Winnie the Pooh
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
(10 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
Directed By
Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall
Run Time
1 hour 3 minutes
Cast
John Cleese, Jim Cummings, Bud Luckey, Craig Ferguson
Theatre Release
July 15, 2011 by Walt Disney Pictures

During this section of the calendar, all new film releases seem to arrive with over-the-top superlative adjectives attached: "the biggest," "the wildest," "the most expensive," "the most explosive!" I don't think any have been tagged "the sweetest" or "the most sincere." Till now.

Winnie the Pooh, Walt Disney Picture's first big-screen adaptation of A.A. Milne's classic characters since Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005), is charming, winsome, and funny. It's also a notable bit of nostalgia. While Milne's characters have left direct-to-video for the theater a few times in the last decade (2000's The Tigger Movie, 2003's The Piglet Movie, and Heffalump), this marks Disney's return to the tone, character and look of the vintage 1960s and 1970s featurettes.

This retro-approach includes the age-old Pooh staples: live-action bookends, integration of the printed page (full of words and letters) into moving story, and interaction between Pooh and the narrator (now voiced perfectly by John Cleese). The Pooh-centered story is mined from classic Milne stories including sections of 1928's The House at Pooh Corner. The animation is again the hand-drawn art style inspired by Ernest H. Shepard's book illustrations. And Burny Mattinson, a key animator on the 1974 featurette Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!, serves as senior story artist.

These aspects all pay off. This is the gentle, simple, and whimsical Pooh you remember. There's no big plot, no big crisis. Just Pooh high jinks and adventure. In fact, the storyline is exceptionally light: It's a typical day in the Hundred Acre Wood. When Eeyore's tail goes missing, the gang has a contest to find a new one until a misunderstanding leads to a hunt for an imaginary beast, the Backson.

The film's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueBearing Burdens After Obamacare
Bearing Burdens After Obamacare Subscriber Access Only
The future of Christian health care sharing.
Current Issue
Reply All Subscriber Access Only
Responses to our March issue via letters, tweets, and Facebook posts.
RecommendedIn ‘The Case for Christ,’ Experience, not Evidence, Is the Real Clincher
In ‘The Case for Christ,’ Experience, not Evidence, Is the Real Clincher
Pure Flix's adaptation of the apologetics classic succeeds most where it preaches least.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickWe Actually Don’t Need a Trinitarian Revival
We Actually Don’t Need a Trinitarian Revival
Attempts to teach a ‘better’ understanding of the Trinity may do more harm than good.
Christianity Today
Winnie the Pooh
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.