2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Silly old bear,
This review is from: Winnie the Pooh [DVD] (DVD)Like many other people, I have fond nostalgic memories of watching the original "Winnie the Pooh" shorts when I was a little kid. However, the Disney Corporation then spent many years systematically RAPING my childhood by putting out increasingly awful Pooh adventures, whitewashing all the characters, adding a bunch of NEW ones nobody liked, and even erasing Christopher Robin. SACRILEGE!
Fortunately, the 2011 "Winnie the Pooh" movie is a much more satisfying experience, especially since the story hearkens back to the original A.A. Milne stories. It has the slight tweeness that comes from TRYING to match the original's charm, and the musical numbers are pretty disposable, but it recaptures much of the atmosphere and childish chaos.
While on the hunt for honey, Pooh finds that Eeyore has lost his tail, leading to a contest among the Hundred-Acre Woods' inhabitants. The tail remains missing, and none of the substitutes really work. The next day, Pooh also finds that Christopher Robin has gone mysteriously missing, leaving behind a note: "Gon Out Bizzy Back Soon."
Since Owl doesn't read nearly as well as he thinks he does, he interprets the note to mean that Christopher Robin has been abducted by a monster known as the Backson. So Rabbit organizes an elaborate trap to catch the Backson, Tigger begins teaching poor Eeyore how to be a second Tigger, and Pooh continues his quest for HONEY. Chaos ensues.
Anyone expecting something as effortlessly charming and nostalgic as the 1960s/1970s Pooh adventures is going to be disappointed. "Winnie the Pooh" is consciously trying to capture that charm, so it sometimes gets twee. Also, the musical numbers are pretty much 100% padding, and are thoroughly mediocre.
However, the movie does feel like an earnest, genuine attempt to return to everything we loved about Pooh -- the omniscient narrator, the opening sequence, the movable letters, and the feeling of childish chaos (the "trap" for the Backson is a bunch of random objects leading to a pit). It's not a deep or intricate movie, but it is a pretty decent kids' movie.
As for the characters, they're mostly as you remember them. Piglet seems more terrified than timid, and Rabbit is a bit manic, but Owl is an endearingly pompous know-it-all, Eeyore is perpetually gloomy, Tigger is bouncy and wild, and Pooh is honey-obsessed and stuffed-with-fluff (especially in the head). Also, Christopher Robin is veddy veddy British.
"Winnie the Pooh" won't topple the original adventures as a classic anytime soon, but it does have considerable charm and energy -- little kids will probably enjoy it, and adults might not be too bored.