FIRST: Have you entered yet to win signed copies of Lauren Oliver's BEFORE I FALL and DELIRIUM? Go here to do it now...
I love Winnie the Pooh.
Actually, I should clarify: I'm not a fan of any of the TV series, or the "New adventures" spin-offs. I'm talking about the original Pooh - the books by A. A. Milne, and the classic "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," a compilation of three shorter Disney films about Pooh's adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood. I grew up laughing at Pooh's quirks, Tigger's exuberance, and Rabbit's inattentive bossiness.
So, you can imagine how excited I got when I saw this trailer:
I couldn't wait to share this with my kids, and they, fans of the original classic that they are, couldn't wait to see it. So we went this week, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. The animation is perfect, the humor is clean and pitched perfectly at the intended audience, and, most importantly to me, it is true to the original stories. There were no explosions, or high-speed chases, or war-machines. This movie is innocent - the way most children, in their hearts, really are. It finds its way through moments of joy, and fear, and laughter, and loneliness, as honestly as any little girl or boy left to his own devices with a handful of stuffed animals would, without the stuff and fluff of hyped-up battles and souped-up guns. My boys - especially my 8-year-old - giggled and guffawed through the whole thing.
My kids did notice a few differences: this film's Rabbit wasn't at all the same as the original one, being much more actively bossy and much less likely to slump against the wall moaning, "Why, oh why does it always have to be me?" They re-used the old joke about Pooh misinterpreting "issue" for a sneeze, but this time the characters got pretty deeply into explaining what they really meant. Everyone was a little more wordy than before, and as a result, the film lacked some of the subtlety of the original.
But that didn't take away from its appeal - a truly "G"-rated movie for the young children of the 21st century. And if the other animated movie released this summer by Disney is any indication of where things are headed, it may well be the last one ever. Better see it while you can.