Winnie the Pooh (film)
|Winnie the Pooh|
US theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stephen J. Anderson
|Produced by||Peter Del Vecho|
|Story by||Stephen J. Anderson
|Based on||Winnie the Pooh
by A. A. Milne
|Narrated by||John Cleese|
|Music by||Henry Jackman|
|Editing by||Lisa Linder|
|Studio||Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Animation Studios
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios
|Running time||63 minutes|
Winnie the Pooh is a 2011 American animated musical film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 51st animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series (except in the UK where it is excised from the list, and Wreck-It Ralph is number 51). Inspired by the A. A. Milne stories of the same name, the film is part of Disney's Winnie the Pooh franchise, the fifth theatrical Winnie the Pooh film released, and Walt Disney Animation Studios' second adaptation of Winnie-the-Pooh stories. In the film, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Roo embark on a quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit while Pooh deals with a hunger for honey. The film is directed by Stephen Anderson and Don Hall, written by A. A. Milne and Burny Mattinson, produced by Peter Del Vecho, Clark Spencer, John Lasseter, and Craig Sost, and narrated by John Cleese.
The film was released on April 15, 2011 in the United Kingdom, and on July 15, 2011 in the United States. The film was originally planned to be released theatrically in Australia, but after a very brief run in limited cinemas in September 2011, it was instead released direct-to-video on October 5, 2011. Production for the film began in September 2009 with John Lasseter announcing that they wanted to create a film that would "transcend generations." The film also features six songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, as well as a rendition of the "Winnie the Pooh" theme song by actress and musician Zooey Deschanel.
The film is based on three stories found in the Milne books. Two stories are from Winnie-the-Pooh: "In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One" and "In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump". The other story is found in The House at Pooh Corner: "In Which Rabbit Has a Busy Day and We Learn What Christopher Robin Does in the Mornings". Some elements, such as the gang thinking that Christopher Robin has been captured by a monster, are based on events from the film Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin.
Pooh wakes up one day to find that he is out of honey. While out searching for more, Pooh discovers that Eeyore has lost his tail. Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, and Roo come to the rescue, and Christopher Robin decides to hold a contest to see who can find a replacement for Eeyore's tail. The prize for the winner is a fresh pot of honey. After many failed attempts for what would replace Eeyore's tail (such as a cuckoo clock), Kanga suggests they use a scarf, but it unravels.
The next day, Pooh goes to visit Christopher Robin and he finds a note that says "Gon Out Bizy Back Soon". Because Pooh is unable to read the note, he asks for Owl's help. Owl's poor reading comprehension skills lead Pooh and his friends to believe that Christopher Robin has been abducted by a ruthless and mischievous monster they call the "Backson". Rabbit plans to trap the Backson in a pit, which they think he'll fall into after following a trail of items leading to it. Meanwhile, Tigger, wanting a sidekick to help him defeat the Backson, recruits Eeyore to be a second Tigger. He dresses up like the Backson and tries to teach Eeyore how to fight. Eeyore, who is doing this against his will, escapes from Tigger and hides underwater.
After a failed attempt to get honey from a bee hive, Pooh's imagination combined with his hunger get the better of him, and accidentally falls into the pit meant for the Backson. Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Eeyore (who had found an anchor whilst he was hiding to replace his own tail) try to get him out, but fall in themselves. Piglet attempts to get Pooh and friends out of the trap (though continuously irritating Rabbit with overintrepretations of his instructions who is even more miffed on realisation that Owl would have gotten them out), but he runs into Tigger, still in his Backson outfit, and mistakes him for the actual monster. Piglet escapes from Tigger on a red balloon, which knocks some of the storybook's letters into the pit. After the chase, Tigger and Piglet fall into the trap as well, where Eeyore reminds Tigger that he, being "the only one", is "the most wonderful thing about Tiggers". Eventually, Pooh figures out to use the fallen letters to form a ladder, and the animals are able to escape the pit. They soon find Christopher Robin, and tell him about the Backson, but he clarifies, saying he meant to be "back soon".
Later, Pooh visits Owl only to find that Owl was the one that took Eeyore's tail, not realizing it belonged to Eeyore. Owl had been using Eeyore's tail as a bell pulley for his door. Pooh chooses to leave and return the tail to Eeyore instead of sharing a pot of honey with Owl. Christopher Robin is proud of Pooh's kindness and rewards him with a large pot of honey.
In a post-credits scene, it is revealed that the rumored Backson actually exists deep in the woods, but is much friendlier than imagined. He discovers the trail of objects that the animals left, and picks up each one, planning to return them to whoever owns them. He ends up falling into the pit that was originally meant for him and waits for someone to arrive and help him out. He adds, "I sure hope that fellow will be back soon".
- Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger
- Travis Oates as Piglet
- Tom Kenny as Rabbit
- Craig Ferguson as Owl
- Bud Luckey as Eeyore
- Jack Boutler as Christopher Robin
- Kristen Anderson-Lopez as Kanga
- Wyatt Hall as Roo
- Huell Howser as the Backson
- John Cleese as the narrator
Burny Mattinson, a Disney veteran who worked as the key animator on Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, served as lead storyboard artist for the film, with Stephen Anderson and Don Hall directing. Director Stephen Anderson is best known for his effort on Meet the Robinsons, Journey Beneath the Sea, Brother Bear, The Emperor's New Groove, and Bolt. Director Don Hall also has veteran status at Walt Disney Animation Studios, significantly contributing to The Princess and the Frog, Meet the Robinsons, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, The Emperor's New Groove, and Tarzan. Supervising animators for the film included Mark Henn (Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin), Andreas Deja (Tigger), Bruce W. Smith (Piglet, Kanga, Roo), Randy Haycock (Eeyore), Eric Goldberg (Rabbit) and Dale Baer (Owl). Similar to The Princess and the Frog, the film also uses Toon Boom Animation's Harmony software.
Originally, the film was supposed to feature five stories from the A. A. Milne books, but the final version ended up drawing inspiration from three stories. Lasseter had also announced that Rabbit's friends and relatives would be in the film, but they appear only in a deleted scene.
The movie was preceded by the animated short The Ballad of Nessie, which was about a friendly Loch Ness Monster named Nessie and how she and her best friend MacQuack, the rubber duck, came to live in the moor they now call home. In some international screenings, the episode "Cubby's Goldfish" from the Disney Junior series Jake and the Never Land Pirates also appeared.
The film was first released on DVD only on August 22, 2011 in the UK, where it does not fall under the numbered Animated Classic branding.  In the US, it was released as number 51 in the Animated Classics range on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Download on October 25, 2011. The releases included animated shorts The Ballad of Nessie and Mini-Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: "Pooh's Balloon", as well as deleted scenes.
Winnie the Pooh was critically acclaimed, with many praising the animation, voicing, script, and the musical numbers (notably "The Backson Song" and "Everything Is Honey"), but some criticising the very short film length. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 91% of 118 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 7.2 out of 10. Its consensus states "Short, nostalgic, and gently whimsical, Winnie the Pooh offers young audiences – and their parents – a sweetly traditional family treat." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 74 based on 26 reviews. CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film an A minus on an A plus to F scale.
Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times says the film "proves a fitting tribute to one of the last century's most enduring children's tales." The film has been praised for not only being able to charm the children audience but the parents as well. Roger Ebert, giving it 3 stars out of 4, said in his review "In a time of shock-value 3-D animation and special effects, the look of the film is gentle and pleasing. It was hand-animated, I'm told, and the backgrounds use a subtle and reassuring watercolor style. It's a nightmare-proof experience for even the youngest viewers."
While Platform Online stated that Winnie the Pooh's "handdrawn animation is such a welcome relief", it found the film's runtime length to be more of an issue, which it stated "At just 70 minutes, even aiming at kids this could have been longer – Pixar have been pushing films well over 90 minutes for years now, and it’s clear the children can handle it. Just as you really get into the film it's over, and you’re left wanting more."
The film was a moderate success at the box office, considering its opening being the same weekend as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, earning $7,857,076 in its opening weekend from 2,405 theaters, averaging about $3,267 per theater, and ranking No. 6 for the weekend. The film closed on September 22, 2011, with a final domestic gross of $26,692,846, with the opening weekend making up 29.44% of the final gross. It also has made $6,460,000 overseas, bringing its worldwide gross to $33,152,846, according to Box Office Mojo. The international grosses include $4.13 million in Japan, $1.33 million in Germany, $1.29 million in Poland, $1.18 million in the UK and $1.14 million in Russia.
|Annie Awards||Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Dan Lund||Nominated|
|Character Animation in a Feature Production||Andreas Deja
|Directing in a Feature Production||Don Hall & Stephen Anderson|
|Music in a Feature Production||Zooey Deschannel, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Henry Jackman, Robert Lopez|
|Production Design in a Feature Production||Paul Felix|
|Storyboarding in a Feature Production||Jeremy Spears||Won|
|Writing in a Feature Production||Brian Kesinger, Kendelle Hoyer, Don Dougherty, Clio Chiang, Don Hall, Stephen Anderson, Nicole Mitchell, Jeremy Spears||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||Animated Film|
|Online Film Critics Society||Best Animated Film|
|Washington D. C. Area Film Critics Association||Best Animated Feature|
|Winnie the Pooh|
|Soundtrack album by She & Him, Bud Luckey and The Cast of Winnie the Pooh|
|Released||July 12, 2011|
|Walt Disney Animation Studios chronology|
Hoping to find the right songwriters for their film, Winnie the Pooh directors Stephen Anderson and Don Hall sent visuals to five songwriting teams. The duo instantly fell in love with the demos returned by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Hence, the Lopezes wrote seven songs for the film, including "The Tummy Song", "A Very Important Thing to Do", "Everything Is Honey", "The Winner Song", "The Backson Song", "Pooh's Finale", and "It's Gonna Be Great". Zooey Deschanel performs three songs for the film, including a take on the Winnie the Pooh theme song, "A Very Important Thing to Do" and an original end-credit song "So Long," which was written by Zooey Deschanel and performed with She & Him band mate M. Ward.
In the trailer, the song "Somewhere Only We Know" by English alternative rock band Keane was used instead of the music written by Henry Jackman. The song by Keane is not included on the soundtrack. All musical scores and songs were composed by Henry Jackman, except as noted.
The song "So Long" was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media at the 2012 ceremony.
|1.||"Winnie the Pooh" (She & Him)||2:32|
|2.||"The Tummy Song" (Jim Cummings, Robert Lopez)||1:07|
|3.||"A Very Important Thing to Do" (Written by Robert Lopez, Performed by Zooey Deschanel)||0:47|
|4.||"The Backson Song" (Cast of Winnie the Pooh)||2:55|
|5.||"It's Gonna Be Great" (Written by Robert Lopez, performed by Bud Luckey and Jim Cummings)||2:05|
|6.||"Everything Is Honey" (Jim Cummings, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez)||2:00|
|7.||"Pooh's Finale" (Robert Lopez, Zooey Deschanel, and the Cast of Winnie the Pooh)||1:05|
|8.||"So Long" (She & Him)||3:28|
|9.||"Main Title Sequence / Winnie the Pooh" (She & Him)||2:24|
|10.||"Pooh Greets the Day"||2:46|
|11.||"Get You Tiggerized!" (Jim Cummings)||2:08|
|12.||"Woods and Words / The Backson Song"||3:41|
|13.||"Eeyore Needs His Tail / The Winner Song" (Cast of Winnie the Pooh)||2:08|
|14.||"Picnic and Beehive Chase"||2:26|
|15.||"Hundred Acre Spy Game"||3:34|
|16.||"Stuck in the Pit/Balloon Chase"||4:04|
|17.||"A Honey Happy Ending"||2:44|
|18.||"Winnie the Pooh Suite"||4:38|
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- Official website
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- Winnie the Pooh at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Winnie the Pooh at AllRovi
- Winnie the Pooh at Rotten Tomatoes
- Winnie the Pooh at Box Office Mojo
- Winnie the Pooh at Walt Disney Animation Studios