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The welcome return of 'Winnie the Pooh'

My apologies if I get a little personal in this review. From the opening title card of Mickey at the helm of the Steamboat Willie and the famous Disney logo set to "When You Wish Upon a Star," an involuntary shiver went down my spine and my eyes got a little moist.

Like most Americans "of a certain age," my childhood was informed by images of the Magic Kingdom and the inevitable joy that a Disney film would bring. Despite my less-than-thrilled feelings about much of the past 15 years of Disney animation, I was cautiously optimistic about "Winnie the Pooh" for many reasons, not the least of which is that I am the sort of person who finds himself singing "The Tigger Song" to himself at random.

Well, it turns out I had no reason to be cautious and every reason to be optimistic.

"Winnie the Pooh" is a magnificent return to the hand-drawn watercolor animation of yore. Full of whimsy, wry humor and emotion, it's the perfect summer antidote to 3-D "Smurfs" and all other manner of mindless (and loud) kids' films that the little ones might be drawn to and is not at all a disappointment to us adult Pooh fans from 40 years ago.

Inspired by several unadapted A.A. Milne stories, this new adventure of everyone's favorite "silly old bear" Winnie the Pooh takes place in the course of a single day and finds Pooh and all of his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood engaged in a noble endeavor: finding a new tail for Eeyore, who seems to have misplaced the original.

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Saturday, 15 June 2024

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