Winnie the Pooh:Oh bother.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Over the many years Disney has been around they have provided us with several movies with numerous great characters and realms for kids and adults alike to revel in.Within all these worlds and characters however lies one bunch that is often overlooked. That world and its characters involve the adventures of a little boy named Christopher Robin and his stuffed animals with his personal favorite being a bear named Winnie the Pooh (or Pooh for short) and his friends in The Hundred Acre Wood.
The story or rather stories involve the life of Pooh and his friends Piglet, Tigger, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, and to an extent Gopher in the Hundred Acre Wood as they go through all sorts of situations and attempt to deal with said situations. The situations include Pooh’s attempts at acquiring honey, a heavy windstorm shaking up the Hundred Acre Wood, and shenanigans with Tigger.
Unlike most Disney movies or movies in general for that matter, the story doesn’t seem to have much of a coherent narrative or three-act structure. It’s basically a compilation of stories put together showing a slice-of-life of Winnie the Pooh and friends in the Hundred Acre Wood together. Despite the stories being somewhat relaxed in what they are trying to give the characters help drive the movie. Every character in this movie is different in their personality and it’s very enjoyable spending time with them whether they are on their own or with each other. They certainly aren’t very complex it’s somewhat welcomed given that these are characters from the mind of a little boy. They are all given one-dimensional but pleasant personalities. They have their disagreements and make mistake but always give the movie a pleasant vibe.
You have Christopher Robin who is very optimistic and friendly towards others, Pooh who is always hungry for honey and is somewhat dim-witted and naïve but is very kind-hearted towards his friends, Piglet who is very scared of being outside of his comfort zone given his small size, Eeyore who is always depressed, Owl who considers himself the smartest of the bunch but is very absent-minded, Rabbit who is very stick in the mud and no-nonsense, Kanga who is very motherly towards Roo and the other characters, Roo who is fun and curious, and Tigger who is very hyperactive and enthusiastic but doesn’t know when his fun can hurt others around him. Every one of these characters works off each other perfectly and there is never a dull moment between them. They all enjoy each other’s company and we enjoy it to given we enjoy the characters individually.
The animation while nothing groundbreaking really helps match the overall tone and atmosphere the movie is trying to convey. Both the characters and the backgrounds look quite sketchy like something out of a children’s storybook and it makes sense since the movie is quite literally being read from a book.
The fourth wall (or lack thereof given how often it’s broken) is yet another feature about this movie. There are a lot of enjoyable jokes involving them breaking the fourth wall such as the characters talking with the narrator or how their actions go all throughout the various pages throughout the book or Gopher’s line “I’m not in the book.”
The songs while not all iconic are very catchy and clever tunes and do contribute to the pleasant atmosphere the movie has to offer. The one song that does stick out to me though is the Heffalumps and Woozles song. This has some of the weirdest imagery Disney has ever had to offer (right up there with Pink Elephants on Parade) but honestly, I’m all for such abstract imagery particularly in Disney movies as it explores the extents of how 2-D animation can be used.
Despite little to none of the movie being very deep, the ending does hold a heavy atmosphere. Unlike most Disney movies or any other movies, the characters don’t go through a major climax or discover anything. Rather it’s just a heartfelt talk between Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh about what they enjoy doing best and what the future holds for them. As Christopher puts it “I’m not going to do just nothing anymore” and Pooh promises no matter what he will never forget him and always be waiting for him.
Winnie the Pooh may not have the best story but it does have great characters. And that’s all the story is: just appreciating these characters. Every time I watch this movie it takes me back to feeling like a kid and no matter how old I may get it will always be enjoyable to witness and look back upon the adventures Christopher Robin and his friends.