28 February 2012

Movies: Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh (2011) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1449283/

Disney animated film

It's Winnie the Pooh and most of the Hundred Acre Wood characters. Eeyore lost his tail, so Pooh and the others have a contest to find him a new one. Little side adventures occur too.

While growing up I loved the first three Disney animated Pooh featurettes. I'm talking about the 1966, 1968 and 1974 ones. Then I read the A. A. Milne books. I didn't mind the differences too much, for by the time I read the books I understood that Disney rarely sticks to the letter of the stories and re-imagines them as they wish. I've not watched any additional Pooh material Disney released after those first three, so I can't make any comparisons to those.

This film evoked many warm childhood memories of those early featurettes. The opening and closing 'real world' trips through Christopher Robin's room were spot-on with how I remember Disney bookending the featurettes, including the warmth of the lighting. The animation was great. It looked a lot like the early featurette style of animation, including the bits where pages of the 'book' become part of the story and scenery. 
A few times whole scenes from the previous featurettes got reworked into the Eeyore tail story. To me a lot of the voices sounded off compared to my memories, but I also realize it isn't realistic to expect the original featurette voice actors. Some voices were more similar, some were less. Plus I think the majority of the voice actors worked on the later Disney Pooh stuff, so the voices are probably fine for those who have seen the later releases and re-voiced clips, and it won't make any difference to those who haven't seen Pooh before.

This film is fully in the G rated wheelhouse, very child friendly and perfect for the kiddos. I liked it, but it did feel a bit too derivative of the early featurettes to me. That won't matter to new Pooh viewers, though. It is Pooh. And that makes it worth watching at least once.
At about an hour long it's just the right length.


PS for some reason I thought they'd already done the Eeyore's tail story, but I don't remember the original 3 featurettes to that detail. Is it possible I remember it from the books?

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