I have to say that Winnie the Pooh haven't been much appealing to me like other Disney films and characters have. Mostly relegated to direct-to video market, Pooh is somewhat kiddie fare without much transcendance. Still, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) remains an endearing classic with excellent stories and appealing characters. The Many Adventures approaches Pooh in a very low-key manner but this is an excellent way to envision Pooh, a low key affair that nontheless provides good quality entertainment for everyone and that's why this film succeds where all the other Pooh films have failed.
When I heard that Winnie the Pooh was returning to theaters this year, I approached the news cautiously, as I said before, Pooh is not my cup of tea and aside from The Many Adventures is just not appealing to grown ups. Here in Latin America the now simply titled "Winnie the Pooh" premiered on May 6 (it opened in the States on July 15). I have to report that Disney Animation Studios did an excellent job with this film. Instead of a compillation of short films like its predecessor, this one takes some A. A. Milne original stories and mesh them in one single long film (although long is not the appropiate word because the film runs barely 70 minutes). Although it's not a compillation of shorts, the film feels a little episodic with Pooh & Co. stumbilng into one problem after another. I won't give away any spoliers but let me tell you that this film not only feels true to its original source, it also feels true to the original film. The same low key approach is seen here so don't expect a grand spectacle like last year's Tangled. The animation is remiscent of the original film with of course a newer quality on it. The characters are endearing and not obnoxious (except for the Owl but only in some scenes) and the Hundred Acre Wood retains that magic quality of the first film. Also the characters address the audience and the voice cast is remarkable. Kids will surely enjoy it and grown ups will also smile looking at this level of innocence and simplicity that will remind them what was to be a kid. The new songs are not memorable but serves the film right.
Video & Audio
Winnie the Pooh looks absolutely spectacular in HD. Detail, colors and contrast are exquisite in every scene, in every character. This is another top-notch transfer from Disney.
The 5.1 DTS-HD MA is also excellent. This is not a bombastic film but sound is great with no signs of compression and good directionality.
Winnie the Pooh does not come as packed as other Disney titles but has some good bonus material including:
"Winnie the Pooh and his Story too" is a kind of making of featurette of the film that is too short but still informative.
"Deleted Scenes": You have five deleted scenes each one with an introduction from the director.
Bonus Shorts: This BD comes with two shorts. The first one is "The Ballad of Nessie" that accompanied Winnie the Pooh in theaters, the other is Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Pooh's Balloon that features Pooh, Christopher Robin and a blue balloon.
You also have a sing along option, Disney's song selection and a featurette of how to create a Pooh nursery.
A DVD and a Digital Copy are also included.
Winnie the Pooh is a great film that breathes new life to the old bear. It has a lot going for it and I really recommend you give Pooh a chance especially if you have kids, you won't regret it. The BD features an amazing presentation of the film with stellar picture and sound and a healthy collection of bonus material. Highly Recommended!!