Inside Blu-Ray: Winnie The Pooh (2011)

WINNIE THE POOH

Rating: G
Running Time: 69 Minutes
Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Director: Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall
Starring the Voices of:  John Cleese, Jim Cummings, John Cleese, Bud Luckey, Craig Ferguson, Tom Kenny, Zooey Deschanel

Technical Details:

Visual: 1080p High Definition 1.78:1

Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish

Studio Synopsis:

Walt Disney Animation Studios returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie the Pooh. Featuring the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo – and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. “Ever have one of those days where you just can’t win, Eeyore?” asks Pooh. Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply set out to find some honey. Inspired by three stories from A.A. Milne’s books in Disney’s classic, hand-drawn art style.

My Theatrical Review of July 22, 2011 (4 stars out of 5)

“Winnie The Pooh” produced a smile on my face for the entire time I watched it and I simply got lost in it. In a movie world which is now defined by unnecessary and overpriced 3D releases, impressive but increasingly synthetic visual effects, and bigger, faster, louder, more, more, and more, “Winnie The Pooh” is simply perfect in delivering all of the elements which makes us movie fans in the first place.

The Extra Content:

Mini-Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Balloon
More in line with the types of “Winnie The Pooh” adventures I remember watching as a kid, “The Balloon” is a lift from “Winnie The Pooh and The Blustery Day” but your children will not care and be engaged with yet another story of Pooh attempting to remedy his hankering for some hunny.

The Ballad of Nessie
If you saw “Winnie The Pooh” in theaters, you caught this rather melancholy animated short of how Nessie, a Loch Ness Monster, found her new, creating the Loch Ness in the process.  A bit simple and surface-level, the short film plays like a bit of a half-realized idea that was wrapped up and tossed out in the hopes that it may catch on with the expected breakout hit, Disney and Buena Vista thought that they had with “Winnie The Pooh”.  “The Ballad Of Nessie” is fine, if rather unremarkable.

Winnie the Pooh and His Story Too
Narrated by John Cleese, who also narrates the motion picture, this making-of short is quite interesting and captures some of the quirky and endearing similarities of the feature film.  Interest in littler viewers will be fleeting, but fans of the film, and fans of any film in general, will enjoy peering behind the curtain and seeing how dialed in the filmmakers were to retaining a great number of qualities that appealed to fans in centuries past.  Winnie The Pooh is involved in the featurette as well and is blissfully confused as to what is happening in the documentary.  A nice little short.

Deleted Scenes
Introduced by directors, Stephen Anderson and Don Hall, you take a look at 5 deleted scenes including “The Tummy Song,” “Rabbit’s Friends and Relations,” “Original Eeyore Intro,” “Original Tigger Intro” and “Pooh Searches for a Tail”.  If you are at all interested in the film, these will be worth a gander for sure.

Sing-Along with the Movie
Allows you to follow the red balloon and changing word colors to seven song lyrics featured in the film.

Disney Song Selection
Songs featured are all found in the film – “Winnie the Pooh Theme Song,” “The Tummy Song, “A Very Important Thing To Do,” “The Backson Song,” “It’s Gonna Be Great,” “Everything is Honey” and “The Winner Song Finale”


Overall Thoughts:

The 2011 version of “Winnie The Pooh” is simply delightful.  I cannot think of a better film that families can sit down and enjoy together than this one.  More importantly and perhaps more effectively, the film plays young but never panders or tries to appeal to one age or demographic over any other.

The beauty of the film is that it simply is what it is – whimsical, funny, touching, and memorable.  Some may condemn it for being essentially three animated short films glued together by the novelty of A.A. Milne’s characters running around a storybook and getting tripped up by the letters, but the film is so much more than a gimmick.

Standing up to countless and repeated viewings, “Winnie The Pooh” is one of the finest animated films – no, one of the finer films in general, of 2011.

SHOULD I RENT IT?!?! – Yes.
SHOULD I BUY IT?!?! – Absolutely.