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Ronita Torcato

A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai


Winnie the Pooh movie review

Winnie the Pooh
Starring (voices of): John Cleese, Jim Cummings, Craig Ferguson, Bud Luckey, Travis Oates, Tom Kenny, Jack Boulter, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Wyatt Dean Hall
 Directors: Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall
Did you know Snow White and the seven dwarfs is being reinvented on film as a story about an international  band of deadly fighters who are "saved" by the damsel in distress? Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers became gnomes in Disney's version. When very many kiddie's films have begun to emulate adult productions, it is refreshing to find  a winner in Winnie the Pooh, Walt Disney Picture's  big-screen adaptation of A.A. Milne's much loved characters..
 I should  point out at the outset,that those fed on a diet of  frenetic action, may write off  the film.
Speaking for myself, I found it quaint and  delightful. It's short and the perfect length for small fidgety children. Best of all, I liked the  really lovely artwork, hand drawn you should know, in an age where CGI rules. And the subtext of the power of words. Lots of people, ittle children included, are poor spellers and Pooh, the 'huny' loving bear  ( Jim Cummings)   is a champion mispeller.
Pooh, silly and adorable, is the central character, but the rest of the gang from the  Hundred Acre Wood -  the self-absorbed  Owl (Craig Ferguson) Tigger (voiced  by Jim Cummings again )  Piglet (Travis Oates) Rabbit (Tom Kenny), Eeyore the morose donkey (Bud Luckey), momma Kanga (Kristen Anderson-Lopez) and baby Roo (Wyatt Dean Hall), play important parts as well in the adventure which begins when Eeyore's tail goes missing. ( It reminded me of a game we played as children "tailing the donkey")
Anyway, Christopher Robin (Jack Boulter) and the animals hold a meeting  and announce a contest to find a tail. The  grand prize is a  pot of honey.But the inability to understand  a note left by Christopher,  sparks fears of an (imaginary) monster, the Backson which reminded me ( there I go again)   of the irritating beasties in Jain and Buddhist texts. 
Pooh's scriptwriters highlight the power of language.(Remember how we were explained the difference between would and wood ? Words get Pooh and buddies into trouble  And words save them.( Dig the scene where the animals make a ladder of words to climb out of a pit) 

All in all, it's an enchanting film bookended with live-action  and  judicious fusion of text with storyline, not to speak of interaction between Pooh and the narrator (John Cleese).
There are lots of songs too, with an appropriately retro touch, unfortunately none of them are memorable. What does stay on the mind though, as in many fairy tales, is that  life  in the woods is far from hunky dory. The animals encounter(and indulge) in some violence but are saved by friendship and unity. Pooh (whose idea of heaven is being dunked in a lake of honey) yearns for the sweet golden gooey stuff throughout the narrative and constantly reminds viewers of his hunger. Yet, he chooses to resist honey in order  to help Eeyore. Bravo! 


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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai



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