Reviewed by: Mike Coad
|Featuring:||Jim Cummings … Pooh/Tigger (voice)
Craig Ferguson … Owl (voice)
John Cleese … Narrator (voice)
Tom Kenny … Rabbit (voice)
Bud Luckey … Eeyore (voice)
Travis Oates … Piglet (voice)
Jack Boulter … Christopher Robin (voice)
Kristen Anderson-Lopez … Kanga (voice)
|Director:||Stephen J. Anderson|
|Producer:|| Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Peter Del Vecho … producer
John Lasseter … executive producer
Craig Sost … associate producer
Clark Spencer … producer
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
“An all-new story brought to life on the big screen”
I took my 5 youngest children (daughters) to see the “new” release, “Winnie The Pooh.” As we settled in at the theater, I thought back to when I (I’m 48) was the age of some of my girls and watching “Wonderful World Of Disney” on Sunday evenings and seeing Pooh stories for the first time. It was that introduction to him (Pooh) that I am sure led to a more formal introduction later on through the writings of A.A. Milne. It is there that we see in full view the life of the bear, and his friends, that we have all come to know and love.
As with most of the Disney versions of the Milne stories it, mixes original with new, and with this story we get the intertwining of some very familiar stories with some new ones. This does not always work well. Some of the Disney “cartoons” and costumed versions of Pooh are dreadful and have no resemblance to the original stories, other than the characters. The movies they have produced have been far better, and, for the most part, stick closely to the original stories.
With that said, there is much that is familiar here. The opening song “Winnie the Pooh” is left intact and is sung very nicely by Zooey Deschanel. The narrator, John Cleese, although not quite Sebastien Cabot, does a great job reading the story to us and interacting with the characters. The voice of Pooh (Jim Cummings) sounds amazingly like the original voiced by Sterling Holloway, and the rest of the voices are pretty close to the originals, as well.
The open book with letters being used as part of the story is a good reminder of where Pooh originated from. Hopefully, if they haven’t already, it will inspire young audiences to go back to the original stories.
Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, Kanga and Roo, all stay in character and seem like old friends as we watch them try to find Eeyore’s missing tail. This leads them to a hunt for the dreaded creature Backsoon, which it turns out is just Owl’s mis-reading of the words “Back soon.” There are a couple of new songs here that are quite nice and mix well with the story. One of the songs has a very cute chalkboard animation scene along with it, that is worth the price of admission. There are quite a few funny scenes here, as well, and my girls (and me) chuckled out loud on a few occasions.
As you would imagine, there is really nothing at all objectionable here. There are positive themes that run throughout the story, such as friendship, putting others first (above honey), and working together. This is truly a kid friendly movie, and if you want to introduce your young children to the theater going experience without worry, this is the one to take them to.
In summary, I found “Winnie The Pooh” to be delightful, and I highly recommend it. I wish we parents had more choices like this, instead of the likes of “Toy Story 3,” which is not necessarily bad, but much too dark for the audience it is intended for. There is nothing dark about “Winnie the Pooh,” it and is a charming return visit to the “Hundred Acre Wood”. I hope Disney takes us back there again real soon.
Violence: None / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
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