Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, Ken Sansom, Peter Cullen, Paul Winchell
Director: Karl Geurs
Series: a Winnie the Pooh Movie
Release Date: 5 August 1997
Length: 76 minutes
Movie Rating: G
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“It’s time for Christopher Robin to go to school, but he’s reluctant to break the news to best buddy Winnie the Pooh, and he finally leaves a note. Misunderstanding the situation, Pooh believes Christopher needs to be rescued from Skull Island. So he gathers the gang – Tigger, Piglet and Rabbit – and they’re off to the rescue! Filled with delightful songs and animation, this Disney tale features the voices of Brady Bluhm and Peter Cullen. ” — Netflix.com
Well, as you know, I am a huge Winnie the Pooh fan so, of course, I loved this movie! I just thought it was adorable. Children will assume that Pooh is really off on a mission to rescue Christopher Robin, but adults will know that it is a misunderstanding and that Christopher Robin was never really lost at all! This leads to all kinds of humorous situations and tongue-in-cheek scenes that I believe were created especially for an adult audience so that parents can enjoy watching this movie with their children. For example, Rabbit is determined to follow the map that Owl created, no matter where it leads. At one point, Rabbit asks, “Who are you going to believe? This official map or your own eyes?” The way he says it makes it clear that you would be a fool to trust your own eyes and that following a map is always the way to go.
I loved the little adventure that Pooh and his friends go on. There is plenty of action for the younger crowd what with all of the struggles and challenges that Pooh and friends find along the way. Tigger feels that his tail has lost his bounce, Piglet is sure that he will be too scared to help once the time comes, Rabbit doesn’t feel smart enough to lead the expedition but doesn’t want to admit it, Eeyore feels like the search is doomed to failure, and Pooh simply cannot remember what Christopher Robin told him the last time he saw him. I especially enjoyed the triumphant return back to Pooh’s house at the end, when you see all of the obstacles that they faced the way that they really are (a log suspended over a canyon miles high is actually only a few inches off the ground, etc.).
This movie offers some positive messages about change being good; you are smarter, braver & stronger than you think you are; friendship really can last forever; and challenges are difficult when you are facing them, but they are not so hard once you have passed through them. With several upbeat, fun songs to accompany the adventure, this is a movie that will be enjoyed by young children and Pooh fans of all ages!
The DVD version contains a featurette about the making of the music for the movie for children. It discusses different kinds of instruments and how they are layered together to create a final song. “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day” (part of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) is also a special feature on this disc. When you watch the original Winnie the Pooh movie and then see this one, you can tell that there is a huge difference in the animation and voices for the characters, but I thought the updates were appropriate and they did not really bother me.
This movie contains some very mild action sequences including falling long distances, hearing strange noises, and traveling through rugged terrain with snapping flowers. Appropriate for viewers of all ages.