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29 October 2014
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U Piglet's Big Movie (2003)

updated 15th July 2003
reviewer's rating
Two Stars
Reviewed by Neil Smith


Director
Francis Glebas
Writer
Brian Hohlfield
Stars
John Fielder
Jim Cummings
Ken Sansom
Kath Soucie
Andre Stojka
Peter Cullen
Length
75 minutes
Distributor
Buena Vista
Cinema
18th July 2003
Country
USA
Genres
Animation
Family
Web Links
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Visit the official website


Disney is currently embroiled in a protracted legal dispute over AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh characters. If it loses, the studio may have to shell out millions of dollars in unpaid royalties.

Maybe that's why it's cashing in while it still can with another big-screen Pooh caper, which - like 2000's "The Tigger Movie" - passes over the Bear of Very Little Brain in favour of one of Hundred Acre Wood's other residents.

The strength of Disney's Pooh product has always depended on how closely it sticks to Milne's originals. The best thing to say about "Piglet's Big Movie" is that it captures the flavour, if not the essence, of its inspiration.

Pooh, Rabbit et al are on a honey hunt, but don't include Piglet in their plans because he's too small. When he runs away, the penitent pals use his Book of Memories to track him down - the cue for three lively flashbacks in which Piglet plays a key role.

There's a lot to like here - familiar voice talent, good visual gags, and songs by Carly Simon that have a lyrical simplicity in keeping with the material. (One of them, "Sing Ho for the Life of a Bear", is taken directly from Milne's own words.)

However, like the recent "Jungle Book 2", you can't help feeling the studio is treading water here, trading off past glories, and entrusting its crown jewels to lesser hands (in this case its Japanese subsidiary).

It may be "Piglet's Big Movie", but it's a very minor entry in the Disney canon.



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