I was pleasantly surprised at how good a job Disney did bringing back the classic Winnie the Pooh characters in the 2011 Summer theatrical release of “Winnie The Pooh.” If their goal was to closely duplicate the animated films Walt Disney was making in the late ’50s and early ’60s, they met their mark. At the same time, the story and characters received slight tweaks making it more accessible for today’s audiences. Now you can add “Winnie the Pooh” on DVD, Blu-Ray, and/or Digital Download to your collection.
The story featured rich characterizations (both in writing and animation), tremendous voice work and tunes you could hum. During my viewing in the theater, I felt let down by the songs, but upon subsequent viewings, I’ve found the music to be something of a strength.
Another strength was the voice work. Narrated by John Cleese and featuring the vocal talents of legendary voice actor Jim Cummings (over 350 voices) and a host of other distinctive actors including Craig Ferguson (TV’s ‘The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson’), Tom Kenny (TV’s ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’), Bud Luckey (Toy Story 3) and musical performances by Zooey Deschanel. Ferguson’s take on Owl was particularly appreciated as he helped the bird grow into a part that was larger than his previous incarnations.
The DVD/Blu-Ray combo is nice, but I did feel a bit let down by the lack of extras. Disney is hit and miss in this area, mostly miss. Sadly, you’ll have to wait for future editions to get things like a commentary, behind the scenes footage, and other standard extras.
Instead of padding the feature to make it longer, Disney added The Ballad of Nessie which I felt was artistically wonderful, but lacking storywise. However my friends and family tell me I’m daft and Nessie was wonderful. So your mileage will vary.
More details on extras below the jump:
If you say Winnie The Pooh in theaters then you’ll know how well this film captured the spirit of the original Winnie The Pooh movies, while still providing the pace and characters that entertain today’s savvier youth. Families and audiences of all ages can soon return to the Hundred Acre Wood with the world’s most beloved characters, as “Winnie the Pooh,” comes home to Blu-ray Combo Pack for the very first time, as well as DVD and Movie Download on October 25, 2011.
Reuniting audiences with Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore (who has lost his tail), “Winnie the Pooh” is a honey of an in-home release containing hours of immersive bonus features, including exclusive animated shorts
“The Ballad of Nessie” and “Mini-Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Balloon;” a sing-along viewing option; an informative behind-the-scenes featurette for the whole family and deleted scenes with director commentary – all available on Blu-ray Combo Pack.
A new one sheet for Winnie The Pooh has been released:
They’re definitely going for less is more with this poster. Also interesting are some of the names that have been attached as voice actors. Craig Ferguson, ruler of the late night talk show, and Huell Howser, who is best known for the public TV show “California’s Gold,” are interesting additions. I do like the idea of having John Cleese as narrator.
More on the movie, including more fun casting facts, in the studio synopsis below the jump: