Who's Voices A re in It: John Cleese, Jim Cummings, Bud Luckey, Craig Ferguson, Jack Boulter, Travis Oates, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Wyatt Dean Hall, Tom Kenny, Huell Howser
The Basics: Well, Hundred Acre Wood is bustling with activity yet again, and if you can believe it, all of our old friends find themselves in the middle of a huge misunderstanding that causes scares, laughs, and a ton of work that wouldn't have been done otherwise. At first, Pooh just needs honey and Eeyore needs a new tail, but when it appears as though Christopher Robin has been kidnapped, the entire population of the magical forest joins the crusade to get him home safely.
What's The Deal: I had no idea how much Winnie the Pooh meant to me until I saw this film. I remember sitting in front of the TV, thinking Kanga was the best mom ever and that Winnie had better do something about his "hunny" problem. In fact, it could very well have been an episode from yesteryear and you would never know it. Since it runs only about 70 minutes and is packed with laughs and great songs (thank you, Zooey Deschanel), it could even have been longer. I loved this movie, and now officially consider myself a duel citizen of Hundred Acre Wood.
Nostalgia Without Irony: Winnie the Pooh has always been postmodern without being irritatingly pleased with itself. Disney stuck to what made this series one of their most successful and didn't try to make it hip and new. For this, I send them the warmest gratitude, because the material is universal and timeless. It was lovely to see the vibrant-but-foresty palette of the Hundred Acre Wood in 2D with no glasses to dull my experience, too. The characters interact with the book their stories came from (quietly referencing the 1926 source material by A.A. Milne), which adds to the charm instead of feeling like Disney is winking at you and counting their money.
Hindsight: I was so taken by the charming whimsicality of this movie that it took me awhile to realize that if these stuffed animal's personalities are constructs of Christopher Robin's brain, he must be exposed to some seriously colorful adults. Winnie overeats, Tigger has ADD, Eeyore is seriously depressed, Piglet is an enabler with low self esteem, Owl and Rabbit are neck-and-neck for worst superiority complex, and Kanga is a chronic worrier who has me concerned about her adrenal glands. Just a thought.
Parents, Beware: I am passionate about proper spelling, and even when I was a kid, I was distressed at the perpetual misspelling of everything in this series. Yes, I know our characters have stuffing for brains, and it's meant to be cute and innocent, but I know there's a kid out there that had to be harangued until they realized the proper direction of the letter R, and that tail is not spelled with an E.