Piglet’s Big Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.66:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Like most recent Disney animated films on DVD, this one offered a consistently excellent picture.
Sharpness seemed immaculate. At no time did I discern any examples of softness. Instead, the movie remained tight and well defined. No instances of jagged edges or moiré effects popped up either, and I also failed to see any signs of edge enhancement. The print displayed no examples of print flaws, as it always stayed clean and fresh.
Though most cartoons provide larger than life tones, Piglet’s maintained a pretty natural palette. That didn’t mean the colors lacked boldness, however. The hues consistently looked vivid and lively, and they stayed concise at all times. Black levels were deep and solid, while the rare examples of shadow detail seemed appropriately defined. Overall, Piglet’s Big Movie offered a terrific image.
Although it didn’t quite match up to the picture, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Piglet’s Big Movie also worked well. The soundfield seemed surprisingly varied. Music featured positive stereo imaging, and more effects than I expected emanated from the side and rear speakers. Admittedly, the track stayed focused upon the forward channels, where the different elements popped up from the appropriate locations and melded together neatly. Some good directional dialogue appeared at times, and the pieces also panned nicely. The surrounds kicked in well when necessary. For example, the sound from inside the beehive was quite involving, and thunderstorms also came to life naturally. More rear activity would have been good, but the mix still used all five speakers reasonably well.
Audio quality was a little thin but usually seemed solid. Speech sounded distinct and natural, and I noticed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects came across as accurate and fairly distinctive. Thunder demonstrated decent bass response, but the other elements lacked much low-end response. Music also appeared reasonably clean but didn’t present great range. The score’s bass seemed good but not quite as rich as I’d like, and highs were slightly muted. These complaints remained minor, however, as the audio of Piglet’s Big Movie mostly seemed positive.
Piglet’s Big Movie tosses in a small compilation of supplements. The DVD folks at Disney love their games, so we get Piglet’s Book of Memories. Like many of these contests, this one simply requires you to hunt for missing items. This becomes a totally random guessing game; no hints exist to help, so you’re forced to just pick and pick until you finish. No real reward comes with this accomplishment, and “Memories” seems like a pointless and dull piece.
In The World According to Piglet, we learn more about the title character’s adventures. Essentially a narrated picture book, we hear of how Piglet helped his friends. We also get some life lessons for the kiddies. If you need to hear that “Even if you’re small, you can do big things”, then “According” is for you. Otherwise, this four-minute and two-second program seems pretty blah.
Sing Along with the Movie presents the words of the songs while you watch the movie. This doesn’t do anything for me, but someone might like it. One cool aspect of “Sing Along” it turns the words from yellow to purple as the song progresses, which makes it easier for kids to follow along with the lyrics.
As the DVD starts, we encounter a mix of ads. We find trailers for Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo, The Lion King, Brother Bear, Stitch! The Movie, Sleeping Beauty, and Sing Along Songs. These also appear in the disc’s Sneak Peeks domain.
Finally, DVD-ROM users get a few extra bits. Actually, other than a weblink to the Disney DVD site, all they get are some printable pages for coloring. It’s not much, but if your kids like to color, they might dig it.
While I can’t say that Piglet’s Big Movie did much for me, I think it offers a reasonably entertaining experience for its target audience. The gentle humor and emotion should work well for wee ones, and although adults who sit with them probably won’t think of it as a blast, they likely won’t much mind the cute and moderately charming piece. The DVD presents excellent picture along with pretty solid audio; only the weak selection of extras disappoints. With a list price of almost $30, Piglet’s Big Movie seems a little pricey for what you get, but families may want to give it a look anyway.