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STUDIO: Nat’l Geographic Vid
RUNNING TIME: 44 minutes
◦Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
◦Toot’s Trip to Scotland
“What if the world was populated by animals that were patterned after humans in terms of speech and behavior? Other than being the stuff of nightmares.”
None. Genus Homo ain’t got nothin’ to do with this joint.
Avoid the Deliverance joke…Avoid the Deliverance joke….
Based on the children’s book of the same name, Toot and Puddle live together in Woodcock Pocket* and are making their Christmas preparations when Toot receives an invitation to his Great-Great Aunt’s centennial birthday extravaganza in Scotland. So Toot sets out for Edinburgh, having made the promise to be home for Christmas to celebrate it with his best friend and their cousin Opal. However, complications arise that bring to question whether or not Toot will actually make it home in time for Christmas, leaving both pigs to sweat it out to see if they’ll get to spend the jolliest of holidays together.
*Seriously, these are the names of the main characters and where they live. One gets the impression that author Holly Hobbie has made this series for the sole intention of introducing characters with names like Mayor McTaint and Das Veferens, the German ferret.
For every Pixar movie that manages to somehow capture the imagination of babies, children, and adults alike, there are those movies that parents and babysitters know of all too well. These movies aren’t for anyone but the kids. There aren’t any jokes for us older folk; just the piece of mind accompanied by the stopping of the child’s spastic movement and Toilette’s induced soliloquies every minute of their existence. And if you know what I am talking about in that last run-on sentence chances are this might be a movie of use to you.
When it comes to singing sheep, these three are hard to bleat.
The animation isn’t anything to wow you, but is an effective counterpart to the simplicity of the storyline and the ease with which conflict is resolved in the movie’s forty-plus minute running time (there has to be at least 12 different problems that are overcome without complication with an even temperament – these animals are fucking saints). The short running time also has the added benefit of ensuring that the movie doesn’t overstay its welcome, and is an acceptable form of entertainment for those with ADD. It might sound like I’m crucifying this little flick, but I’m not. It was pretty cute for what it was, and it doesn’t insult your child’s intelligence or lack any content whatsoever like some animated programs that are a little more than extended advertisements for ancillary products.
There’s some nice messages sprinkled throughout the film, such as the hammering home of family and friendship and togetherness in conjunction with Christmas as well as the slightly more subtle message of acceptance of different kinds of people. All of the different animals live together in harmony and are friends (although there’s an unidentifiable female animal that speaks when Toot is on his way back home which is just flat-out disconcerting), and a message of diversity isn’t one that I’m going to mock outright. However, one gets the idea that in a few years, little Timmy will be watching National Geographic and realize that the big Russian bear would’ve devoured Toot and that the message of diversity and acceptance imparted on him in his youth was nothing but a candy-coated animated lie. All joking aside, it’s a movie that will keep your children occupied and beyond that I can’t think of a solid reason for any of the CHUD viewership to own it (unless you’re a children’s book aficionado or completist, that is). It’s cute and inoffensive with some nice messages sprinkled throughout.
Pigs in a blanket.
Not a whole lot to cover here. The cover art is acceptable, as at least it contains all of the particulars (Toot, Puddle, Christmas) without being an aesthetic holocaust. The Dolby 1.0 audio is adequate, as is the video quality (although the animation of movement is sometimes noticeably awkward). Neither will be a centerpiece for showing off your home theater, but they’ll keep the children suitably entranced. A pretty skimpy platter of extras, all things considered. There’s a sing-a-long for the Christmas song from the movie, and then to National Geographicize this thing up there’s a little feature called “Toot’s Trip to Scotland” that helps highlight some of the locales he points out during his excursion to Edinburgh in the storyline.
6.5 out of 10