Pooh's Heffalump Movie


Reviewed by: Stephanie Wolfe Murray

What is it that makes Winnie the Pooh and his friends so lovable? Well, film aside, it has to be their creators, A A Milne and Ernest Shepherd. It is hard to think of a more glittering and lasting collaboration. You can't have one without the other - Milne's quiet wit peerlessly complemented by his illustrator. And does this partnership translate itself successfully into Disney's film about Heffalump? Up to an extent, yes.

I give director Frank Nissen full marks for creating the very essence of the English countryside, the gently undulating meadows, the hedges and the big, slightly sinister woods, with trees that seem to tower over small creatures.

How about the characters and the storyline?

There's Roo, Kanga's baby, the star of the show. He's a bright wee thing, energetic, adventurous and longing to do everything and more. His mother looks the part, although their relationship touches on a sickly sentimentality entirely lacking in the books. Does it matter? For me it did.

Then there's Rabbit, who likes to be the boss. It's sad for him that he's actually a bit dense, but he stays true to his role. And Pooh himself? In this film, he is not a very important character and it would be unkind to quibble. He's OK and there are plenty of scenes involving his honey jars lest we forget.

Eeyore the donkey is wonderfully eccentric, plodding along with all his possessions on his back, including the kitchen sink. And Owl, Piglet and Tigger? They are just there, but not in leading roles, although it has to be said that nice, thick Tigger makes his presence felt. Everyone should have a Tigger.

One day, the animals come out of their woodland dens to discover great big round paw prints - scarily big - on the soft damp ground. It must be the Heffalump!

Roo has bright ideas about what to do, but Rabbit likes to be seen as the brains behind everything, and, besides, Roo is too young to be allowed on such a dangerous mission. Despite his mother's sweetness, the next morning the intrepid little creature sneaks off into the woods, while his older friends bumble about basically getting nowhere.

The outcome is a happy one. Roo finds a friend, the young Heffalump, who also finds his trumpeting voice, and the mothers find their little ones. There is plenty of slushiness about Roo and baby Heffalump's growing friendship and when they just want their mummies, it becomes a little nauseating.

The friends save the day, still bumbling about, with Rabbit managing to feel important to the last.

Reviewed on: 25 Mar 2005
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Pooh's Heffalump Movie packshot
Roo goes hunting for a heffalump.
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Director: Frank Nissen

Writer: Brian Hohlfeld, Evan Spiliotopoulis, based on the books by A A Milne

Starring: voices of Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, Nikita Hopkins, Kath Soucie, Ken Sansom, Peter Cullen, Brenda Blethen, Kyle Stanger

Year: 2005

Runtime: 68 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


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Piglet's Big Movie
The Tigger Movie