Sunday, May 30, 2010

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 26: The Great Mouse Detective

Series Intro: Series Intro: This is Part 26 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They will mostly be in release date order, save for those that are not available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers skipped will note missing movies that will be out of order).

Some background information: (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official   Title: The Great Mouse Detective
Release: July 2, 1986 (Just under a year between releases… already seeing “Renaissance” time table)
Running   Time: 74 minutes 
Estimated  Cost: $14 million (half the price of Black Cauldron
Estimated  Revenue: $38.6 million
Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Plot  Summary:
Professor Ratican wants to rule over great Britian and kidnaps a toy maker, Hiram; forces him to create a life-sized toy of the mouse queen.

In the mean time, Hiram’s daughter, Olivia, has met up with Dr. Dawson and the two travel to the mouse detective, Basil. Basil takes on the case and allows Olivia and Dr. Dawson to join.

They are lead to Ratican, via his lacky Fidget (a bat). During the final show down, Toby is thrown from a rodent sized blimp into a river. Ratican and Basil fight in Big Ben and after a harrowing escape, Basil knocks Ratican down and is presumed dead.

Olivia and her father are reunited and Dr. Dawson becomes Basil permanent assistant.

* "The World's Greatest Criminal Mind”
* "Let Me Be Good To You"
* "Goodbye So Soon"

It’s interesting that the only song in the movie that actually moves the plot along is a villain song (Greatest Criminal Mind)!

Plot Rating: 4 stars  out of 5

This movie truly melded the worlds of character driven plot and action driven plot. I cares a lot about the characters and there was a lot of action to keep the story moving.

However, the plot seemed tired. And I only believe Don Bluth is to blame. Don left Disney during the early production stages of Fox and Hound to form his own animation company. American Tail would be the Bluth film that was released the same year of Mouse Detective and has the villain in a similar situation at Ratican; in Mouse Ratican is a rat pretending to be a mouse in order to fit in, while in Tail Warren T. Rat is a cat pretending to be a rat! Now, I’m not saying Bluth stole from Disney or visa versa, but I think it’s more than a coincidence that two rival studios release rodent films just months apart from each other.

In the same vein though, I think Disney has had a lot of success with their rodent films. I loved Rescusers and was excited to see WDAS choose another mouse flick (remember it all started with a mouse!)

Animation Rating: 4 out of 5

The APT process was unnoticeable in this film, the animation harkened back to the heydays of WDAS. That being said, the use of computer-animated backgrounds was a bit more apparent in this film, particularly in Big Ben.

This movie truly marks the integration of computers into the world of animation (Cauldron used it, but seeing the WDAS seems to completely ignore this movie, Mouse Is given the credit.

The  Test of Time:

The movie has had some re-releases and I believe Basil occasionally makes appearances at WDW’s Epcot at the United Kingdom pavilion. I think Disney marketing could start branding Disney rodents in a similar way as they’ve done with Disney Princesses (or the failed Disney Hero line). Just like with Princesses, we’d have to ignore that the movies take place miles and years apart, but I’d love to see more mentioning of their animal films!

Through  the Modern Lens

Seems fine here.

Next  Up:
Oliver and Company

Friday, May 21, 2010

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 25: The Black Cauldron

Series Intro: Series Intro: Here is Part 25 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They will mostly be in release date order, save for those that are not available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers skipped will note missing movies that will be out of order).

Some background information: (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official Title: The Black Cauldron
Release: July 24, 1985
Running Time: 80 minutes
Estimated Cost: $25 million (more than twice as much than Fox and Hound
Estimated Revenue: $21.2 million (talk about a flop: it’s the first one to fail on initial theatrical release since Bamibi yikes!)
Overall Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
Taran, an assistant pig keeper, is tired of his life, but is soon to be sent on a life alerting adventure as Hen Wen (his pig) is revealed to be an oracle, and predicts his own capture by the Horned King, who is after the Black Cauldron. This cauldron can reanimate dead corpses. Taran, instructed by Dallben, takes Hen Wen to a safe location, but as young boys tend to do, Taran daydreamed about being the boy to take down the Horned King and Hen Wen runs away.

Taran is attacked by a creature called Gurgi (who talks like Golem from Lord of the Rings and looks like a dog/sloth). Gurgi abandons his quest to steal Taran’s apple, when the times get tough.

After sneaking into the Horned King’s castle and sending Hen Wen to safety, Taran is captured himself, only after Hen Wen has partially revealed the location of the Black Cauldron. He is rescued by Princess Eilonwy (who also saves Fflewddur Fflam), he also finds the true kings magical sword.

The three of them find Hen Wen who’s been kept safe by the Fairies, who then in turn send the heroes to a set of witches, where they trade the sword for the Black Cauldron. The Horned King is one step ahead and steals the cauldron; and recaptures the three heroes (who have been rejoined by Gurgi).

After rising the army of the undead, the Horned King goes to lead them, when Gurgi sacrifices his life as a living offering for the cauldron (to stop the spell that is animating the corpses. As the spell begins to retreat it pulls everything in, including the Horned King.

The witches return to take the cauldron back, but Fflewddurr Fflam makes a deal for Gurgi’s life to be returned in exchange for the cauldron.

The movie closes with Dallben watching Hen Wen’s vision of the heroes (including Gurgi) walking away from the witches.

There were no songs sung in the movie (although there was a good score).

Plot Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Wow, such a dark film from Disney. I honestly can’t even imagine what WDAS was thinking when they made this movie. There was blood! It even received a PG rating!

However, I think this movie had the most action in any WDAS movie. It was strong on plot, but the characters were a little lacking when it came to depth. The movie was about the action, as opposed to the characters (very unlike the previous film Fox and Hound that was all about the relationship between the titular characters).

Animation Rating: 3 out of 5

A new style of animation style, called APT, was what prevented this film from getting a higher rating. I’m not completely sure how the APT process works, but it seems that a picture is taken of each hand-drawn still and the negative is processed on the cell. I will have a better feeling about APT after Mouse Detective (this process was only used for four movies).

The coloring was very dark, and in just one scene, the colors would change a lot! (Eilonwy’s hair was even black in one scene).

The Test of Time:

This movie was lost to time, and only makes it appearance out of the vault on the scheduled dates. There is no appearance of Black Cauldron in the parks and I can see why. This was a bomb for WDAS, the movie was not a family feature and included too many dark moments that aren’t expected from a Disney movie.

I also think that I might revisit this movie once a remastered version is released to see how much better it has faired.

Through the Modern Lens

I liked how Eilonwy was such an independent princess. She doesn’t need Taran to save her; in fact she rescues him. Eilonwy should be exemplar when someone says that Disney princesses are all dainty and need a prince to complete their lives. The only problem with Eilonwy being the model for the anti-princess, is that this movie is unknown!

Next Up:
The Great Mouse Detective

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 24: The Fox And The House

Series Intro: Series Intro: Here is Part 24 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They will mostly be in release date order, save for those that are not available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers skipped will note missing movies that will be out of order).

Some background information: (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official Title: The Fox and the Hound
Release: July 10, 1981 (Two theatrical releases this year)
Running Time: 83 minutes
Estimated Cost: $12 million (yes, that is 12 million!)
Estimated Revenue: $29.9 million
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
A lost fox is taken in by Widow Tweed after meeting his life long friend Big Mama (owl), Boomer (woodpecker) and Dinky (finch). Widow Tweed adopts the fox and calls him Tod. At the same time, Tweed’s neighbor, Amos brings home a hound dog named Cooper. Cooper and Tod become fast friends. But Chief (Amos’ older hunting dog) and Amos try to keep them apart, a hound dog and fox can’t be friends.

Right before the hunting season, Cooper and Tod promise to be friends forever. But when the hunting season ends, and Cooper returns (both animals are full grown) they are no longer able to play. And after an intense chase scene, Chief almost dies while chasing Tod and Cooper tells Tod that if they ever see each other again, Cooper will kill him.

Amos threatens the Widow, and threatens to kill Tod the next time he sees the fox. Then, in a heart-wrenching scene, the Widow says goodbye to Tod and releases him to the game preserve. While there Tod struggles to find how to survive as a wild animal, and thanks to the help of Big Mama again, he is introduced to girl fox Vixey.

The two work well together. But Amos has plans to enter the reserve. And with Cooper in tow another chase scene happens. But when all hope is lost, Cooper protects Tod from Amos. And in the final scene, Cooper and Tod separately recall the wonders of their friendship.

# "Best of Friends"
# "Lack of Education"
# "A Huntin' Man"
# "Appreciate The Lady"
# "Goodbye May Seem Forever"

Goodbye May Seem Forever is possibly the saddest song in the Disney cannon! I wept like a baby as the Widow Tweed thought about how important Tod has been in her life.

Plot Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Here we go with the problem stories again! This was great. It seems that WDAS has taken a nice break from the comedies and truly getting back to the character driven pieces that Walt himself oversaw in the beginning of the studios.

Animation Rating: 4 out of 5

I think they’ve finally got it right. The colors were rich (something we haven’t truly seen since Alice). There weren’t stray lines that made the animation look sloppy. The back grounds were detailed and reminded me again of Bambi!

But why only 4? As the Xeroxing has become more advanced, the lines are looking a lot different, there were some non-black lines that still were sloppy (take for instance, Chief’s head in the soft purple line that sometimes bleeds into the coloring).

The Test of Time:

A mid-quel has extended the story, but I don’t think this movie lives up to those to come (and those that have been) because of its lack of memorable songs and such a sad overall plot. I can’t recall any park attraction that incorporates Cooper or Tod. I think Disney needs to add more of a presence from this movie to it’s line-up of standbys.

Through the Modern Lens

This movie takes up some big social issues of our times, mostly, nature versus nurture. The movie shows that is it the natural predisposition for Tod and Cooper to be friends, but Cooper has to be taught to hate Tod! This also raises an issue of racism and living up to expectations. If a child is told they will hate someone else because they are different, won’t that child grow up to hate the differences?

Next Up:
The Black Cauldron (depending on my local library because of the “vault”)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 23: The Rescuers

Series Intro: Series Intro: Here is Part 23 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They will mostly be in release date order, save for those that are not available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers skipped will note missing movies that will be out of order).

Some background information: (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official Title: The Rescuers
Release: June 22, 1977 (Two theatrical releases this year)
Running Time: 77 minutes
Estimated Cost: $1.2 million
Estimated Revenue: $71.2 million
Overall Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Plot Summary:
The Rescue Aid Society (RAS), an international mouse group, has convened to help save a girl, Penny, who has sent a note for help, by bottle to whomever. Orphan Penny has been kidnapped by Madam Medusa to dig through a mine to find the Devil’s Eye diamond.

At the RAS, we meet Miss Bianca (Hungarian representative). The board of the RAS doesn’t want to sent Miss Bianca (a female mouse) alone, and all the male mice volunteer to go with her, but she chooses Bernard (the janitor).

Together, Miss Bianca and Bernard, visit Penny’s orphanage to find out where she could be. They gain information from cat Rufus which leads them to Madam Medusa’s where they find out about her plan and after a failed attempt to follow her on the airplane, they choose to fly with a haphazard albatross named Orville.

In the bayou, Miss Bianca and Bernard use the local transport to help find Penny (a cute dragon fly named Evinrude.. After Evinfude evades bats he rallies the other local critters, who will later help Miss Bianca and Bernard.

After the ride with Envinrude, Miss Bianca and Bernard find Penny but can’t saver her, so help her find the Devil’s Diamond. Madame Medusa, her lacky Mr. Snoops and her two alligators: Brutus and Nero keep Penny down in the mine until she finds the diamond. In a race against the high tide that floods the cave; Penny, Miss Bianca and Bernard finally free the diamond.

Madame Medusa breaks her promises to split the diamond with Mr. Snoop and to free Penny. The country critter help Miss Bianca and Bernard distract Madame Medusa so Penny can escape (in a hilarious chase scene involving Brutus and Nero used as water skis.)

Penny and the mice return to New York when Penny gets adopted and Miss Bianca and Bernard remain partners at the RAS and take Orville on another mission, accompanied by Evinrude.

* The Journey (a.k.a. Who Will Rescue Me?)
* Rescue Aid Society
* Faith is a Bluebird
* Tomorrow is Another Day
* Someone’s Waiting For You
* For Penny's a Jolly Good Fellow

Not sure there were any stand out songs, but it was a great soundtrack!

Plot Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This was a great turn around from the comedy films that have been in the production recently. I got very involved in the story, felt a desire to see the good guys win, and had all new characters! None of them were recycled and redressed from other movies.

Animation Rating: 2.5 out of 5

There were three different animation styles in this movie.

First, the title sequence, was on canvas! There were moving parts, filmed over a canvas, and the painting was exquisite. It reminded me of the elegance of Sleeping Beauty.

The second animation style was for the good guys. This animation was clean, gone are all the stray lines. Xeroxing technology has gained a cleaner look. The soft lines and fragile colors surrounding the good guys created a comfortable environment.

The third style was too reminiscent of the sloppy drawings with stray lines. This was done mostly with the villains and the bayou. It’s this sloppy animation that prevents the animation rating from being much higher! (And the overall rating form hitting a 5).

Also, the biggest overall problem with the animation was how dark it looked. I’m wondering however, how much remastering this release had received (it’s rumored that the Platinum edition will be available within a few years. I hope to revisit this movie in a more redone format.

The Test of Time:

Although I don’t think the movie has had much staying power and isn’t well represented in the parks, I believe that considering it is the only WDAS movie to have a theatrical sequel, it really stood time. I wonder why there was never more with this series. How influential was this movie in the creation of Chip ‘N’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers as there is the similar premise of small creatures working together to solve crimes that the human police aren’t working on.

Through the Modern Lens

This was such a great movie. It was nice to have the international flare with RAS. As all the international mice were approaching RAS they seemed a bit too stereotypical, but I think most UN meeting have people wearing their native dress.

I do not like the idea that the police weren’t working on Penny’s abduction, but then the movie wouldn’t have worked well.

Next Up:
The Fox and The Hound 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nightmare Remake: I loved it!

So this weekend was my second Christmas. The newest Nightmare On Elm Street movie was released. Check out my previous posting on Nightmare to get my review of the series as a whole. Also, check out the great trailer for the newest Nightmare movie before reading the rest of the blog:

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve been watching this series for nearly 20 years. I love it (except the second movie). So I was more than excited to find out that a remake was in the offing. Actually I was a little upset that the reboot wasn’t going to include Robert Englund (who played Freddy in all 8 previous films and the TV series). But, I understood that Englund is just too old to play this roll; and it really wouldn’t be a proper reboot if he was involved as Freddy (though I think he could have made a cameo at some point, I think during the opening sequence when Dean was following the waitress, Englund could have been a cook or something).

But here’s a quick reminder of the plot of this movie. There are spoilers in the review. A child molester, killed by a mob of parents, has returned from the dead to haunt the dreams of the children he molested. The teens quickly discover that if something happens to you in your dreams, they happen to you in real life. So if one dies in a dream, they die in real life.

This movie has a small body count, much smaller than the Friday remake released last year. But that is common for a Freddy movie, where Freddy usually only gets 3 – 6 good kills in. This movie was no exception. Freddy claimed three teens within the time line, one teen via a web cam and Nancy’s mother (and possibly a dog).

A more detailed look at the plot and some of my comments on it are below:

Dean (a new character) opens the film obviously portraying someone who has not slept in several nights. He dreams and is attacked by Freddy, but wakes up to find himself in the Springwood Dinner (nice nod to Alice’s and Deb’s place of work in Nightmare 4), where Nancy works. Kristina talks to him and when he’s left alone, he falls asleep again, but this time Freddy kills him, by forcing him to jab a knife into his own throat and slice across it.

It seems that Freddy is very strong at this point, having the victims sleep walking that mimics the happenings of the dream (canonical based on Nightmare 3).

Kristina (based on Tina) is the next up to be haunted. After witnessing Dean’s supposed suicide, she talks to Nancy and Jesse at the funeral where she discovers that she and Dean knew each other before high school. When she approached her mom about this, the mom suspiciously tells her to get ready for dinner. She digs into her past and discovers she and Dean knew each other in Pre-K. She begins to show the signs of sleeplessness and falls asleep at school and wakes up screaming (harking back to when Nancy burns her arm in a dream to wake up in Nightmare 1, and when Alice witnesses Sheila’s death in Nightmare 4). Left alone in the house, Jesse joins Kris and they discover they are having the same nightmares! Kris and Freddy fight in her dream and she is killed just like Tina in Nightmare 1, where her body is flung around the room while the boyfriend tries to stop it. Then the boyfriend runs away, afraid he will be suspected of murder.

Jesse (based on Rod), is pursued next by Freddy, but not before he is able to inform Nancy of his dreaming. Jesse’s death seems like a one off, as it didn’t really seem to move the plot, nor did it reveal anything of Freddy’s background. However, Jesse’s death is the best in the movie, as Freddy just punches his gloved hand through Jesse’s chest. In the real world, Jesse has been arrested for the murder of Kris, and while in prison is going crazy in his cell. His cellmate is screaming when Jesse’s chest explodes.

One of the best lines in the movie occurs now, Freddy says something along the lines: “The brain still functions for seven minutes after the heart stops beating. We still have 6 minutes to play!” This reminded me of Englund’s Freddy and his one off lines! I loved it.

Here’s the slow part of the movie (as there really isn’t anymore deaths), where Nancy and Quentin (based on Glen) try to figure out what the fuck is going on! They discover that their parents had helped repress the memories of the child molester, Freddy, who molested them in Pre-K. Nancy also discovers that all of the children in her class have been killed (many ‘unexpectedly in their sleep’); and she gets to watch this vlog of one person who has a waking nap (the brain goes into sleep mode due to deprivation) and is killed on the vlog by crashing his head against the computer screen.

While Nancy is doing this research, Quentin is almost drowned as he has a waking nap while swimming (reminding me of Nightmare 5, when Yvonne does something similar when swimming). This time, though, instead of haunting Quentin, Freddy shows him how he was killed, burned to death by the mob of angry parents (it was Quentin’s dad that actually threw the cocktail into the boiler room).

Nancy and Quentin leave to find the Nursery School, and discover that the molestation story was true! By this point, Nancy has discovered she might be able to pull Freddy out of the dream, so she falls asleep on Freddy’s old mattress (Quentin too falls asleep, although he was supposed to stay awake and wake her up – just like Glen in the middle of Nightmare 1). Nancy can’t be woken, because her brain has completely shut down from lack of sleep. And he find out that Nancy was Freddy’s favorite child to molest! Quentin, wounded from a fight with Freddy, takes the steroids he stole the hospital and jabs it into Nancy’s sternum. She wakes up and pulls Freddy into the real world with her. Quentin and Nancy fight Freddy and they defeat him. Nancy burns the place around his dead body. And they are both taken to the hospital.

Back at home, Nancy and her mother discuss the events in the hall and just as Nancy thanks her mom for trying to protect her, and Nancy’s mom is about to say that it is all over. Freddy pulls the mother through the mirror, almost instantly killing her (much like Nightmare 1 where in the supposed happy ending. Nancy leaves to meet her friends in the car, when suddenly Freddy pulls the mother through the front door window).

What worked?
  • I loved that the music from the original series was used. It really added to the fact that this was a Nightmare movie.
  • Properly explaining the molestation, by having the teens that are haunted be the children Freddy molested!
  • The creepy Freddy (as much as I love the “campyness” of the later films, Wes was right in Nightmare 7, when he talked about how silly Freddy had become). This also made Freddy more realistic and easier to hate.
  • Not introducing Hypnocile as a drug to stop you from dreaming, but just using ADD meds to keep Quentin awake.
  • Nancy and a bad ass artist. I like that she wasn't as innocent in this movie (but I wish she had gained a gray streak in her hair like in Nightmare 1).
What didn’t work?
  • The internal time line. The class picture clearly says that the kids were in Pre-K in the ’94-’95 school year. Which would make them at least 20 in the year 2010! Not in high school! (This discrepancy was made more apparent by the fact that the actors are much older than high school aged students: Dean is 25, Kristina is 24, Jesse is 22, Quentin is 23 and Nancy is 25)
  • Internal plot point: Kris sets the alarm in her house on the night she is killed, but then opens the window to let Jesse in. And then later, when he runs out of the front door, the alarm is activated.
  • Internal plot point: Based on Nightmare 5, we know that animals are also part of the “if it happens in a dream, it happens in real life,” but does this include when Kris dreams that the dog is killed, was the dog dreaming at the time too? Was he killed in real life?
  • Fanboy gripe: The dog was called Ruffus. I think he should have been called Jason, as a throwback to Knicade’s dog in Nightmare 5 (who looked a lot like the dog playing Ruffus).
I can’t wait to watch this movie hundreds of more times. Now the only dilemma facing me, is should I buy the movie in DVD or BlueRay?

Walt Disney Animation Studios Part 22: Winnie The Pooh

Series Intro: Series Intro: Here is Part 22 of a multi-part retrospective of Walt Disney Animation Studios' endeavors. They will mostly be in release date order, save for those that are not available on DVD at Netflix. (Numbers skipped will note missing movies that will be out of order).

Some background information: (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).

Official Title: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Release: March 11, 1977
Running Time: 74 minutes
Estimated Cost: n/a
Estimated Revenue: n/a
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5!!

Plot Summary:
Christopher Robin is a young boy who goes on adventures with this stuffed animals, who he imagines are alive and live in the Hundred Acres Woods.

Comprised of three shorts that are connected by a narrator who is reading a book to us. The movie opens in the real playroom of Christopher Robin. And a book is opened.

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree: Pooh likes honey and is in a quest with Christopher Robin to get some fresh honey, but the bees have other things in mind; and his quest is fruitless. Then Pooh visits Rabbit to see if he has honey. And boy does Pooh go crazy there. He eats so much he gets stuck in the hole. No one is able to get him out so Rabbit has to live with Pooh stuck in his door until Pooh can slender down!

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day:On this windy Wednesday, Pooh visits his friends and wish them a happy “Winds-day.” Piglet gets caught up in the wind and onee safely down, Pooh returns home to meet Tigger! Tigger tells Pooh of the Heffalumps and Woozles, who like to steal honey. Pooh dreams of them in a psychedelic dream reminiscent of the Pink Elephants from Dumbo. The storm floods the Hundred Acre Woods, and Piglet needs saving as he is afloat in the flood. They all celebrate the ending of the flood with a party, where Eeyore announces he has found a new home for Owl (whose house fell down during the wind storm). Eeyore doesn’t understand that this new house is Piglet’s, but Piglet allows Owl to move in and he moved in with Pooh!

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!: Rabbit has had enough of Tigger bouncing on everyone! So he comes up with a plan to loose Tigger in deep in the woods. But in a cruel twist of fate, Rabbit gets himself, Piglet and Pooh lost instead! Until finally Tigger takes them all back home. But this has done nothing to curb Tigger’s bouncing. Tigger and Roo begin bouncing up a great tree, until finally they hit the top and Tigger discovers he’s afraid of height! The narrator tips the book to save Tigger, only after Tigger promises never to bounce again. But this hurts everyone, even Rabbit, and they allow Tigger to bounce again.

The story ends with Christopher heading off to school. He meets once more with Pooh at their special place before it’s time for Christopher to grow up. Christopher makes Pooh promise that they’ll remain friends, even when Christopher is 100. Pooh promises

* "Winnie the Pooh"
* "Up, Down and Touch the Ground"
* "Rumbly in My Tumbly"
* "Little Black Rain Cloud"
* "Mind Over Matter"
* "A Rather Blustery Day"
* "The Wonderful Things About Tiggers"
* "Heffalumps and Woozles"
* "The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down"
* "Hip Hip Pooh-Ray!"

Winnie the Pooh! How fun this song is!

Plot Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Can’t get much better then this. This is what the packaged films of the 40s should have been. There was a lot of consistency between the shorts. All of the shorts were working towards a larger goal of pushing Christopher out of his childhood. The story was simple and easy to follow. They were lovable and I cared what happen to them.

Animation Rating: 4 out of 5

Wow! It’s great to see clean drawing again! I can hardly believe that these shorts were produced between ’66 and ’74 by the same people who were making the sloppy drawings of 101 Dalmations and Aristocats.

Although the backgrounds were overly simple, this only helped the idea that these stories are part of a book. The book is used throughout the movie as a connection between the “chapters” in the book. The soft water colors are reminiscent of Snow White.

What keeps this from getting the full 5 is that there were moments, when I still saw stray lines (usually just on Christopher Robin).

The Test of Time:

Yes! Sometimes I think Pooh has more of a following than Mickey! He’s everywhere! The whole gang from the Hundred Acre Woods make appearances in all the Magic Kingdoms around the world, and have several rides too.

Through the Modern Lens

It’s such a sad ending when Christopher Robin has to grow up and isn’t sure he’ll return to the Woods. This is telling of how fast we make children grow-up. Christopher is somewhere around the age of 5 and is expected to give up his childhood toys, but seems to have trouble and wonders if Pooh will still be with him when he is 100.

How come we insist that children put away their childhood toys and grow up.

Next Up:
The Rescuers