A Dad's Eye View - Another Winnie the Pooh Review
Greetings, Viffers and VF guests! I realize I'm a little late to the party with my review of this movie, but I also figure anything that helps promote this gem of a film is worth mentioning.
I had been hyping this movie to my little girl for quite a while, and as Saturday morning arrived, I truly believed I was more excited than her - I truly wonder if she was just humoring her mother and I as we put Pooh-ear hair clips in her hair and asked her which of her stuffed "Pooh friends" she would like to take to the movie with her (for the record, she chose Tigger and Owl). So, clips in ears, friends in hand, off we went to our local AMC for the first showing of the day.
To say I have been anticipating Winnie the Pooh is a bit of an understatement. Since I first read of the project, and more importantly, the care with which Disney's animation team had approached the subject, I have been little kid-giddy about this one. Suffice to say, I was going into this one with high expectations. I was, fortunately, not disappointed.
"The Ballad of Nessie," a new hand-drawn animated short that precedes the movie, is very charming and sweet, if not a bit on the short side. It tells the tale of the Loch Ness monster and how she came to live in her current abode after being evicted from her home by a greedy miniature golf tycoon. The lesson in the story is a very good one, and not often told; if I say more it would give away exactly how she DID find her home.
Onto the feature presentation: When we first entered Christopher Robin's room and the "Walt Disney Pictures Presents" title popped up, it was apparently from the get go that Disney animation had hit it out of the park with the classic feel it was going for. John Cleese's narrator is a splendid choice - along with other character voices (namely Craig Ferguson as Owl), is not an overstated, "done for the sake of using a celebrity" addition. Zooey Deschanel's voice, heard in the opening song and a few others, has a true, non-poppish, timeless feel as well and works perfectly. For that matter, I have to agree, the songs, written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson Lopez, have a very Sherman-esque feel and fit in well in the Poohniverse!
As for the story itself, well...what can I say? It's not a complicated one, nor should it be. There's a plot about Eeyore's missing tail, one about Christopher Robin's possible abduction by the "Backson," but it really comes down to this: Pooh needs hunny, and is on a continuous quest to find it. And gosh darn it, we want him to find it. Our tummys growl a little more every time he's denied just a small smackrel. And that's what a good plot, however simple it is, should do: make us feel for the characters.
The humor is not a humor filled with canny pop-culture references, nor a stable of potty humor. It's humor at it's simplest form - the timeless kind. I can honestly say I was in a (very small, but crowded) theater where the adults and kids were laughing along with each other. To see my little girl sitting in her mommy's lap, giggling consistently throughout the film, brought an even bigger smile to my face. If a three year old and a 36 year old find humor in something, that is a sure sign of funny!
Pooh came in #6 at the box office this weekend, pulling in $8 Million. Whether the low numbers were due to lack of screens (like I say, although it was showing multiple times, it was a small capacity theater), a poor choice in opening weekend (some Harry guy), or just due to those dismissing it as a movie for the youngest set, it's not due to quality. As of this writing, Winnie the Pooh is pulling a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, one of the highest reviewed movies out right now. As I have in my previous article, I implore readers of this review to see this movie - tell others, take others, spread the word - Disney animation really has hit a home run with this one.
But don't just take my word for it, take this quote from a tough three year old critic: "IT WAS EVEN BETTER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE!"
Last edited by ShrunkenNed; 07-18-2011 at 07:11 AM.