Winnie the Pooh
By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Adorable big-screen Pooh adaptation is short and sweet.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Much more about entertainment than education, but kids do learn the value of friendship.
Pooh and his friends offer a wonderful example of teamwork and collaboration. Their adventures teach kids about the importance of standing by your friends, being selfless, and being kind to others.
Positive Role Models
Pooh realizes that helping others is even more important than eating honey. The friends band together to help both Eeyore and Christopher Robin. Kanga is kind and motherly, Rabbit is industrious and sensible, Piglet overcomes his considerable fears to go through the Wood alone, Owl always has a plan, and Tigger is bouncing and full of enthusiasm. On the other hand, Eeyore is pessimistic and gloomy.
Violence & Scariness
The description of the "Backson" is humorous but may upset the most sensitive of young viewers. Pooh and his friends fall in the pit they dug to capture the Backson. Several pratfalls from all of the characters.
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Products & Purchases
Disney has put plenty of Winnie the Pooh merchandise out there for kids.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this big-screen take on Winnie the Pooh is as sweet and gentle as the original Disney cartoons, making it accessible for even the youngest movie-goers (and a fine pick for little ones' first movie). Preschoolers and early elementary-aged children may not understand the way the narrator speaks to the characters (who also interact with the letters and words on the screen), but it won't get in the way of their enjoyment. The sequence in which the mysterious "Backson" monster is described could mildly frighten some tots, but otherwise this is a faithful adaptation of A.A. Milne's classic tales.
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Winnie the Pooh
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That Warm Fuzzy Feeling
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What's the Story?
Winnie the Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) loves his honey, but he can't seem to find any in the Hundred Acre Wood. On his search for the sugary treat, he encounters his mopey donkey friend Eeyore (Bud Luckey), who has somehow lost his tail. Pooh and his pals -- Piglet (Travis Oates), Owl (Craig Ferguson), Kanga (Kristen Anderson-Lopez) and Roo (Wyatt Dean Hall), and Rabbit (Tom Kenny) -- hold a contest to find Eeyore another tail, but there doesn't seem to be a suitable replacement. One morning, Christopher Robin leaves a note saying "Gon out. Bizy. Back Son," which know-it-all Owl presumes means that some creature called a "Backson" has somehow kidnapped Christopher Robin. That leads the animal friends to another collaborative effort to search for and save their human buddy -- but of course they're the ones who end up needing rescuing.
Is It Any Good?
With its old-fashioned animation and easy-to-follow story lines, WINNIE THE POOH is one of those rare children's movies that's both simple and sweet. Like the beloved books on which the animated characters are based, there's no artifice or trendy references, just funny jokes (behold the comeback of the "Who's on First" routine), cheery musical numbers, and the occasional wink-wink to parents in the audience (who will laugh more than they ever thought possible in a Pooh flick).
Although the movie is really two intertwined vignettes (the pals search for Eeyore's tail and then try to trap the enigmatic Backson), at barely over an hour, there's no time for the plot to lag or bore even kids who can't read. That said, literate children will get an extra bonus of seeing how the characters form objects and words with the letters on screen, and adults will enjoy John Cleese's narrator, who talks directly to the enchanted animals. The Pooh is back, and thanks to sticking closely to A. A. Milne's roots, Disney has a winning little film for kids who love the fluff-stuffed bear.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the way the characters interact with the narrator and the words on the screen. How is this similar to the way the original books worked? Is it ever confusing?
Talk about personalities. All the animals have different personalities -- can you describe them? Do you know any people with similar characteristics?
Kids: Which character do you identify with the most? When you feel sad like Eeyore, what do you do?
How does this movie compare to other Pooh films and TV shows? Which do you like best, and why?
- In theaters: July 15, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: October 25, 2011
- Cast: Craig Ferguson, Jim Cummings, John Cleese, Tom Kenny
- Director: Stephen J. Anderson
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book Characters, Friendship, Wild Animals
- Run time: 69 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: February 19, 2023
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