Winnie The Pooh ****

Running time: 73 mins  Certificate: U

Synopsis: Pooh and his friends search for a replacement tail for Eeyore, go on a quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary creature, while  Pooh sets out to find some hunny. Inspired by five stories from A.A. Milne’s books in Disney’s classic.

 

Walt Disney Animation returns to what it does best, a hand drawn feature inspired by five stories from A.A. Milne’s books. The film captures the spirit of the original Pooh films with the only difference being that the animators have used a more varied and vibrant coloured palette. 

They have kept all the elements that have worked previously from the use of the narrator (voiced by John Cleese) to the characters jumping from page to page to go places. While the catchy toe tapping music by Zooey Deschanel is in the style of the old songs, but has been given a slightly modern twist. 

The animation is as anyone would expect it to be, stunning and faultless. There is something about hand drawn animation that feels more impressive than most of the dull and sterile CGI animated movies that come out of Hollywood these days.

There is no real story or structure to the piece, it is just a series of threads which one way or another flow into each other. This is not really a problem as each tale is enjoyable and often funny. The story team was in fact headed up by Disney veteran, Burny Mattinson who worked on many animated classics. 

The voice cast are fantastic, especially Jim Cummings who gives a spot on impersonation of both Pooh and Tigger. While Craig Ferguson brings a funny dry wit to the character of owl.

A clever hand drawn short inspired by the classic animation by Disney in the 50’s and is narrated by comedian Billy Connolly also accompanies the movie. The Ballad of Nessie is about the Loch Ness Monster being forced from its original home by a tycoon intent on turning Scotland into a garish golfing theme park. 

Winnie The Pooh in itself is extremely short with only just over an hour of entertainment. But it is better that this whimsical, pleasant well made animated movie is this length rather than being an overlong mess. Both adults and kids alike could do worse than taking an enjoyable trip into the Hundred Acre Wood.

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

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