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Movie Review: Old school Pooh fans will find much to love about Disney’s Winnie the Pooh

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By Kevin Yee

Fans of the original Winnie the Pooh movie from 1977 will find much to love about the 2011 movie, which shares the same name but has all-new content. It channels its predecessor in ways both small (the hand-drawn, not quite perfect animation) and large (the individual tics and attitudes of each character).

Like the original movie, the humor is gentle and sweet, designed to appeal to children on the surface, but with a mild undercurrent that are aimed at adults. Director Don Hall says that was intentional. “We want everyone to realize that Pooh isn’t just a film for preschoolers. It’s something that resonates with everybody. They can find entertainment in any of the characters and will actually see themselves in these characters.”

New narrator John Cleese keeps up the tradition of interacting with the characters on screen. Viewers will be delighted to discover that Pooh and the others still bounce around the page and dangle off the letters-in fact, the letters play a major part in the plot at one point.

There are all-new songs in the movie, written by Bobbie and Kristen Lopez, the married duo behind the music of the hit play the Book of Mormon, as well as the hit musical Finding Nemo at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The new music is catchy, though it’s not as instantly memorable as the original songs (but really, can anyone compete with the Shermans, the sibling duo who composed music for the first movie?)

The movie isn’t full of outsized guffaws, though don’t be surprised if you chuckle every so often, and if you’re like me, you’ll laugh at loud at one particular rapid-fire series of puns. Mostly you’ll just revel in the chance to revisit these old friends; it’s quite a bit like coming home. Your kids are likely to be equally entertained. Both my 8-year-old and 4-year-old sons watched raptly and later reported they quite enjoyed the movie. The younger one, in fact, volunteered that it was better than Cars 2.

Meet Winnie and friends at Walt Disney World
After the movie, why not bring your kids to meet the characters at Walt Disney World? Winnie the Pooh and his friends can be seen in a few places around the resort.
At the Magic Kingdom, a meet and greet location between the teacups and the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway is home to a rotating gang of characters from the movie. The same characters appear at a buffet in the Crystal Palace-but make reservations, as this place fills up without fail.Plus you’ll want to take a spin on the Winnie the Pooh ride. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can meet the characters at the Disney Animation building. You’ll find them at the Character Landing, not far from Flame Tree Barbecue, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Lastly, to catch them at Epcot, you’ll have to peek into the United Kingdom pavilion in World
Showcase.

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5 comments

Tim July 12, 2011 - 7:40 pm

As far as I know Kristen Lopez did not work on The Book of Mormon. Trey Parker and Matt Stone worked with Robert Lopez on the musical.

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