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Blu-ray Review: ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Offers Charming Take on Classic Character

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CHICAGO – Disney’s theatrical version of the classic A.A. Milne creation, “Winnie the Pooh,” was decimated at the summer box office by bigger, louder, and far more annoying family fare. Hopefully those of you with young ones in your family or those of you just young at heart will catch up with it because it was, without question, the best family film of the Summer of 2011. It’s a charming, delightful return to the Hundred Acre Wood that playfully offers what has always worked about these timeless characters.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0

The oddly episodic (and incredibly short at 63 minutes) film often plays like a TV special and I believe that’s what kept most ticket buyers from seeing it in theaters. People don’t like to pay for something they already own at home (which is why the Elmo movie didn’t do so well and why those working on the “Phineas and Ferb” movie should be nervous). And there’s no denying that “Winnie the Pooh” is familiar in a way that might make people who paid a small fortune to take their family to see it in the theater feel ripped off. Expectations are different on Blu-ray and DVD and I believe this sweet film is very likely to find a loyal audience there. It’s cute and fun, a perfect mix of physical humor for the little kids and lovely sentimentality to even touch the older ones.

Winnie the Pooh was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 25th, 2011
Winnie the Pooh was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 25th, 2011
Photo credit: Disney

“Winnie the Pooh” has always been about the simple things — friendship, community, imagination, and love. Working from five stories from Milne’s books, “Winnie the Pooh” remains very faithful to what has made the title character such an icon. Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Christopher Robin, and the rest of the gang appear in the same way that kids of several generations have imagined they would come to life. John Cleese narrates and She and Him (the band led by Zooey Deschanel) proves a perfect fit to provide the music. There’s not much critically to say about “Winnie the Pooh” — it aims for a sweet, short family adventure and it hits that target in nearly every way. I do wish the film was a bit less episodic and a bit longer, but I’ll return to it with my kids and one can’t say that about many, if any, other 2011 family movies.

Winnie the Pooh was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 25th, 2011
Winnie the Pooh was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 25th, 2011
Photo credit: Disney

Walt Disney Animation Studios proudly presents the wonderful new adventure, Winnie The Pooh. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood for a heartwarming original movie, and reunite with the beloved bear and his silly but steadfast friends for a magical family experience.

When sad old Eeyore loses his tail, Owl sends the whole gang — Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga and Roo — on a wild journey to help Eeyore and save Christopher Robin from the mysterious Bakson.

Inspired by five stories from A.A. Milne’s books and created in Disney’s legendary hand-drawn style, this all-new classic introduces one of the world’s most cherished characters to a whole new generation. Narrated by John Cleese and bursting with brand-new songs performed by Zooey Deschanel, this wonderfully whimsical film is a must-own for every family’s movie collection!

Special Features:
o Exclusive Winnie The Pooh And His Story Too
o Exclusive Sing Along With The Movie
o 5 Deleted Scenes With Director Intro
o The Ballad Of Nessie Theatrical Short
o Mini Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh: Pooh’s Balloon Short

“Winnie the Pooh” was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 25th, 2011. It is rated G.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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