According to the special features on my WINNIE THE POOH Blu-ray, Pooh is second only to Mickey Mouse as Disney’s most recognized character. As a former cast member of Walt Disney World’s world famous Jungle Cruise, I can confirm that during my six month stint at the Magic Kingdom, many visitors from all over the world did seem to always be in search for the Hundred Acres friends.
It’s no surprise that Pooh is such a successful franchise. He was created by A.A. Milne as a collection of stories in 1926 and 1928. His son, Christopher Robin, had a beloved teddy bear that was the basis for Milne’s main character. Rumor has it that there was also a beloved donkey, kangaroo and tiger in the nursery of the Milne household.
I have to admit that I personally never understood the fascination with that yellow bear. But after watching WINNIE THE POOH, I can report that my adoration did grow. I blame it on our equal love and affection for honey.
Pooh discovers that Eeyore has lost his tail. After searching high and low, Christopher Robin decides that everyone must come up with a proper substitute for their gloomy friend. The winner will be presented with a huge pot of honey. Suffering from a constantly grumbling tummy (that resembled what I imagine Chewbacca sounded like when he was a baby wookie), Pooh was eager to find a suitable tail for Eeyore and win the prize. Of course, the process his hard for a bear with very little brain.
Tigger and Piglet command the second story line that includes the mysterious Baksun. The entire gang becomes preoccupied with this scary monster on the loose and work together to capture him by setting traps in the woods. Naturally, our fearless band of stuffed animals become trapped themselves and must wait for Christopher Robin to save the day.
There is a wonderful charm that surrounds the simple story of WINNIE THE POOH. John Cleese’s voice is immediately recognizable as the narrator. He does such a great job communicating with Pooh as the lovable bear walks across the letters of the story and jumps across the left page to the right page of the book so he can interact with the pictures. Pooh has the gravely voice of a friendly old man in a nursing home and is often as forgetful as one. It’s delightful.
The cast of characters we all know and love are all back in full force. Owl shares his infinite wisdom. Rabbit is bold and confident. Kanga and Roo provide sweet maternal dialog. Piglet is a nervous wreck. Tigger is a bouncing bundle of pure energy and Eeyore is as hum drum as ever. It’s a wonderful array of emotions and personalities that play off of each other beautifully.
WINNIE THE POOH is another classic Disney tail that will be treasured by current generations and generations to come. After all, who can’t relate to a boy and his love for a silly old bear?
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 1080p High Definition: Again, the word charming comes to mind. The book literally comes to life before your eyes on Blu-ray. It’s magical.
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1: The audio quality was excellent on this feature. (cue Chewbacca scream here)
Winnie the Pooh and His Story Too (8:33): This was an extremely interesting piece on the history of Winnie the Pooh. They explain how Pooh got his name and remind the audience that A.A. Milne only wrote two books about the bear. It’s a testament to the simplicity and the heart of the story that he’s still around today.
Deleted Scenes: Tummy Song, Rabbit’s Friends, Original Eeyore Intro, Original Tigger Intro, Pooh Searches for a Tail: I actually liked the last one and would have enjoyed seeing it in the movie.
THE BALLAD OF NESSIE (5:22): This is the true story about the Loch Ness Monster and has some incredible Scottish accents.
WINNIE THE POOH SING ALONG (length of film)
MAKING A WINNIE THE POOH NURSERY (2:52): It was as random as it sounds. I guess there are some die hard Pooh fans out there who would consider this is an awesome feature. I will show no judgment.