REVIEW: Winnie The Pooh

The reputation from Walt Disney Pictures at making animated family feature films was dying after Tarzan was release, but now after Disney have released The Princess And The Frog, Tangled and now Winnie The Pooh, it has been rebooted and resurrected. The idea of a new Winnie The Pooh feature film was perhaps a bad idea to start off especially by trying to get the accuracy of the voices from the original actors, but after seeing it it truly is an absolutely fantastic family treasure that will warm your heart from start to finish and greatly honored the original cartoons.

There are many key reasons why this new Winnie The Pooh is so special. Thankfully they bought Christopher Robin back, they had a narrator telling the story again and the bond between him and the characters within and the fact that Disney decided not to go from 3D animation (like a lot of films we have seen in the past decade) but went back to original 2D animation. The effects were absolutely splendid and stuck to the effects in the older Disney films very well. There are uncertainties of whether Winnie The Pooh is classed as a musical or not seeing as it does involve songs, but like the films inThe Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, the songs within don’t flow with the events that go on or are going to happen within the film so, I perhaps would say that it is a musical.

The biggest risk in my opinion making this new Winnie The Pooh film was finding actors who aren’t only able to pull off voices that sound almost exactly like the actors in the originals, but also having said that, managing to still feel the magic and beauty within the characters. Jim Cummings had the honors of taking the leading role by not only providing the voice of Winnie the Pooh, but also the voice of Tigger. His voice portrayal of Pooh was perhaps the most accurate an actor could possibly pull off in comparison to Starling Holloway as Pooh as the original character. Due to this, Cummings pulled it off really well and despite knowing it is a different actor’s voice and after over 30 years, it is an honor to say that the magic within the character is still there. Therefore, it still feels the same cute and innocent character we saw from The Honey Tree, Blustery Day and Tigger Too. However, Cummings’ role as Tigger wasn’t entirely convincing because the great and late Paul Winchell’s portrayal of Tigger really is timeless and is the only actor who could have pulled off the voice of Tigger and expressing his character so perfectly. Cummings’ role wasn’t a bad attempt at all seeing as it is quite a trick to try and get the uniqueness of Winchell’s Tigger voice so accurately. So, it was still a satisfactory attempt.

I felt more than thrilled to find out that Christopher Robin was returning and despite that the animation of the character and voice was very different, he somehow seemed a lot younger. However, he was still that adorable, innocent and friendly little boy from the films years ago. Like Paul Winchell and Sterling Holloway, John Fiedler’s voice role of Piglet perhaps felt like only he could pull it off, but despite new voice of Piglet: Travis Oates wasn’t as convincing as Jim Cummings’s role as Pooh, it wasn’t a bad attempt at it at all (like Cummings’ as Tigger). Bud Luckey’s role tallies second most accurate voice portrayal (after Cummings as Pooh) in the film as he provides the voice of Eeyore. He still expresses the old gloomy, depressed and pessimistic donkey so brilliantly. Therefore, all critical acclaim is rightfully deserved towards the actors and their attempted voice portrayals in the film.

Steve Anderson has worked in Walt Disney feature Animation since 1995 and has only provided us with one film during that time: Meet The Robinsons, as well as providing voices in a few other recent Disney projects. He was chosen to work alongside Don Hall to direct this reboot so to speak, and because the Winnie the Pooh Disney adaptations are some of the pieces of Disney’s backbone, Anderson and Hall had plenty of weight on their shoulders. Together, they made this into a masterpiece from generations aimed for generations to come. The main reason why this is such a special film is that it is a film that mixes two generations and provides Disney’s true colours and what they are all about. So, due to that I don’t think there has been or will be a more innocent story than Winnie The Pooh for a very long time. The script was sublime and due to the very simple story, it at the same time made it feel like a great film for adults to enjoy as well as kids. In fact, teenagers and adults who grew up with the older cartoons would get more pleasure out of this than kids of this generation!

Overall, Winnie The Pooh is truly an enchanting and both visually and emotionally magical treasure from Disney that is my pick for Best Animated Feature at the 84th Academy Awards. It is more of a trip down memory lane than another breakthrough for Disney, although in ways it is just like both. Shamefully, a few people will not watch this due to its innocent story that is aimed towards kids more than adults, but it is truly a magical film that demonstrates what Disney is all about and it is a very easy film to fall in love with.


~ by SJMJ91 on 16/05/2012.

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