Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Cleese, Jim Cummings, Bud Luckey, Craig Ferguson, Jack Boulter, Travis Oates, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Wyatt Dean Hall, Tom Kenny, Huell Howser
Written by: Stephen J. Anderson, Clio Chiang, Don Dougherty, Don Hall, Kendelle Hoyer, Brian Kesinger, Nicole Mitchell, Jeremy Spears, Paul Briggs, Chris Ure, based on stories by A.A. Milne, E.H. Shepard
Directed by: Stephen J. Anderson, Don Hall
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 63
Date: 04/06/2011

Winnie the Pooh (2011)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

A Honey

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

At a time when the Disney company was all about canny marketing decisions, their choice to make a hand-drawn Winnie the Pooh that runs only 65 minutes was a bold one. And though it was not promoted well and it did not earn big numbers, it was a gently pleasing surprise for those who saw it. It's based loosely on A.A. Milne's stories, updated slight, but not crudely, for modern times. It has a fresh comic rhythm, dreamy, without being vulgar. (It proudly sported a "G" rating.) The hand-drawn animation is simple, but unfailingly lovely. And the movie perfectly captures the funny, lovely mood of the originals, including the motif of the book itself, with the characters marching across written pages, interacting with letters. The incomparable Jim Cummings provides the voice of Pooh and Tigger, Tom Kenny joins the cast as Rabbit, and Craig Ferguson is Owl. John Cleese narrates. Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall direct.

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