Synopsis: Walt Disney Animation Studios returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with “Winnie the Pooh.” Featuring the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo-and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. “Ever have one of those days where you just can’t win, Eeyore?” asks Pooh. Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply set out to find some honey.
Release Date: July 15, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Animation, Children and Family
Disney’s latest iteration of the profitable and enduring Pooh brand is as simple and no-frills as its title suggests: a back-to-basics approach that favors hand-drawn animation over computer graphics, gentle character-based humor over ribald pop culture references, and decidedly low-key adventures over epic grandeur. It is a refreshingly old-fashioned antidote to the summer movie season’s typically headache-inducing children’s entertainment and, at only 79 minutes, guaranteed to keep the attention of even the most fidgety youngsters.
The plot of Winnie the Pooh is a string of episodic little adventures involving all of Christopher Robin’s stuffed animal friends–Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga and Roo–and their make believe lives in the Hundred Acre Wood. The first adventure finds the friends searching for Eeyore’s missing tale, a predicament which predictably turns the melancholy donkey into even more of a sourpuss. When the animals mistake a note from Christopher Robin (“Gon Out Bizy Be Back Soon”) to be proof that a fearsome creature, the Backson, has kidnapped the boy, the animals temporarily abandon their search for Eeyore’s tale to look for Christopher Robin and arm themselves against the terrible creature.
Amidst this whirlwind of urgent activity our dear old Pooh Bear is searching fruitlessly for a pot of honey on which to snack. With no honey to be found anywhere, Pooh despairs: “My tummy is feeling a little eleven o’clockish.” The bear even begins to hallucinate from hunger: oceans and islands made of the gooey, golden stuff. Alas, fussy old Rabbit has militarized the whole gang to set a trap for the Backson: serious stuff, no time for lunch. After the animals fall prey to the very trap Rabbit set for the Backson, Eeyore puts everything into perspective: “We’re all going to die.” Classic Eeyore.
Winnie the Pooh is a slight but charming reminder that while the character and his stories may hold the most sway for the very young, there are pleasures to be gained for children of all ages. The Hundred Acre Wood is rendered as lushly as you remember from your own childhood in a hand-painted watercolor style that mimics the E.H. Shepard illustrations to A.A. Milne’s original Pooh books. The entire film has the air of a sweetly simple bedtime story. Winnie the Pooh has no pretensions to epic storytelling and little aspiration beyond satisfying the desire to spend a lazy afternoon with old friends. This it certainly does.
Winnie the Pooh features a score composed Henry Jackman, as well as songs by husband and wife team Robert and Kristen Lopez, performed by actress and She & Him singer Zooey Deschanel. Deschanels’ dreamy vocals lend a whimsical, faraway quality to the title song “Winnie the Pooh” (“willy nilly silly ol’ bear…”). The film’s musical numbers are all delightful in a preschooler’s sing-a-long kind of way. Especially charming is “The Tummy Song” in which Pooh engages in a duet with his growling stomach.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Stephen J. Anderson
- Producer(s): Stephen AndersonClio ChiangDon DoughertyDon Hall
- Screenwriter(s): Brian KesingerNicole MitchellJeremy Spears
- Cast: Craig Ferguson (voice of Owl)John Cleese (Narrator) Jim Cummings (voice of Winnie The Pooh/Tigger)Kristen Anderson-Lopez (voice of Kanga)Jack Boulter (voice of Christopher Robin)Wyatt Dean Hall (voice of Roo)Huell Howser (voice of Backson)Tom Kenny (voice of Rabbit)Bud Luckey (voice of Eeyore)Travis Oates (Piglet)
- Editor(s): Lisa Linder
- Production Designer(s): Henry Jackman
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA