The gentle humor of Winnie the Pooh has been a childhood staple for almost a century. From the original A. A. Milne book in 1926 to radio, television, film and even philosophical adaptations like the Tao of Pooh, the little stuffed bear with a jones for hunny and his pals Piglet, Owl, Rabbit and Eeyore, is a pop culture superstar.
After years of new Pooh stories his latest big screen adventure, simply titled “Winnie the Pooh,” goes back to the source for its inspiration. Disney has woven together six chapters of Milne’s stories to form one satisfying whole.
The movie starts, as all great Pooh movies do—and there’s 51 of them to choose from—with Pooh searching for hunny. Along the way he helps Eeyore, the pessimistic stuffed donkey, find a replacement for his lost tail and searches for a mysterious creature called a Backson.
Directors Stephen Anderson and Don Hall have wisely updated the story—the pace is snappier than the classic 1960s cartoons—but kept the elements that have made Pooh an indispensable character for the under ten crowd. The gentle humor is in place, along with the beautiful water color backgrounds of Hundred Acre Wood and the voices so connected to the series (they’re done by different people now, but are true to style established by Walt himself).
Disney has done something special with this reboot; they’ve created a movie that feels modern without sacrificing its nostalgic charm. And at just over an hour “Winnie the Pooh” is geared to the attention spans of a young audience.