Watching Disney's new Winnie the Pooh film, simply entitled Winnie the Pooh, one might think that they're watching something decades old. From the hand-drawn animation to the simple, relatable, story to the classic characters, the film harkens back to an older time while managing to be . It is also a brilliant good time. Nowhere near the first big screen adventure for the tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff, Winnie the Pooh nonetheless manages to breathe fresh air into a franchise that, perhaps had become a bit stale between film and TV adventures (particularly with its most recent, My Friends Tigger & Pooh series)
That is right, although not often considered it, Winnie the Pooh, directed by Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall, easily falls into that all-too-popular Hollywood genre of "franchise reboot." Not everything (nor everyone) has been jettisoned here though. Jim Cummings, who has provided the voice of Winnie the Pooh within Disney productions for years, returns here as the titular character as well as Tigger (another character whom he has voiced on many occasions). Travis Oates, who has voiced Piglet previously, returns as well. The rest of the voices (which include Craig Ferguson as Owl) may be new to Pooh, but none are so jarring so as to distress purists. In particular, John Cleese, who provides the narration, is quite good as the omniscient, ever-present, and sometimes moderately annoyed voice of reason.
Truth be told, there is really nothing here to upset anyone at all... provided you've liked Pooh and company in the past. Winnie the Pooh is an amusing, easily digested, not all too different from what has come before, film. And yet, for all of its easy-going, familiar attitude, it is manages to be a whole lot of fun.