Disney decided to go back to the traditional look for their relaunch of Winnie the Pooh. Instead of flashy CGI rendered animation, they did their best, for the most part, to stay true to the look and feel of the hand drawn style. The story is quite simple. Eeyore loses his tail and the group of characters set up a contest to find a new tail. The winner receives a big pot of honey. The subplot involves a misread note leading the group to believe Christopher Robin is kidnapped by a monster (of course he’s not) and the group gets captured by their own trap.
This new version of Winnie the Pooh is not as good as the original made 35 years ago, but better than the CGI Disney Channel TV show, which most episodes border on annoying. The movie is unequivocally aimed at five- to seven-year-olds and the movie hits its target as all of the children at the crowded showing I was at laughed and had fun the whole movie through. As for adults, it’s not painful to watch but not particularly memorable either.
The songs were cute but not catchy and not nearly as endearing as the songs from the original. Most of the action was simple and involved the characters falling or bumbling around in some form or another. There is a very humorous part in the film involving Piglet left with the responsibility to save the others from their own trap. I found myself chuckling quite a bit in that scene.
Disney also attached a short animation to the front of the film, much like Pixar has done over the last 15 years. The short was entertaining but not particularly memorable. I like the idea of readopting the short animations though as quite a few of my favorite animated tales are the classic shorts that used to accompany the old Disney films.
Winnie the Pooh is extremely short at only one hour (and four minutes of credits). It is the perfect length for its intended audience and to be honest I’d rather a film be short and effective than long and drawn out. In the end Winnie the Pooh is extremely efficient at what it does, entertains the little ones while not annoying the parents. Winnie the Pooh is the only true children’s movie that has been released this year (sorry, Cars 2 and Kung-Fu Panda 2 are not really children’s films) and it’s a good one at that.
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.
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