Disney Classics #51: Winnie the Pooh

I’ve always had a soft spot for Winnie the Pooh and the other residents of the Hundred Acre Wood, largely because The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was a favourite video in my house growing up. For me, that will always be the best Pooh movie, but this one, from 2011, still captures the charm, imagination and character of the characters.

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Narrated by John Cleese, this tells the story of Christopher Robin’s friends as they discover a note which leads them to believe he has been kidnapped by a creature called the Backson, Owl having misread “back soon”.

Their imaginations run wild as they imagine all the terrible things that the monster will do (wake up babies, dig up plants, break china etc.) but they decide to set a trap to try and get their friend back.

Like all the Pooh stories this captures a real childlike sense of imagination and silliness, with Pooh at it’s heart the utterly charming bear of little brain. Obsessed with finding some honey he’s often oblivious to the difficulties he creates around him, but there’s no malice in him. He genuinely wants to help, even if he’s not always aware of how to do so.

The other characters, familiar faces, are equally lovable (aside from Owl, who I’ve never warmed to, the insufferable know-it-all). There’s a lot of humour and one scene where Rabbit, Pooh and Piglet muddle themselves over the word “knot” is genius, a delight of word play and increasing exasperation from Rabbit.

It leaves me with a warm feeling, a comforting familiarity and Christopher Robin’s imagination recalls the games of my own childhood. It’s a delightfully simple story, but it still manages to touch on themes like friendship and the powers of imagination, both as a good thing and as a bad, allowing fear to run wild.

Silly and sweet, this is just a joy to watch.

Disney score: 8/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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