I've said it before and all say it again: it's nice to see the "Winnie the Pooh" series continue to be given the spotlight with both direct-to-video and theatrical releases. In an era where children's entertainment often tries to be flashy and loud in an attempt to keep the attention of the target audience, the "Pooh" series can still be counted on to offer quiet, thoughtful, delightfully old-fashioned storytelling for all ages. The film's gentle, simple nature is refreshing and reminds me of the family films that I grew up with (and that wasn't that long ago!)
The characters - by this point - are likely well-known. Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Tigger and Rabbit (along with human friend Christopher Robin) spend their days having adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood.
The stories have been - and this one is no different - a wonderful mixture of fun, adventure and heart. Lessons are delivered in a memorable way that doesn't feel heavy-handed.
This time around, Eeyore has lost his tail, and the group decides to try and find a replacement. The winner will get a prize: a fresh pot of honey. The group comes up with a number of ideas, which either do not work particularly well or don't hold up well over time.
In the midst of the process, Pooh decides to visit Christopher Robin and finds a note saying that he'll be back soon. Unable to figure out what it says, Pooh and friends think that something's happened and set out to save their friend. The movie ties its subplots up quite nicely and - at a little over an hour - certainly doesn't have any filler. Overall, "Winnie the Pooh" is a terrific, subtle little animated film that - while geared towards single-digit audience members - I think the entire family can enjoy.
VIDEO: "Winnie" is presented on Blu-Ray by Disney in 1.78:1 (1080p). The results are lovely, as the refreshingly simple, straightforward animation looks bright, smooth and clean. No pixelation or other faults are noticed, and colors looked vivid and warm.
SOUND: The film is presented on Blu-Ray in DTS-HD 5.1. The film doesn't need an aggressive sound mix, certainly, and doesn't boast one. The rear speakers provide a little light ambience and a sound effect here-and-there; no more than what is needed. Audio quality is fine, with clear dialogue and crisp tunes.
EXTRAS: "Ballad of Nessie" theatrical short, "Pooh's Balloon" animated short, "Winnie the Pooh and His Story Too" feature, Sing-Along, 5 deleted scenes with director intros. The DVD edition - also included - offers 3 deleted scenes, as well as the "Nessie" and "Pooh's Balloon" shorts.
Final Thoughts: "Winnie the Pooh" is a terrific, subtle little animated film that - while geared towards single-digit audience members - I think the entire family can enjoy. Recommended.
The Film B+