When I first got offered a review disc for Disney’s Winnie The Pooh I have to admit to not being exactly over-awed at the idea. I can remember the original cartoon from when I was a child & I failed to see what could be added or improved upon. But, facing up to the fact that with two young daughters we’re probably EXACTLY the perfect target audience for the film, I thought “Why not”. Which was without too much time passing, my wife & I found ourselves sitting down to watch the film with our daughters (for point of reference, we have an 8 year old & a 7 year old). But is it a case of yet another fantastic family film from the House of Mouse or was it a big disappointment?
Winnie The Pooh, a bear with very little brains but a big hunger for honey, helps his friends to find Eyeore’s missing tail, rescue Christopher Robin from the mysterious “Backson” and has a really big adventure.
Impressive for a bear who was just looking for some honey!
Sitting down to watch this with my family, I wasn’t entirely sure what we would be seeing. Sure, I knew it was going to be “family friendly fun” but what I wasn’t sure what it would actually be like. So I was a little surprised when it turned out that this “new” Winnie The Pooh film would be almost exactly like the one I can remember watching when I was young.
I suppose I should have expected it, seeing as the film is based on five of the original stories, but it never even occurred to me.
But saying that, it managed to mix in some new sequences (like a pretty trippy dream sequence involving Winnie the Pooh & honey!) to make it also feel a little fresher.
And my children didn’t notice, as they’d not seen the original film so it was all fairly new to them anyway.
The animation is sublime, and while it might not be comparable to the state of the art CG work of Pixel it still brought to life these characters and looked exactly like it should – drawings in a book come to life, with some really clever visual touches to show that this is a story book come to life, and the “new” elements that have been introduced worked really well as well.
To be honest, there isn’t much more I can say – the voice work is all done very well, with great narration from John Cleese & the rest of the voice cast bring effortless life to their characters and the songs, which didn’t make me want to punch a hole in my TV, got my daughters singing along (as they knew them from the Disney Channel).
Look, I’ll be totally honest – give me a horror film or an action film & I’m well away. I find it easy to review them, for some reason, whereas I find it a lot harder to review kids films. I’m not sure why, I just do! So let me sum this film up by letting you know what my daughters said. My eight year old said “I enjoyed that” when it finished while my 7 year old said “That was the most fabulous film I’ve ever seen!” so I think that means that the target audience appreciate what Disney did with this, and it has created a new generation of fans of Winnie the Pooh.
When all is said and done, as a parent, what more can you ask for from a family film?