poohTales of Youth
Winnie The Pooh
Voices of: Jim Cummings, John Cleese, Tom Kenny, Travis Oates, Bud Luckey and Craig Ferguson
Directors: Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall
From the A. A. Milne books
Walt Disney Films
Rating: G
Running Length 70 minutes
“Winnie The Pooh” is a new animated version of, guess what? “Winnie The Pooh,” from the world-famous books by A. A. Milne. Our friends, the boy Christopher Robin, and the stuffed animals-come to life, Winnie The Pooh bear, Eyore the donkey, Rabbit, Tigger and Balloon live in Hundred Acre Wood. This is a place where a problem is how to get enough honey to eat and friends are friends forever. Brave “Winnie The Pooh” opened against the latest Harry Potter movie. Why, you ask? Who knows the mind of Hollywood, but at 70 minutes long, “Winnie The Pooh” is just fine for younger audiences and those who remember their first encounter with Hundred Acre Wood.
The storyline here concerns Eyore trying to find his tail. How can a donkey swish his tail if he doesn't have one? All join in the search with Winnie The Pooh leading the group. They have adventures such as falling into a pit and finding an ingenious way to get out.
Words are important in this film, both words that you hear and words and letters you read on the screen. Whenever there is a problem, the camera shows a page with letters and one of the friends crosses the page, all the while re-arranging the letters to form words to help find the tail. This is a clever premise, not to mention other ways the words/letters (a life of their own, really) come to help the friends. All this is supposed to come from the imagination of one boy, Christopher Robin, who is then in the imagination of A. A. Milne. Adults will enjoy the film as well as children, even young children.
Animation is in the hand-drawn style and well done. This is warmer and friendlier. When Pooh’s tummy rumbles for honey, you feel for him and who would guess that a balloon can go through life, unpunctured? It can in Hundred Acre Wood.
I came away from Winnie The Pooh with a warm glow. As many times as these books have been placed on the screen, this version, with tumbling letters-into-words makes you want to grab a book and start to read. And that is a fine idea for a film.
Copyright 2011 Marie Asner