The positive message of the winning "Piglet's Big Movie" (next up is "The Heffalump Movie") is also the underlying message of the film's marketing: Piglet may be a supporting character, but he's star enough to carry a film.
Piglet's colorful doodlings serve as flashbacks; leafing through the book, the pals realize Piglet's unsung accomplishments. The mini-stories - all previously unproduced tales from Milne's collection - work well within the larger story. Piglet builds a stick house for mopey Eeyore; he poses as baby Roo to fool wise mother Kanga. Once his friends realize Piglet's importance, their quest to find him takes on added urgency.
John Fielder, the 77-year-old performer who has been Piglet's voice ever since the Oscar-winning short "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day" (1968), is the only remaining original talent providing a voice for a Pooh character. The innocence and simplicity he brings to Piglet is a big part of why the character and film are so likable.
The animation is a mix of traditional and computer-generated, but the film is mostly made up of inviting watercolor art that gives it a classic look. Likewise, Carly Simon's lullaby-like originals ("With a Few Good Friends," "If I Wasn't So Small"), along with her version of the classic "Pooh" theme, underscore events and deepen character.
3 stars (out of 4)
"Piglet's Big Movie"
Opens Friday, March 21. Running time: 1:15. MPAA rating: G.