Winnie the Pooh and friends have been delighting children and adults alike for over 85 years.
Winnie the Pooh and friends have been delighting children
and adults alike for over 85 years.
In that time, there have been radio, TV and film adaptations and a
plethora of extremely lucrative merchandising deals. Winnie The Pooh is the
first theatrical feature in six years (Disney will have you believe 35 years –
that’s true if you count original adaptations of A. A Milne’s work, but Pooh’s
Heffalump Movie was released in 2005).
There’s no doubt as to its target audience; this isn’t a
film that’s trying to bridge the gap between tweens and adults – this one’s
aimed squarely at the younger demographic (but parental animation fans will
probably get a kick out of it too).
It’s actually no worse off for that as the scrapes that Pooh and friends
get into, while no more horrific than escaping from a deep hole, finding a new
tail for Eeyore or running away from an imagined monster, effortlessly convey
the timeless charm of the characters.
This is in no small part to the vocal talents of Jim Cummings,
who’s voiced Pooh and Tigger for over 20 years and who perfectly conveys the
bewildered musings of the bear with very little brain and Tigger’s
It’s beautifully animated and while the characters have been
given a bit of a spruce up (a highlight of which is Pooh’s imagined swim in a
lake of honey dressed as a bee), the artwork doesn’t deviate from the original
drawings. It also retains the meta-textual
concept of the original cartoons and so it’s a delight to see characters
interact with the text from which they came; Pooh hopping from one page to the
next and using fallen letters from sentences as tools or toys.
It’s marred slightly by the songs, which are more irritating
than catchy and Zooey Deschanel’s rendition of the classic Sherman Brothers
theme tune is uninspiring – quite why she was chosen to sing it is a
At just under 70 minutes, it’s also a very brief adventure
and represents a significant financial outlay for a family outing. This is ameliorated slightly by the
inclusion of the short The Ballad Of Nessie which precedes the feature – a sweet tale of how the
Loch Ness Monster came to live in her present home, narrated by Billy Connolly.
It’s as sweet as the honey that Pooh craves and will be a
delight to animation fans of all ages but might be a bit of a pricey trip to
the cinema if you’re watching your budget.