A Classic Reborn: Winnie the Pooh 2011 Movie Review

My biggest kid’s media pet peeve? The modernization of classics.

See: Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, The Smurfs. [Groan]. The list goes on and on.  Hey Hollywood, don’t turn my childhood memories into shticky sight gags, fart jokes, and glossy computer animation. Just don’t.

Here’s where I compliment Disney. Take notice. This doesn’t happen very often. The new Winnie the Pooh movie was made in the 2nd decade of the 21st century but you wouldn’t know it. There are no Facebook jokes, celebrity voices, or pop culture references inserted to draw a cheap laugh from the adults in the crowd. 2011’s Winnie the Pooh could’ve been released during Eisenhower’s administration. Or Regan’s. From the vintage hue of Christopher Robin’s bedroom in the opening scene, to the narrator’s interaction with the chubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff, to the physical text of the book playing a co-staring role in the film, this is classic Pooh – pure and simple. Even the music, especially the numbers performed by Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward (known as the duo She & Him), which are new, is a throwback to post-WWII America. (Note: the poppy Keane tune used in the trailer below isn’t heard during the film itself). Check out Zooey on the adorable “So Long”.

The Bear and I, who were fortunate enough to get an advanced screening of Winnie the Pooh last week courtesy of Klout Perks and Disney, were enchanted by the time-tested cuteness of Pooh & Piglet and the less obnoxious versions on Tigger and a more-British Owl (not my favorite characters in the Hundred Acre Wood) who definitely seemed to be dialed down a few notches.

Get excited about a real family-friendly movie option, heaven knows we don’t get many of those these days.  The old, new Winnie the Pooh opens everywhere this Friday.

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