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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.66:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Spanish, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Featurette - The World According to Piglet
  • Karaoke
  • DVD-ROM features
  • Interactive game - Piglet's Book of Memories

Piglet's Big Movie

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 72 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Having become a little jaded by the Disney Pooh franchise, this film came as a really pleasant surprise. Not running overlong at 72 minutes and being treated to some very nice 2D scanned animation, Piglet’s Big Movie looks just great. E. H. Sheperd’s original vision of the 100 Acre Wood has been faithfully adhered to and the film, while advancing one particularly traditional storyline ever so slightly beyond A. A. Milne, does elicit the feeling of the books. Perhaps Pooh (and indeed all the characters of the Wood) doesn’t quite look like he did in those books, though the Disneyfication of the style does lend itself more readily to animation (all those scratchy lines of the book illustration are an animator’s nightmare).

Our story sees Pooh and company plotting a major coup in stealing hunny from a beehive. Piglet is regarded as too small to be of assistance, and although the plan does work, it is only because of Piglet’s quick thinking. However, no-one notices poor Piglet’s efforts, and in great sadness, he departs for a friendlier region of the Wood. Upon wondering where he is, the gang discover Piglet’s Book of Memories; drawings of his friends and adventures in a large scrapbook. Using the fuzzy logic of Tigger and Pooh, they decide to follow the book’s order to find out where Piglet is hiding and so begins a trip down memory lane as the gang come to realise Piglet is as important as any one of them, regardless of his small stature.

"Isn’t it a little early to be spying?"

There are all the usual Disney morals thrown in for the kids to absorb and even parents will find something worth watching here. Having been a Piglet fan in my youth (whenever that’s supposed to end) it was great to see him get the limelight at last. The story is a simple one and told in flashback for the most part, so the kids won’t have any trouble following it. The animation is beautifully clean and colourful and created this time around by Disney’s Disneytoon Tokyo studio. There are the occasional (and mandatory) references to other Pooh adventures, though thankfully only with fresh animation and no rehashes. That’s yet another good thing about the upgrading to digital from cel; the cel stuff is so obvious as cel, that no one uses it for ‘clip shows’ anymore... except, of course, The Simpsons (but that’s still made on cels. Nerd correction mail: jules@dvd.net.au Nerdy editor's note: Not as of the current season (15), Mr. Jules...).

This is a clever and sweet film about the value of friendship and loyalty and one that the kids will enjoy watching time and time again. I believe I will.

  Video
Contract

Released in cinemas as early as this year, the picture is naturally flawless. Buena Vista, of course, have delivered their specialty of animation in perfect form. No crap in the pic, a subtle widescreen ratio of 1.66:1 with 16:9 enhancement and brilliant colours will have children and animation nerds drooling (well, maybe not kids... they’re more refined than animation nerds). Some very nice digital effects have been utilised in certain scenes creating seamless integration with the traditional hand drawn stuff. There is also a superlative experimental scene in which Pooh and Tigger with Eeyore and Roo are drawing their memories of Piglet and the child-like scrawlings come to animated life. To me, this was the highlight of the film without doubt, and the kids will love it. Faultless transfer. Perfect. Hence the ten yellow spots up there.

  Audio
Contract

See, slightly less but still plenty of yellow spots here too, because the sound is awesome. While not being a thrusting powerhouse of explosive distortion and rolling bass, there are some very nice storm noise surrounds that are about as wild as the sound gets. The sound effects really only get going for the storm, but everything else (the angry whining of bees, for example, which also briefly fly around the room) sounds pretty cool. Dialogue is all nice and cleanly spoken, even with the delicious toy voices of the cast bringing the characters to life. Particularly Pooh – his voice is perfect for the character.

Music has been written by none other than Carly Simon, an old singer from the 1800s. Digitally restored and animated in real life during the closing credits, she looks a little bit younger than her two hundred odd years. To the kids she’ll just be some old singer from the 1800s, but to Mums and Dads she’ll be someone their folks used to listen to in the back seat of cars. However, she does a fairly good job here, even if some of the lyrics are just a little too convenient and lazily written. And for the record, there are five tracks throughout the film, though some are replayed occasionally.

  Extras
Contract

Not a huge bunch here, but Piglet’s Big Movie is pretty strong to stand alone anyway. However, parents must be convinced these days with all the tightening of belts (or whatever else they say as hackneyed clichés on current affairs programs) and so we get three little amusements thrown in.

First up comes the Piglet’s Book of Memories game in which we must hunt through four houses for lost pictures from Piglet’s book. It’s simple but challenging (and a little time-consuming) so it’s definitely worth the look.

Next up is a short featurette detailing The World According to Piglet and is 4:01 of morals learned from other adventures. Concise and to the point for a quick morals boost on the run. And remember: The best gift of all is friendship (though I’ve been told by several merchants this Christmas it’s gift vouchers. Hmh).

Finally, there’s karaoke. That’s right, karaoke, I hear you scream. All this does is put lyric subtitles into the film when required. Oh, and finally, again, there are some DVD-ROM features in which we can print out pics of the team and colour them in to start our own Book of Memories.

With some nice animation from the toy-scrawlings bit of the film, the menus are easily navigated and good looking and fit nicely with the overall Piglet theme.

  Overall  
Contract

Well, the hard shell of ice around this reviewer’s cold, dead heart is slightly less chilly after enjoying this sweet little film from the Pooh franchise. While not finding me racing out to find The Tigger Movie or its like, it will find me reflecting warmly upon it. Perhaps it’s the artist in me that relates so well to Piglet, or the sadness of being left out of my friends’ plans to steal hunny all the time, I dunno. Maybe it’s the pink striped leotard I enjoy wearing around the house...

Whatever it is, I enjoyed the film and I guarantee you the kids will too (there are also the usual sly quips for adults too, if you’re quick enough) and this will sit happily atop the Pooh heap of DVDs you may already possess.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3417
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      And I quote...
    "That’ll do, Pig(let)... that’ll do."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nintaus DVD-N9901
    • TV:
          Sony 51cm
    • Receiver:
          Diamond
    • Speakers:
          Diamond
    • Surrounds:
          No Name
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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