Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh wakes up one morning and realizes he's out of honey. As he wanders about, trying to find some honey to mooch, he learns that Eeyore has lost his tail. The Hundred Acre Wood gang hold a contest to replace the tail, but no one is able to find a suitable substitute. The next day, Pooh wants to visit Christopher Robin, but when he arrives at Christopher's place he finds a note. Unable to read it, who takes it to Owl, who announces that Christopher Robin has been kidnapped by the "Backson". Speculation about the mysterious Backson runs wild, and soon everyone is certain he is a vicious, ruthless monster. But Christopher Robin must be saved, so Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo must team up so create a trap and save their friend.
I was never particularly fond of Pooh, as you may recall from my review of the 1977 package film, so I wasn't all that excited when I heard that Disney was making an offical sequel. Even the knowledge that John Lasseter (director of Toy Story and Toy Story 2) was involved didn't really pique my interest. But I intend to watch all fifty-one of these Disney Animation Studio films, right? So Seanie took me to theatre to watch Winnie the Pooh.
Never have I been so pleased to be wrong about a movie. Winnie the Pooh was simply delightful. It picks up right where the 1977 movie left off, more or less - none of the supplementary characters from other Pooh movies like Darby or Lumpy the Heffalump are here - with two adventures from A. A. Milne's books. It uses the same book-based sight gags, with the letters almost becoming another character. In fact, I'd say the storybook format is even more integral to this movie, since the letters are used to solve at least one major plot point. The animation, too, looks more or less the same as the previous movie, only a little cleaned up. It's very comforting in its familiarity and gentle, watercolor palette.
But the movie is funny. And I'm not just talking about the bizarre sequence in which Winnie the Pooh has one of those "pink elephant" moments in which the entire world turns to honey and he bounces around singing about swimming in an ocean of honey. The dialogue is just, well, clever and full of stupid puns, delivered perfectly.
Piglet: [The gang is trapped in a hole, and they've sent Piglet to get them to get a rope. He returns with one - only to cut it up into six pieces.] And six! There! Now we can ALL get out!
Pooh: How very thoughtful you are, Piglet.
Rabbit: [loses patience] Good grief! Tie them together, Piglet! Can you tie a knot?
Piglet: I cannot.
Rabbit: Ah, so you *can* knot.
Piglet: No. I cannot knot.
Rabbit: [in disbelief] Not knot?
Pooh: Who's there?
Pooh: Pooh who?
(and the scene just goes on...)
The songs are equally charming. The movie opens with Pooh singing to his growling stomach in "A Pooh Bear Takes Care of His Tummy" and it just sets the mood for the rest of the film. Another song, "The Backson", is accompanied by brilliant chalk-drawings. It sounds great and looks great.
It's a short film, only about an hour long, and I liked that. Sometimes it's better to tell the story briefly, rather than padding it out with unnecessary scenes. (Pirates of the Caribbean 2 & 3, I'm thinking of you.) It allows the storyteller to really focus on the essence of the characters, and that definitely happens here. This is such a fun movie! I personally think it's the best one Disney's animation studio has done since Lilo and Stitch back in 2002.
Eeyore is sad that you haven't seen his movie yet.
See it and make him feel slightly less depressed.