The last time we were given an on-screen Winnie the Pooh adventure was back in 2005 with "Pooh's Heffalump Movie", and that wasn't really the greatest tale from our loveable storybook characters. A good six years later, its about time the gang is back for some good ol' classic fun! Pooh has had a couple of short adventures here and there, but it's a great feeling to see him back up on the big-screen once again, especially for families to go out and see together. Out of all the animations this year, Winnie the Pooh is the best when it comes to being a light-hearted, enjoyable tale that doesn't contain plots that'll be over children's heads (For example: Rango). Then again, Winnie the Pooh doesn't contain much of a plot at all, or a valuable one at least. It's definitely not the best Pooh adventure yet, but it is the cutest, and that's what really makes this one worth while.
Using classic hand-drawn animation is one of the biggest pluses this film has to offer. Can you imagine a computer-animated Pooh movie? Neither could I, and I wouldn't want to either. Seeing Pooh on the big screen brought me back to when I was a kid, and I'd watch the 1990's cartoon series. The animation here is definitely much better than the past few Pooh flicks, "The Tigger Movie", "Piglits Big Movie", and "Pooh's Heffalump Movie", which looked like much more modern animation for its time. The animation here is absolutely beautiful and you can't help but walk out happy. Your not just walking out of something that hasn't been done for animated films in so long, but your walking out of a theater that literally just brought you in a swarm of different memories of you as a child, watching Pooh, the classic Pooh.
Winnie the Pooh just wouldn't be Winnie the Pooh without the great Jim C*mmings. Though Pooh has been around for decades, once Jim C*mmings came into the character he was really brought to life in my opinion. C*mmings brought Pooh and even Tigger to a new level in 1988 with a 4-season running series that broke off into many different shorts, films, and even modernized series over the past twenty-some odd years. Lets just put it this way, Winnie the Pooh has never actually been gone these past six years. This is the movie that'll just help us find the character once again. John Cleese taking a whack at being the Narrator in the film was perfect in my opinion. I loved the Narrator in this film, he was simple, funny, and very helpful in different ways. Going along for the adventure with Pooh and his friends the entire film, without the Narrator a character would be missing. This is technically a storybook, ya know? Ken Sansom doesn't return as Rabbit, but is replaced here by Tom Kerry (voice of Spongebob Squarepants), who does a pretty good job voicing the character. Whether it's a new actor voicing the character, or a returning one, every character sounds as they should.
Everyone from Hundred Acre Wood is back, folks! All of your favorite characters are here to play, and beyond all, entertain. There's Eeyore, Owl, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, and of course, Christopher Robin. Growing up my favorite character was always Tigger. He was fun, energetic, and always putting a huge smile on my face. Seeing Tigger once again was great and I had a huge smile on my face whenever he'd hop on scene. There is a scene he has with Eeyore that I loved in particular, and I think that all audiences will get a kick out of. Seeing all of these characters back together once again was a perfect theater experience. If you're an adult with a younger child, this movie is mostly aimed at you, because now you can bring your kid out and introduce him to a forest full of characters hard not to love. It's always a fun time with Winnie the Pooh and his friends, lets just hope we can visit Hundred Acre Wood much more often now.
Here comes the negativity. While I did have fun throughout the whole sixty-three minute runtime, the movie lacks in a storyline that keeps your interest high. To be completely honest, I'd have to say that The Tigger Movie was a lot better than this because it had an actual storyline that meant something. There are no morals or lessons to be learned when watching Winnie the Pooh, and throughout the entire movie you feel like the storyline is almost as simple as a twenty-minute episode would be from the original series. For an on-screen movie, the story could've been crafted much more perfectly. The trailers make this film look absolutely beautiful and filled with emotion, but the movie doesn't have any of it at all. The closet thing to emotion you'll get out of Pooh is feeling like a kid again, but the inner-story needed a whole lot more than that.
In the end, Winnie the Pooh will make you smile and be a fun time at the movies, especially thanks to the musical numbers filled with catchy lyrics and simple rhythms. The storybook concept was always favored by me, mostly because of how unique the style of film-telling it is, presenting it as a storybook and all. Due yourself a favor and visit your friends at Hundred Acre Wood because you never know when they'll be on the big-screen again. The movie may lack deeply in plot, but thanks to the cute scenes and hilarious interactions between the characters, Winnie the Pooh is a good, fun watch for anyone.
Thanks for the read!
-Written by Corey Wood