For Disney’s 52nd animated film from the canon, we have the final traditionally animated- and quickly forgotten- Winnie the Pooh. This follow up to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a cute little film that was sandwiched between Tangled and Wreck-It-Ralph, two Disney films that have proved to be much more popular. Despite the efforts of Disney to revive the both hand-drawn animation and the Winnie the Pooh brand, this movie failed at the box office, closing Disney’s chapter on traditional animation.
Something notable about Winnie the Pooh is its unusually short run time. The film runs barely over an hour. It seems to me that it was tendering to the very young members of the audience, rather than the whole family as Disney usually tries to do. The short runtime is one of the movie’s major weaknesses by not allowing enough time to successfully set up a plot that can be resolved with any real satisfaction.
However, apart from the runtime, I have almost no complains about the film. It is a fun little journey back into the world of the Hundred Acre Wood and is a nice follow up to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh from 1977. Something to note, however, it that the film ignores all of the many TV Winnie the Pooh shows, direct-to-video films, and short cartoons that have been made about throughout the years. After spending some time reading Disney Winnie the Pooh: A Celebration of the Silly Old Bear by Christopher Finch, it was clear that this Winnie the Pooh film was meant to be a return to the cinematic and studio standards that the material deserves and so was a continuation of that original film. This was an admirable idea and I can see what they were going for, even if it didn’t work out the way they hoped. However, for Winnie the Pooh fans, I suggest checking it out.
Live-action remake: In 2018, Disney released a kind of a live-action spinoff/sequel called Christopher Robin starring Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell.
Winnie the Pooh in the theme parks: One of the major rides in several of the Disney parks is called “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”, and is a dark ride with the characters of Pooh. It is a fun ride for kids and adults, although the heffalumps and woozles aspect of the ride could potentially be scary for young children.
Winnie the Pooh on stage: Disney Theatrical Licensing has adapted a short, musical version of the film for young performers. Titled Winnie the Pooh KIDS, it features the original songs from the 2011 movie and is intended for local schools and community theatres to produce.
Winnie the Pooh is available to stream on Disney+.