In Benjamin Hoof’s The Tao of Pooh, Winnie the Pooh is recognized as the Taoist master, a lover of thought and simplicity. Interestingly, the basic block of Tao is called P’u, representing the uncarved block—the individual in wonderment of life’s constant changes, complacent with all that is simple. In The Te of Piglet, Pooh’s friend Piglet becomes the worrisome master of Te, a Chinese term for “virtue.” But what about other denizens of the Hundred Acre Woods? Tigger is the Qigong lover, who finds enlightenment in the expression of physical actions; Owl represents wisdom; Rabbit is seen as the epitome of the practical; and Eeyore is acknowledged as a perpetual pessimist. In this latest Disney cartoon, the rascally Tigger is saddened because none of his friends will bounce with him and soon comes to believe that there could be other Tiggers out in the woods. After observing Owl’s family tree, Tigger sets out to find members of his own species, and upon receiving a letter from “Tigger’s family,” his mission intensifies. When he tries to look for a tree with stripes on its bark (it’s there that other Tiggers will welcome him in a celebration of song and bouncing), you get a strong sense of the character’s spiritual longing. Meanwhile, Eeyore is seen as a kind of yang to Tigger’s yin, spending the duration of the film complaining about the destruction (by Tigger) and subsequent rebuilding of his wooden home. These introspective moments may be few and far between but they certainly dignify The Tigger Movie. The ending is a bit pat, though the film’s simple truths about the nature of family and friendship will give young children something to chew on.
- Jun Falkenstein
- Eddie Guzelian, Jun Falkenstein
- Jim Cummings, Ken Sansom, John Fiedler, Peter Cullen, Andre Stojka
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