheer him up, asks if there are other Tiggers. Fascinated by the idea, Tigger talks to Owl, who explains about family trees. Tigger, taking this literally, heads out to find a huge stripey tree and, after not finding one, instead writes a letter to his family. No reply comes and Tigger feels more alone then ever.
That night, the first night of winter, everybody (excluding Tigger) gathers at Piglet's house. Feeling sorry for him, Roo announces that they should write a letter to him. Everyone adds a bit of friendly advice before signing 'your family' at the bottom of the page. Roo then slips the letter into Tigger's letter box. The next day, everybody is woken by Tigger, who brandishes the letter. He shouts joyfully that his family has written to him and also that they are coming to visit the next evening. They are all shocked, as they had never written down anything that even resembles that; nevertheless, Tigger replies that he always reads between the lines. Later, Roo gathers Pooh, Piglet, Owl and Eeyore over to his home. He and his mother Kanga say they are going to charade as fellow Tiggers to attend the party and make Tigger feel loved. They are halfway through making the costumes when Rabbit bursts through the door, telling them that they should be gathering supplies (or should already have) for the impending snowstorm. Meanwhile, Tigger is preparing for his party when somebody rings the doorbell. He opens the door to reveal a large number of Tiggers who claim to be his family. A party ensues with drinks, dance and games, and all the while Tigger believes they are his family. Yet when the smallest (Roo) attempts the Whoopty-Dooper Loopty-Looper Ally-Ooper Bounce and his mask falls off, the others reveal themselves as Tigger's friends. In despair, now sure that he must truly be the One and Only, he leaves the room, stating that he is leaving forever ("T-T-F-E, Ta-Ta, For-Ever!!"). He hikes through the snow until he finds a large tree on the cliffside which matches the description he gave of his family tree. He bounces across the branches, finding nothing, so he sits there, waiting for his family.
Meanwhile, Roo comes over to Pooh's house crying and tells him that he has to help him find Tigger and it's all his fault! Then, Pooh, Roo, Piglet, and Eeyore mount an expedition to find Tigger. They ask Rabbit to lead them, who initially refuses, but reluctantly agrees after seeing how much they miss an mischievous feline. When they find him, they tell him to return home, with Rabbit saying he should "Forget about all this other Tiggers nonsense". Tigger is greatly offended by them, but when a sudden avalanche caused by his irate shouting occurs, he pulls them all out of trouble. Unfortunately, Tigger himself is still caught in the avalanche. Roo remembers the Whoopty-Dooper Loopty Looper Ally-Ooper bounce and travels down through the rock and snow to Tigger and wakes him from unconsciousness. To get out of the avalanche, they perform the signature bounce together. When everyone tells Christopher Robin why Tigger left, Christopher tells Tigger he didn't have to leave to find his family. Tigger objects and reaches for his letter that, until recently, he believed to be from his family, but finds it missing. It is not until Owl, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, Pooh and Piglet recite the letter for him that he realizes that they sent the letter, not his family. Hearing this, Tigger finally comes to realize what was true all along, that his family is right here and always has been: his friends. Once they return home, Tigger gives everyone gifts: Eeyore gets a new house (the guest house meant for Tigger's "Family"), Pooh gets lots of Honey, Piglet gets a stack of firewood, and Rabbit is promised that he will watch where he's going. Lastly, he gives Roo his heart pendant, but it's still empty. As the story ends, Christopher Robin remedies this by taking a picture of Tigger's "family".
- Jim Cummings as Tigger and Winnie the Pooh
- Kath Soucie as Kanga
- Nikita Hopkins as Roo
- John Fiedler as Piglet
- Ken Sansom as Rabbit
- Peter Cullen as Eeyore
- Andre Stojka as Owl
- Tom Attenborough as Christopher Robin
- John Hurt as Mr. Narrator
The film was simultaneously animated at the Walt Disney Studios and its Japanese chapter Walt Disney Animation Japan. The animation is traditional (2D), with characters moving across backgrounds painted in soft, warm watercolor hues in the style of book illustrations in children's literature. Each chapter starts off as a static illustration on a printed page, where characters then start moving. The bold ink lines in the foreground, as well as the watercolor washes of the background are reminiscent of the original Pooh illustrator Ernest Shepard. Graphics during end credits are pen and ink line drawings also reminiscent of Shepard.
The film opened at #4 at the North American box office making $9,427,532 in its opening weekend. The film was a box office success, earning $45,554,533 in the United States alone while making $50,605,267 overseas and $96,159,800 worldwide against a budget of $30 million. However, the film received rather mixed reviews with 62% on Rotten Tomatoes and 53% on Metacritic.
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for numerous awards in 2000 including the following:
- Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production"
- Jun Falkenstein
- Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production"
- Richard M. Sherman (music and lyrics)
- Robert B. Sherman (music and lyrics)
- For the song "Round My Family Tree"
- Annie Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Feature Production"
- Nikita Hopkins
- As the voice of "Roo".
- Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards
- The Sierra Award for "Best Family Film"
It was also given an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award.
The songs for The Tigger Movie were written by Robert and Richard Sherman who had not written a feature for Disney in over 28 years. 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. 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 landmark Winnie the Pooh 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. "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. It marks the only time the threesome worked together on a song. Song titles include:
- "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers"
- "Someone Like Me"
- "Whoop-de-Dooper Bounce"
- "Round My Family Tree"
- "How to Be a Tigger"
- "Your Heart Will Lead You Home"
In an October 2008 interview, Kenny Loggins said that he is working on a children's record for Disney that will tie into a new Tigger film. As of March 2015, no news has came out about the film.
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