Winnie the Pooh

Pure Honey

         
 

15 July 2011| No Comments     by Sean Chavel

 

Simple as they come, as well as the quickest running time for an animated film aimed at young children for some time. Winnie the Pooh is certainly not for 21-30 year-old singles, and likely not for the 9-20 crowd either. It’s for the young and inexperienced in need of unchallenging movies and for the parents that go with them. Cuteness will be found amongst those who have a cheery heart. There being not an ounce of any contemporary pop culture or cynicism that goes hand in hand with your usual modern update. The Disney 2D animation team goes for neatly lifted episodes right out of the A.A. Milne stories from 90 years ago. Pooh plays games and embarks on chases for pots of honey, thwarted left and right. There is not much more than that but the nuances are what is sweet.

After Pooh grudgingly wakes up from his bed, he goes out to the forest to find that his friend Eeyore, the donkey, has lost his tail. Pooh competes against his friends Tigger, Rabbitt, Piglet, Owl, Kanga and Roo to come up with the best solution to replace his tail and this materializes to amusingly botched results. Christopher Robin acts as the arbitrator of this predicament and will bestow a pot of honey to the winner. Pooh is slow, a fuddy duddy, but somehow industrious even if it is by mistake.

Pooh somehow trips over the literary text letters that are lifted from the Milne book – a filmmaker’s invention and a motif. Somehow it then goes into a slight, head-turning, honey fantasy that’s a bit like the dream sequence from “Dumbo” (1941). This dream sequence is much more innocent but you can’t help but admire the fluidity of the animation.

If there are a few in-between segments, I am at a loss to remember. But Pooh’s crew misreads a note by Christopher Robin in the last third, and they get carried away by the idea that he is lost or kidnapped. Pooh and friends then get trapped down a pit and there is some hair-picking in how to get out of there.

Why are you reading this? Many of you are too grown-up for any of this. But if you can get yourself inside the mind of a 4-year old than you will have a nostalgia for the clean, placid, and dopey cartoons that used to run on television a long, long time ago. If you are incapable of adapting your mind into a 4-year old mind than pick another movie. I had a hard time not having my mind waver from time to time, but that last act was charming. I also had an appreciation for animation that has that hand-drawn look.

John Cleese (“A Fish Called Wanda,” “Rat Race”) is the innocuous narrator of the movie. Zooey Deschanel wrote and performed the end credits song “So Long” that is as sugary as a snickerdoodle. Feature film is preceded by a clever animated short that’s a takeoff of the Loch Ness monster legend.

73 Minutes. Rated G.

FAMILY MOVIE / ENCHANTING FANTASY / SUNDAY NIGHT FAMILY MOVIE

Film Cousins: “Pinocchio” (1940); “My Neighbor Totoro” (1988, Japan); “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989, Japan); “Curious George” (2006).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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