Friday, July 15, 2011

Winnie the Pooh - Oh, bother!

Movie Review
The best thing I can say about the new Winnie the Pooh movie, out today in the U.S., is that it's really short. Running time is a mere 69 minutes.

In interest of full disclosure, I have never been the biggest fan of the animated Pooh (though A.A. Milne's Pooh books are charming).  This movie features all the classic characters: Christopher Robin, Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, Owl, Kanga and Roo.  In the film, Eeyore loses his tail, Pooh is desperate for honey and then Christopher Robin disappears. And despite all this activity, the movie comes up short. It feels underwhelming, and certainly not worth plopping down $7 a head (matinee) or more to see in theaters.

The Good
(1)There were a couple of times in the film where I laughed out loud. These were amusing, charming moments. For example, most of the characters had fallen into the hole and were trying to persuade piglet to run through the dark scary forest to get help. Then owl flew out of the hole, gave a pep talk, and then flew back down to lament with the others about being stranded. This struck me as hysterical at the time. But, moments like this could be counted on one hand (using fewer than half the fingers on that hand).

(2) My 7-year-old son said he liked the film, which is good, because he can be a bit persnickety at times.

(3) The animation was lovely and creative. They interspersed the type written pages of the book with the film. So, at one point, Pooh walks over the words the narrator is reading. I liked this touch.

The Bad
(1) Despite being really short, it felt incredibly long. I wondered, gee, how much longer can they drag this thing out?

(2) It had moments that I was concerned might be scary for younger children. There's some confusion about a note Christopher Robin leaves. He ends it with "Back Soon."  Upon reading the note, Owl believes Christopher Robin has been kidnapped by the BackSoon monster. While Disney was certainly not trying to make this scene scary, I felt the monster, along with the music, could be perceived by some kids as scary.  Parents have to judge for themselves. Others said they didn't feel the monster was particularly scary.

(3) My 4-year-old daughter didn't like it, which is not good, because she's usually fairly easy to please. Though, this may have been related to the Backsoon monster, as she will say she didn't like a movie if there was something that scared/upset her in it. For example, she didn't like UP (in that movie, the most likable character portrayed up to that point dies about 6 minutes into the film; later a pack of wild, voracious dogs chase the main characters).

That's all for today. Hope you have a great weekend. And don't forget to check our calendar listing if you're looking for something to do this weekend.

-Hyattsville Mom

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