Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Waking to find his honey stores empty, Winnie the Pooh goes for a stroll through the Hundred Acre Wood in search of a morning hit. Finding that Eeyore has lost his tail, Pooh joins Owl, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger, Kanga and Roo in a Christopher Robin-led competition to find Eeyore a replacement. When Christopher Robin takes a break from playtime, his “Bizy, back soon” note is misinterpreted by Owl as a ransom note from the mythical Backson. Setting a trap, the animals set about planning to save their friend.

From watching the trailer, you could be forgiven for expecting Winnie the Pooh to be an absolute joy, a charmingly whimsical reintroduction to characters beloved from your childhood that also continues Disney’s latest winning streak, up there in quality with The Princess and the Frog and Tangled. Indeed, the trailer is a work of beauty, a gorgeously animated piece of nostalgia that – unfortunately – doesn’t translate to feature length.

Winnie the Pooh is an absolute treat, a glorious piece of character driven entertainment that positively sings in harmony with Zooey Deschanel…for about ten minutes. With a plot that struggle to fill a garden variety haiku, Winnie the Pooh boasts about as much plot as the shorts which precede it. The challenge of finding a new tail for Eeyore allows each character an opportunity to shine, to pander to the audiences childhood selves – current or past – but the characters, along with their relatively two-dimensional personalities, soon outstay their welcome. There are only so many times you listen to Pooh lament his lack of honey with a melancholy “bother” before the charm wears off.

Similarly, a number of the filmic quirks that impress in the trailer are overused during the finished feature. John Cleese, while lively as the interactive narrator, soon takes on the additional role of padding out proceedings, while Pooh’s inversion of the fourth wall is jarringly sporadic. A mid-movie hallucination provides a nice interlude from the monotony, but it takes a little more than whimsy to keep today’s audiences invested.

There is a lot to love, then, in Winnie the Pooh. The problem is that the trailer does a better job of presenting it than the feature film. With the property’s history best realised in cinematic shorts, the characters are simply too slight to sustain an entire film – brief though it is. What begins as a charming reintroduction to the Hundred Acre Wood slowly loses its hold after the twenty fifth “bother”.

P.S. They totally got Tigger’s voice wrong.


About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Winnie the Pooh (2011)

  1. Texie Baby says:

    I was hoping that Walt Disney Home Entertainment should newly restored and remastered all the Winnie The Pooh featurettes, The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh and The Book of Pooh as well as the original Winnie the Pooh puppet show made in 1983 for Disney Channel as well too in the future to capture new generations of fans of the Disney Winnie the Pooh character.

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