Alan Smithee

Daddy Time #2 – Winnie The Pooh

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Being a fan of the yellowish teddy bear, I knew that I would enjoy this movie immensely, the trick was selling my oldest daughter on the premise of sitting in the theater and watching a movie featuring one of my all time favorite Disney cast of characters.

A little exposition for you guys out there, my first name (my wholesome Christian name of Christopher) comes from the character of Christopher Robin from this series and with that tradition remaining alive with my own children’s names as I’ve got an Olivia, a Madeline, and a Grace in the current roster with no plans on adding to the list…but you never know.

Since I’ve got the namesake of Christopher Robin as my own first name, I’m inextricably tied to this series in ways that the normal observer might not understand, so when the movie first started I won’t lie that I had tears welling in my eyes during the Zooey Deschanel rendition of the Winnie the Pooh song. Here was something that I grew up loving being passed down to the new generation. I’m sure many of you parent folk out there know that feeling well, but some of you non-kid-having people might not understand just how overwhelming that feeling can be when it hits you.

Ok, so there’s enough of the sob story of my pride in passing along my love for the characters in Winnie the Pooh, let’s get to the actual movie in earnest.

The film covers the many adventures of the characters that inhabit the Hundred Acre Woods, namely Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Owl (as they get the most attention). The most markedly different part of this film compared to the original is that we get less of a chapter by chapter rendition of A. A. Milne’s work and more of a single plot line that takes up most of the movie.

Basically instead of a mashup of featurettes, we get the plot line of Eeyore’s missing tail combined with Pooh being incredibly hungry. So in other words, it’s a very simple story, one that is perfect for little kids to understand. This isn’t to say that there’s nothing going on for adults because the whole subplot of Owl’s faulty reading comprehension when it comes to a simple note from Christopher Robin is pretty funny.

If I had to pick a scene from the movie that I took away with me, it would have to be the one where Piglet is attempting to help out everyone trapped in a pit via a rope but I won’t ruin the laugh for you here because it was so clever that it made me chuckle hard enough that my daughter asked me what was so funny.

My measure of success for watching movies made for children is how quickly after seeing the film that my little girl asks to see it again. For Winnie the Pooh it wasn’t even as long as it took to walk back to the car. A mere 10 minutes had passed and she was ready to see it again. So for her, I can tell that she just loved it.

I really enjoyed the performances of each actor as their respective characters except that of Tom Kinney as the voice of Rabbit. It’s not so much that he doesn’t have a great voice or anything, it’s just that when I hear his voice and can recognize it, I can’t help but be pulled out of the film slightly.

In case you didn’t know, Tom Kenny is the voice of Spongebob Squarepants, Ice King from Adventure Time, and literally hundreds of other characters. Once I placed a voice to a name and therefore the rest of his other voice acting characters, I couldn’t take Rabbit seriously anymore, I just kept thinking about Ice King stealing princesses and hating on Lumpy Space Princess (Adventure Time fans, you’re welcome).

I can say right now that that this movie will be added to the home library when it’s released on blu-ray this year and considering the film was only 69 minutes long, seeing it over and over again won’t be nearly as horrible as some of the near 2 hour films that I’ve been subject to the dreaded repeat viewings of (I’m looking at you Alvin and the Chipmunks).

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