Movie Review: Disney Winnie The Pooh

 Karen Pecota
24/7 MOMS film journalist

Wow! It’s been 35 years since the adventures of Winnie thePooh from the Walt Disney Animation Studios has emerged onto the silver screen.So, back by popular demand, the celebration to reunite Christopher Robin (voiceof Jack Boulter), Winnie the Pooh (voice of Jim Cummings) and their fine furryfriends from the Hundred Acre Wood will begin on July 15, 2011. To mark thisspecial release, the Disney Studio, under the direction of filmmakers, StephenAnderson and Don Hall unveil another delightful tale from the inspired storiesof A.A. Milne’s books in Disney Classic.
The narrative opens with Winnie the Pooh waking up from agood night of rest and feeling a rumbly in his tummy says, “Pooh Beartakes care of his tummy by never forgetting to eat.” On this particular day, noform of honey could be found in Pooh’s house. In his search of a big pot ofhoney he goes to visit the neighbors. On his way, he meets his good friend,Eeyore (voice of Bud Luckey). Pooh finds out that Eeyore has troubles of hisown–his tail is missing. Pooh feels so sorry for his friend and offers tohelp. Pooh Bear calls for assistance and enlists their good friends Tiger(voice of Jim Cummings), Owl (voice of Craig Ferguson), Piglet (voice of TravisOates), Rabbit (voice of Tom Kenny), Kanga (voice of Kristen Anderson-Lopez)and Roo (voice of Wyatt Hall). The Hundred Acre Wood inhabitants togetherembark on an unforgettable quest to help Eeyore find his missing tail.
In the process of helping Eeyore, the group getsside-tracked by a few misadventures. One calamity being that Christopher Robinneeds to be rescued from a bad guy named “Backson”. Their well-intended effortsend up in chaos due to their friend, Owl being the perpetrator of a bigmisunderstanding. At the end of the day, the mission to find Eeyore’s tail isrenewed with rigorous momentum because he is still in need. The search seemslike an eternity to Eeyore but is comforted by Pooh’s words of encouragement,“If you find yourself missing something important, like a tail, always rememberthat it can take a lot of trying to find the right ending. And, even in therumbliest of times, a good friend should come before a rumbly tummy.”
Winnie the Pooh’s executive producer, John Lasseter, notes,“We always set out to make a movie that will transcend generations—appeal tokids, entertain their teenage brothers and sisters, and make Mom and Dad laughout loud.” In my opinion, their goal is accomplished with a combination ofcreative animation and charming music. The actress/musician/songwriter andsinger Zooey Deschanel performs an adorable rendition of the beloved “Winniethe Pooh” theme song. The feature’s music selection made way for smoothtransitions to develop the storyline much like a mini- musical, or like asing-a-along morality tale when, Pooh says, “It’s good to face your fears,particularly when you’ve been hiding from them for a while”.
The original illustrations by E. H. Shepard continue to bethe inspiration the Disney animators use to make the characters pop-off of thepage—literally! Disney’s veteran animator Burny Mattinson was the senioradvisor to dynamic directorial duo of Anderson and Hall. I thought there evenmight be an educational subliminal message with the use of the letters of thealphabet– to encourage reading, or to emphasize its importance. Well, I thinkmany parts of stories are left to the imagination. One thing we do know, PoohBear has a good heart! He might a little slow but he describes himself as, “Abear of very little brain and long words bother me”. But, he truly believes hisformula for life by encouraging Eeyore that, “The Thing To Do isn’t the easiestThing To Know”.  On Pooh’s words ofwisdom here rests another day of adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood.  
Released in local theaters: July 15, 2011
Movie rating: PG

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