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Sunday, July 17, 2011
Winnie the Pooh - 2011
About this time last year when I first heard that there was going to be another Winnie the Pooh film, I was ecstatic. I do not for sure know what the first movie I ever watched was, but if I had to take a guess it would be the original Winnie the Pooh shorts. It is a huge part of my childhood, and I will love it forever because of that. Unfortunately, the films following those Walt Disney shorts have never even come close to the same quality level. Stephen J. Anderson is teaming up with Don Hall to create this Disney film, and since I am an Anderson fan I had nothing but the highest of expectations. Also, seeing as we live in a world devoid of traditional animation, I was delighted to see that the decision was made for the film to look more like the original shorts.
This is a pretty simple tale, one that will probably only interest young kids under the age of five. Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings) wakes up and is very hungry. Naturally he then decides to go get some food, but on the way he discovers that his dear friend Eyore (Bud Luckey), seems to have lost his tale, delaying Pooh's lunch for a little while. Then Pooh finds a note from Christopher Robin (Jack Boulter) which Owl (Craig Ferguson) misinterprets, and convinces everyone that Christopher Robin has been captured by a "Backson". So Pooh, still without his honey, goes with everyone to save their friend.
Clocking in at 69 minutes, I am going to try and make this a fairly short review. I thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation of A.A. Milne's old Pooh stories, and have only but a few things to complain about. The music for one. I did not at all like any of the new songs added to the movie, and I highly doubt the kids would find them too catchy either. I also would have rathered them choose a different A.A. Milne story, such as one of the ones Walt Disney had used in his shorts. Some things aren't meant to have a remake, but these stories are and this would have been a perfect time. And lastly, the film honestly could have been a little longer, just over an hour is not long enough, even for young kids under the age of five.
Now for my favorite parts of the film. Even though it was not my story of choice, I still liked it as it brought back all the memories it needed to. The animation was asbolutely gorgeous, Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall knew what they were doing when they made this film, bringing all of the old tradition of the first films into this one. Not to mention keeping Owl, one of the older characters that is often not in the new films.
I loved the voices, something that all of the newer movies has very seriously lacked. To start with, thank goodness Peter Cullen was not chosen again as Eyore, as I do not wish to picture Optimus Prime while watching a children's movie. Jim Cummings did an excellent job as Tigger and Pooh, though I would have wished to see Tigger more in the movie. It is a shame that John Fiedler was not here to make this movie, as he is the perfect addition, but I think Travis Oates filled the shows quite nicely. Craig Ferguson did a fine job with Owl, but I cannot say Tom Kenny would have been my choice for Rabbit.
Overall, for kids Winnie the Pooh will be a delight, for adults they will be glad of the brief runntime, and quite possibly the memories of when Walt Disney himself was alive. If you are one of the less demanding viewers, don't waste your money, but if you already were considering this film it comes recommended by me.