Movie Review: Winnie the Pooh

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Today was a new first for my children – it was their first experience watching a movie in a movie theater. Winnie the Pooh was just the film for this momentous occasion. It was the perfect fit – with a running length of 69 minutes, I was reasonably sure our toddler son would be able to make it through the movie and our soon-to-be-kindergartener was still young enough at heart to enjoy the classic characters.

Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to see a movie myself but I suppose I still have to consider myself naïve for assuming they would skip the movie previews for a children’s movie. After a few movie trailers, the short, The Ballad of Nessie was shown. It was a super-cute, simple story that reminded kids not to hide their feelings. Sometimes a good cry is exactly what you need.

On to the Main Feature

Winnie the Pooh began with a peek into Christopher Robin’s true-to-life bedroom. Christopher Robin is a collector of many things, but especially his stuffed animals. And with that introduction, we stepped into the pages of a classic Winnie the Pooh storybook as we followed this lovable bear and the other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Woods on their escapades.

Readers of the Winnie the Pooh Golden Books will notice a storyline similar to Pooh’s Grand Adventure. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger get themselves into a mess of trouble simply by being themselves. It’s a tale of friendship and problem-solving that is told using the style of the traditional illustrations in the Winnie the Pooh stories.

My only minor gripe is that I thought there were a couple of unnecessary instances of cartoon “violence.” You know the kind – no one gets hurt and the kids laugh. Nevertheless, it seemed out of place to me. My husband on the other hand, didn’t even know what I was talking about when I asked if a couple of scenes bothered him so it’s a personal opinion.

Disney is to be commended for the light hand they used when creating this film based on the beloved Winnie the Pooh stories. There weren’t any fancy tricks to “modernize” this timeless treasure. They didn’t stray from the simple and sweet nature of the characters and of the storytelling. They paid respect to the beautiful illustrations in the books by recreating them on the movie screen.

My two boys were mesmerized throughout the film. Winnie the Pooh has been part of their childhood and it seems appropriate that this was the film that marked another first in their life.

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