Winnie the Pooh is the final traditionally animated Walt Disney Animation Studios film. As the fifty-first film’s box-office disappointment proved computer animation was the way to go moving forward. The revival era was meant to keep both mediums, but it was only fitting for Winnie the Pooh to be the last. While technically a theatrical sequel to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh from 1977, Winnie the Pooh has made more media appearances than any other Disney franchise. Movies (theatrical & direct-to-video), TV shows, shorts, video games, you couldn’t avoid the silly old bear growing up. John Lasseter had no problem pitching the idea.
2D animation is really the only way to tell Pooh’s story. Using the same process The Princess and the Frog used, except character designs already existed. Unlike the more ambitious Tangled, 3D animation can only be found in a honey dream sequence. Like every single Pooh film, Winnie the Pooh is short and simple. At an unbelievably short 1 hour & 9 minutes, my brother and I didn’t even see it in theaters. Not that we didn’t want to. It just wasn’t playing in our theater. Winnie the Pooh is inspired by three A. A. Milne stories. The old fashion beginning in Christopher Robin’s room is a comforting sight. As is the opening of the book, theme song sung by Zooey Deschanel, and narration from John Cleese. The meta book interactions are more frequent than ever.
Pooh wants to eat honey, but he just can’t seem to win. Tigger wants to be a hero, Piglet is reluctantly happy to help, and Eeyore needs to find a new tail. Owl causes most of the film’s problems by mistaking Christopher Robin’s note for a monster called the Backson. Rabbit employs military tactics to trap him, Kanga shows motherly concern, and Roo interjects every once in a while. A misunderstanding and very little brain are their only obstacles to overcome. They’re just as sweet as ever, but they feel a bit cynical sometimes. Jim Cummings & Travis Oates were the only returning voices. While Bud Luckey, Craig Ferguson, Tom Kenny, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez replaced everyone else. The latter is one half of the Lopez songwriting duo. They provide cute and catchy songs for the brief outing. The catchiest ones being “The Backson Song” and “Everything is Honey.” Winnie the Pooh may be short, but it’s just nice to return to the Hundred Acre Wood.
Preceded by: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh