Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin
|Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin|
2006 edition DVD cover art
|Directed by||Karl Geurs|
|Produced by||Karl Geurs
|Written by||Carter Crocker
|Based on||Characters created
by A. A. Milne
|Narrated by||David Warner|
|Music by||Carl Johnson|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Home Video|
|Running time||75 minutes|
Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (also known as Winnie the Pooh's Most Grand Adventure in some countries) is a 1997 animated direct-to-video film directed by Karl Geurs. The film follows Pooh and his friends on a journey to find and rescue their friend Christopher Robin from the "Skull". Along the way, the group confront their own insecurities throughout the search, facing and conquering them in a series of events where they're forced to act beyond their own known limits, thus discovering their true potential. Unlike the film's predecessors, this film is an entirely original story, not based on any of A. A. Milne's Pooh stories (although some elements derive from In Which Rabbit Has a Busy Day and We Learn What Christopher Robin Does in the Mornings from The House at Pooh Corner).
The film received generally mixed reviews due to its dark themes and imagery, which also resulted in its release as a direct-to-video feature film. However, it is also the first Winnie the Pooh film ever to have its own special edition.
The story begins on the last day of summer. Christopher Robin is unable to tell his friend Winnie-the-Pooh some sad news, and leaves him with the advice, "You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think," but Pooh doesn't clearly understand. The next morning, Pooh discovers a honey pot with an attached note - however, he cannot read it himself after getting honey all over it. He goes around to his friends Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit and Eeyore, and none of them are able to read it since it is covered in honey, so they ask Owl for help. From misinterpreting the note and his own romantic imagination of adventure, Owl deduces that Christopher Robin has been taken to a distant, mysterious and dangerous land to a cave called the "Skull" against his will, owned by a ferocious and unknown beast who dwells in it, the "Skullasaurus". Owl equips the group with a map and sends them into the "Great Unknown" of the Hundred Acre Wood after he describes it in a song and dropping them down a trapdoor, warning them of the Skullasaurus.
Pooh and his friends travel through four woods, a thorn cave, a flower field, a high up hill, and a foggy area and slowly begin to realize just how helpless they are without Christopher Robin in the outside world. Piglet, Tigger, and Rabbit come to believe they don't have the courage, strength, or intelligence respectively to go on; Piglet is abducted by a swarm of butterflies in a tranquil field, leaving him feeling weak and helpless; Tigger plummets into a deep gorge and is unable to bounce out to safety, causing his friends to fall with him, and Rabbit continuously makes poor leadership decisions following Owl's inaccurate map. Pooh tries to comfort them each with the advice Christopher Robin had given him, but fails due to his inability to remember exactly what he said. When Rabbit finally breaks down, admitting he has no idea where they are going, the group comes to terms with the fact that they are lost and helpless without Christopher Robin, and take shelter in a nearby cave. While everyone is asleep, Pooh laments getting no closer to finding Christopher Robin.
In the morning, the five realize they'd spent the night in their destination: "Skull Cave", where Christopher Robin is supposedly trapped. The five split up to search for Christopher Robin on their own after coming across multiple paths. Pooh gets stuck in a small gap in the cave's crystals, and the four others tumble about to a ledge before finding the "Eye of the Skull" where Christopher Robin is. Believing Pooh to have been killed by the Skullasaurus, they demonstrate their courage, strength, and intelligence to reach the eye (Rabbit thinks up a plan to reach the "eye", Tigger bounces Piglet up to the high up ledge, and Piglet faces his fear of heights to toss a vine down to the others). Upon seeing his friends' bravery, Pooh excitedly frees himself from the crevasse, only to hit a rock wall and slide down into a deep pit, with no way out. While there, he realizes that Christopher Robin is still with him in his heart, even when they are not together, just as Christopher had promised. After Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger and Eeyore make their way up to the eye, they encounter Christopher Robin (after mistaking his shadow for a monster), who is alive and well. He explains he was only at 'school', also realizing that Owl missed some of the words on the note (meaning that their adventure was unnecessary) and the Skullasaurus is actually the noises of Pooh's stomach.
Christopher Robin then rescues Pooh from the deep pit with a large honey pot (but the honey pot that Pooh had with him for the whole adventure is left behind in the pit). The six exit the Skull Cave, only to discover that from the outside, it and all the other locations on the map weren't nearly as big, nor as scary as they seemed. They return home, and that evening, Christopher Robin says he will return to school the next day. Pooh declares that he will always be waiting for him, and the two happily watch the sunset, knowing they will always have each other in the sanctuary of the Hundred Acre Wood.
- "Forever and Ever", Performed by Jim Cummings and Frankie J. Galasso
- "Adventure is a Wonderful Thing", Performed by Andre Stojka
- "If It Says So", Performed by Ken Sansom
- "Wherever You Are", Performed by Jim Cummings
- "Everything is Right", Performed by Jim Cummings, Dylan Watson, Ken Sansom, Steve Schatzberg, Andre Stojka, and Frankie J. Galasso.
- "Wherever You Are" [Reprise] (End Title) Performed by Barry Coffing and Vonda Shepard
- Jim Cummings - Winnie-the-Pooh / Skullasaurus / Tigger (Singing voice and Uncredited)
- John Fiedler - Piglet
- Ken Sansom - Rabbit
- Paul Winchell - Tigger
- Peter Cullen - Eeyore
- Brady Bluhm - Christopher Robin
- Andre Stojka - Owl
- Narrated by David Warner
Pooh's Grand Adventure has garnered much less praise than its predecessors. It has received generally mixed to negative reviews from critics. Most criticism was geared toward the film's dark imagery and subject matter, which was deemed too frightening for younger viewers. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 38% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 8 reviews, making it unique in that it became the first and only Pooh film to earn a "rotten" certification, and also the only direct-to-video Pooh film to have a score at all. George Blooston of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C grade, calling it "treacly" and criticised its lack of "grown up-wit [and] child psychology" that made The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh a classic. Reviewer Ellen Rosen criticised the film's plot as being "meaningless", and she commented that "eighty percent of its scenes are scary." David Nusair of Reel Film Reviews called the film "tedious", and Alex Sandell of Juicy Cerebellum felt that Disney "sucked with [it]."
Not all reviews were negative. For instance, Siskel and Ebert gave the film "Two thumbs up" in their review. Jane Louise Boursaw of Kaboose gave the film a positive review, praising the film's songwriting and animation. John J. Puccio of Movie Metropolis was also positive; while he admitted that it is more "adventurous" than Milne's stories, he felt that this was compensated by the film's visual appearance and "unaffected charm."
- Kanga, Roo, and Gopher were absent in the movie. Kanga and Roo were originally going to appear in the movie, but were cancelled.
- This is the first time Brady Bluhm voiced Christopher Robin.
- This is also the first time Andre Stojka voiced Owl, replacing the death of Hal Smith who died on January 28, 1994.
- This was the last Winnie the Pooh film in which Paul Winchell voiced Tigger. However, it was not the last time Winchell voiced Tigger. His last time where he voiced Tigger was in A Valentine for You (Though Winchell played Tigger one more time in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland, While Jim Cummings voiced Tigger in Critter Country at Disneyland in Disneyland Resort). Winchell was originally to voice Tigger again in The Tigger Movie in 2000, but his voice became too scratchy. So he was replaced by Jim Cummings, the voice of Pooh. After The Tigger Movie, Winchell Retired in 2000 and died on June 24, 2005. Following Winchell's retirement Cummings permanently took over the role of Tigger starting with Sing along with Pooh Bear in 1999.
- There was some negative criticism regarding this film, Some believed the mild horror elements were too scary for young children, Such as the scary Skullasauraus growls which was Pooh's tummy growling, falling down the long gorge and the creepy skull cave but others thought this just helped make the great movie it is.
- Frank Welker was originally going to voice the Skullasauraus Growls but he was replaced by Jim Cummings, who also voices Pooh.
- Parts of the plotline of this movie (namely the presence of Skull, along with other aspects) were adapted for the 100 Acre Wood world in Kingdom Hearts II.
- Even though the original 1997 videocassette of Pooh's Grand Adventure was not part of the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection, the video does contain the collection's logo at the start of the film as a mistake.
- When the DVD special Edition was going to be released, The bonus short "Pooh Skies" (From The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) was originally going to be on it, but changed the bonus short to "'Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day'".
- This film has two remixes by Pogo in 2011
- Many places were used by Owl in the Hundred Acre Wood that wasn't included in the books: the Upside Down Rock, the Forbidden Mountains of the Far North, Skull, the Peaceful Spot, the Biggest Woods of All, and many others.
- Pooh's Grand Adventure - Entertainment Weekly
- Brady Bluhm#Filmography
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin|
- Official website
- Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin at the Internet Movie Database
- Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Pooh's Grand Adventure DVD Review and Pictures at UltimateDisney.com