Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Winnie the Pooh
Genre: Animation, Family
Question: Do you ever get those days, weeks maybe, when nothing seems to cheer you up much? Life as adult isn't easy sometimes with thoughts of responsibilities and more that can overwhelm you. Do you dream of a simpler time when such worries were like the following: hoping twilight would last longer so you can catch more fireflies; figuring out how to hide most of the lima beans in your napkin or under the mashed potatoes; or begging on bent knee to stay up to see Tatoo yell "Da plane! Da Plane!" Yep, me too.
Well, I am here to tell you I magically transported back to my youth today when I took my kids to see the latest Winnie the Pooh movie.... Okay, I admit I really wanted to see it and I dragged my kids so I didn't seem like a crazy middle-aged lady seeing a kid's movie by herself. I needed a movie like this. No superheros, no people falling in or out of love, and no mystery/thriller would have made me happy. (The fact that my son didn't beg me on bent knee to see Captain America still shocks me though.)
We walked into the theater and my kids were the oldest children, by far, and I may have even been the oldest Winnie the Pooh fan there but I didn't care. I was ready to forget about the outside world for the next hour or so.
Previews came and went and then in traditional Walt Disney fashion there was a short: The Ballad of Nessie. A sweet Scottish tale of how Nessie came to live in the Loch. Billy Connolly narrated the poem and the screen had tartan patterns popping up everywhere. A little cliche but I loved it. Its animation was just like the cartoons I grew up watching. I was content for the first time in weeks.
The short ended and the main attraction started. Again, the animation was a throw back to my youth and I couldn't have been happier. John Cleese started the film with his narration with waking or trying to wake up Pooh and soon the adventure started. All the cast of characters were there: Pooh, Tigger, Roo, Kanga, Owl, Christopher Robin, Rabbit and my favorite, Piglet. Oh, and Eeyore, how can I forget him? Sorry, Eeyore.
Now there was nothing spectacular with the story or the art but it was a pure Winnie the Pooh tale. It was perfect. The lovable bear just wanted to find some honey while he and his friends got into some misunderstanding/adventure in the 100 acre wood. I was grinning ear-to-ear from beginning to end.
The band of friends showed that no one had to do something wrong to another to tell an interesting story. They worked together to help a friend and in the most sincere way. All anyone wanted to do was be a friend. So simple but so powerful. This is a tale I want my children to witness time and time again.
This was a musical - of sorts with some quirky but toe-tapping tunes only Disney can compose. But what got me grinning was that I felt like a kid again. You could see the hand-drawn animation with no one trying to convince me to wear 3D glasses or sit in the larger IMAX screen just so the studios could make a few extra.
To me, this may have been someone's idea that simple is good and nostalgia is what sells because nothing beats harking back to the days when you skinned your knee and a mother's kiss fixes it all. There is nothing wrong with that. Not one thing.
Grab your kids, grand-kids or even a date. This is a sweet movie that delivers and will shake those blues that hover over you.
My favorite thing: Piglet. Oh, and Tigger, too.
My least favorite thing: That is wasn't longer but I am not sure my cheeks could have handled smiling for more.
Length: 69 minutes
Review: 9 out of 10