Winnie The Pooh

Winnie The Pooh


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Everyone has a soft spot for Winnie the Pooh. What's not to love about a soft, friendly bear with a passion for honey? If you're not a Pooh fan the chances are that you'll identify with his bouncy friend Tigger, morose donkey Eeyore or the loyal but timid Piglet. This new Disney film adaptation opens very promisingly with a beautifully decorated set - Christopher Robin's room, where all the original toys are sitting around. Unfortunately, once it segues into animation, the magic is lost, and what emerges is a film of very little brain.

Turning these much-loved stories into such a tedious, insipid film is really quite an achievement. Too long and in places quite scary for the small children who would otherwise like it best, this will bore to tears most viewers over six. It has a few nice ideas, following its characters across turns of the page in the original books, watching letters tangle and tumble around them as they go - but in that regard it's outclassed at every turn by recent French-Italian hit Eleanor's Secret.

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The inevitable songs are uninspired and rehash, badly, many an overfamiliar Disney theme. But worst of all is that the characters, who ought to be bursting with life, are weak, diluted imitations of the originals. It's not just that there's something slightly creepy about adult American voices filling in for childlike animals, it's that they're really very boring.

There's something to be said for going back to a simpler style of children's film, or at least offering an alternative to the high-impact glitterfests generally aimed at that age group today, but this offering will inspire no one.

It's said that the real Christopher Robin suffered from depression when he grew up because he felt his childhood had been stolen from him, being unable to distinguish between his real memories and the versions in the books. In this particular instance he would be safe, because nothing about this film is memorable.

Reviewed on: 14 Apr 2011
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Hungry for honey, Winnie the Pooh finds that he has a very important thing to do.
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Director: Stephen J Anderson, Don Hall

Writer: A A Milne

Starring: Jim Cummings, Craig Ferguson, John Cleese

Year: 2011

Runtime: 70 minutes

BBFC: U - Universal

Country: US


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