This was without a doubt one of my top most anticipated movies of 2011 that I knew would be great. I was a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh watching all of the movies, shows, even buying some stuffed animals of Pooh and his pals. So, it’s quite clear that I was psyched for this movie. The trailers that came out for the movie completely sealed the deal.
What did I think of the movie? Well, that’s a little complicated to answer. Let me first say that this movie is the “Re-Imagining” of the old Winnie the Pooh movie, “The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh.” The movie starts off almost identical to the 1977 movie except it doesn’t have the completely mangled Pooh doll. To get something obvious out of the way yes the movie looks magnificent. Colors blend beautifully together and all the scenes and movements flow seamlessly but this is Disney Animated Studios we’re talking about. Was there ever any doubt? Let’s move on to the meat of the review, the story.
The story also uses the chapter format from “The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh” making everything straight forward and understandable for little kids. The entire movie centers around three main plot lines, rescuing Christopher Robin, voiced by Jack Boutler, from the terrifying creature the Backson, Eeyore losing his tail again, and Pooh getting a small “smackeral” of honey. As movie stories go Winnie the Pooh is the glowing icon of basic but imaginative storytelling fun. There’s never been any problem with having a basic plot to a kid’s film but as I’ve seen in many “Re-imaginings” most studios will only do the bare minimum if they’re feeling generous and Disney has broken away from this… mostly.
The characters in this movie are exactly as I remembered. Tigger, voiced by Jim Cummings, is still the lovable oaf getting himself into all sorts of troubles with his bouncing antics. Piglet, voiced by Travis Oates, remains the spineless straight man to Pooh even when Pooh, and I’m not kidding, beats up Piglet with a stick after Pooh gets him stuck in a bee hive. That is what you call friendship. We also get Owl, voiced by Craig Ferguson, and Rabbit ,voiced by Tom Kenny, who are both the funniest characters in the entire movie due to Rabbit nearly going insane with frustration as Rabbit usually does and Owl with his clueless self-indulgent wisdom which leads to the mother of all punchlines. Next, Kanga and Roo, voiced by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Wyatt Dean Hall, while having very little to do in the movie get some very funny lines as well as some endearing moments too. Finally my two favorite characters Eeyore, voiced by Bud Luckey, and Pooh. Eeyore is as gloomy as always and because he is the one of the focuses of the movie Eeyore gets almost all the best lines in the movie. While Pooh is Pooh. He’s just a lovable and dim witted as always but thanks to the voice styling of Jim Cummings Pooh comes off as a little more intelligent actually. Pooh understands basic problems and solutions the only problem Pooh has is just connecting the dots between the two. The only complaint I have about the characters is linked to my big overall problem so I’ll save it for now.
The best part of this movie is definitely this movies variety of jokes it has throughout. From the classic Rabbit meltdown, to clever references to Indiana Jones and war movies, to the clever banter between the narrator and the gang. There is no shortage of jokes and none (to me at least because humor is suggestive) of the jokes fell flat. All were well thought out and had some nice build up to very humorous to down right hilarious punch-lines. Even the musical numbers are quite creative using the scenery and characters personality to the songs advantage. While I can’t say most of the songs are memorable except for the songs from “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” The songs sound creative but it’s the visuals that will linger longer in your memory rather than the music.
But despite all of my praise for the movie being cute, adorable, just as much fun for adults as it is for kids…. This movie is WAY too short. I mean it this movie BARELY makes it past the 45 minute mark and a variety of sights are saying that it’s 68-69 minutes that is a huge load of crap. Let me explain what I saw, first a Loch Ness Monster short which was 5 minutes but not part of the main movie. Than it moved on to the actual movie itself which was 40 minutes, give or take, than the credits, which ran for maybe 4-6 minutes, adding some odd credits just to drag it out more, and finally the ending clip which was only a minute or two at the most. Therefore, the actual part of the movie that had actual content this was only 42 minutes long. Not only that but my brother clued me in on something else, a scene showed in the trailer for this movie was CUT OUT of the final product. Unbelievable. Also, the whole chapter storytelling that made the first movie so memorable, only 1 chapter. Just one chapter. Thus, the characters who get very little to do start to become barely noticeable at this movies fast pace. This movie feels like a TV special not a full length movie to spend 10 bucks on. Is the movie enjoyable? Of course, but this also feels Disney is trying to pull a fast one by only putting out minimal content thus being payed more for doing less.
VERDICT: Winnie the Pooh is worth seeing with it’s breath taking visuals, wonderful sense of humor, and fun but not very memorable music. It’s a perfect movie for people of all ages and hard core Disney fans can breath in the wonderful drawn styling of Disney once again. But only you have money burning a hole through your pocket but if you want more bang for your buck wait for the DVD to come out instead.