Well, “movie” is being generous since it’s barely an hour long, but it’s so gosh darn cute, that’s fine.
Like the classic Pooh featurettes, directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall go old-school, with hand-drawn style (though a couple little things are still obviously CGI). The backgrounds are beautiful water-color work.
It starts with John Cleese (“Monty Python”) as the narrator as the camera moves through a real-life bedroom, Christopher Robin’s. Then we’re drawn into A.A. Milne’s book, with that fun bit of interaction between characters and words on the page.
We even get the classic Sherman Bros. title song, this time given a delightful spin by Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl” and the singing duo She & Him). Other music is nice, too. “The Tummy Song,” a duet between Pooh and his rumbly tumbly by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, feels especially like a Sherman Bros. piece. Their other songs are fine, but that one feels the most classic.
The voice cast is pretty solid. Jim Cummings sounds very close to the original Pooh (Sterling Holloway), though his Tigger (Paul Winchell) is a little off. Travis Oates channels John Fiedler well as Piglet. Craig Ferguson is delightful as Owl.
I’m not sure how 10 people were needed for this slight story (the search for Eeyore’s tail — taken from Milne’s books — and then a search for Christopher Robin), but luckily it isn’t a case of too many cooks spoiling the soup. Just sit back and relax as it leisurely moves along.
It’s almost a bit too leisurely, even for Pooh, but parents who go this route aren’t looking for something frenetic anyway. They’re looking for something warm and fuzzy, and you don’t get warmer and fuzzier than classic Winnie the Pooh.
Be sure to watch through the credits. All the characters have bits to do, and then there’s a surprise at the end.
Extras are slight, but there is a new animated short included, “The Ballad of Nessie.” It’s a cute, brightly animated look at where Loch Ness and its monster came from. The other short is really just the “I’m Just a Little Black Rain Cloud” bit (a personal favorite — you never can tell with bees) from the original “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree” given a new introduction.