This movie is so cute, I loved it! Classic characters, hand-drawn animation, actual children’s movie, not like so many these days where they fell compelled to wink-wink at adult content so the parents are entertained, too. I mean, parents can definitely enjoy Winnie the Pooh, but the “adult” jokes involve being able to read. Nothing dirty. And it’s not very long, just over an hour, so young children may actually be able to sit through it.
There is a short at the beginning, “The Ballad of Nessie,” about Loch Ness. It’s wonderful. Narrated with a great thick Scottish accent, with the moral, “Dinnae be afraid to cry, it really is okay. Sometimes it’s through ya’ tears t’ find a better way.” It’s adorable.
Then there’s the feature presentation. I read some of the Pooh books as a child, and had at least one that was a “book on tape”. I don’t know if the voice actors for this movie are all the same as the voices I heard as a child, but they sure sounded right. Some of the songs are familiar, (“willy nilly silly old bear!”), and others were new to me. My favorite was probably the duet that Pooh sings with his hungry, growling tummy.
There is a song about a creature called a Bakson that might be a little bit frightening to very small children, but the animation for that montage is even less realistic chalk drawings and it is interspersed with humorous gags. I didn’t notice any of the kids in my theater crying. (The Bakson is a mythical creature developed when Owl mistakenly interprets a letter from Christopher Robin that says he has gone and will be “back soon”.)
Throughout the story, the characters and the action interact with the narrator and text. Maybe this can be used to encourage children to read more, (or have things read to them at least.) There are also several possibilities for discussion questions to engage a child in after viewing this film; nothing too deep, but a good way to start the habit of discussing stories and noting whether or not the characters display behavior that should be mimicked. For example, you might ask how Pooh could have been kinder to Piglet, (not making him do all the hard work), how Pooh showed that he was a good friend to Eeyore, (by bringing him his tail right away instead of satisfying his own craving for honey), note how the friends all work together, or discuss how Tigger’s philosophy can apply to each of us, too, (he’s special because “he’s the only one!”). But overall it is just a very lighthearted, enjoyable children’s movie.