Sunday, 7 August 2011

Film review: Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Winnie the Pooh is a film based on the Disney franchise of the same name, which was based on several stories by writer A. A. Milne. The movie is the first theatrical release based on the franchise since 2005's Pooh's Heffalump Movie, which drew double its budget and was a financial success. 

Film review: Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Winnie the Pooh is about the imaginings of a young boy named Christopher Robin. Christopher values his stuffed animals very highly, and finds himself imagning all sorts of adventures for him and them together. The movie follows a few short narrative threads and weaves them all together very well.
The film is targetted towards those familiar with the series already, bringing in characters without explanation to their origins and expecting you to already know. That said, it does bring a good sense of nostalgia if you are familiar with the series already, and it doesn't feel the need to try to re-invent itself at the cost of its integrity. You see a lot films based on old television shows and stories being released that change the series, bringing them into the new age. trying to make them fit with a broader audience, but that's not at all what happened with Winnie the Pooh. It retains the classic feel of the show, and doesn't sacrifice any of its integrity for the sake of making it fresh.
The music is good as well, featuring a variety of in musical songs and various re-hatches of classic tracks from the show. The voice acting is all done very well also, creating the vibe of the show.
That said, the only negative I could really find with this movie was its length. The movie clocks in at just over an hour including credits. It does what it needs to in that short time, but with ticket prices at the theatres so high, I can't really reccommend seeing such a short film unless you're a huge fan of the series. If you are, then this is an hour of vintage Pooh Bear. If not, then wait for it to come out on DVD or something. Or even rent it. But looking at it purely from a film viewer standpoint, and having grown up watching Winnie the Pooh, I really did enjoy this movie. Very much. The humor is well done and the art is classic.
Another thing to mention has to do with marketing. The people at Disney released it on the same day as the juggernaut Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. With projections and such a huge built in fan base, it was a bad idea to try counter-programming against Harry Potter. I'd like to know the marketing strategy behind it, because it does seem very ill advised.

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