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Winnie the Pooh

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Of course, The Many Adventures had the advantage of being a compilation of short films; it was never designed as a "feature film", per se. So it's more episodic than we tend to expect of a feature film, and that fits the episodic nature of the books pretty well. It will be interesting to see whether the new film preserves the episodic nature of that film, despite being CONCEIVED as a feature film, or whether it feels compelled to introduce some new element that, ahem, "drives the plot" (to borrow a line from Doug Gresham's description of the Dawn Treader movie).

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Isn't this about a search for Eeyore's tail? That's sufficient plot for a Pooh film.

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Sorry, I still just don't get how the very same people who were so critical of, what seemed to me to be, fairly minor changes in TLTW&TW give such a free pass to the Disnification of Pooh - such a whimsical, quintessentially British work. I admit I probably need to watch The Many Adventures again, but the way the characters are animated and the way they talk alienates me before I can even get down thinking about plot and less superficial character portrayals.

I'm somewhat critical of TLTW&TW too, but Pooh feels like the bigger travesty.

Matt

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PS just watched a couple of minutes of TMAoWtP. Couldn't bear it. Plenty of references to the medium of the books (which if nothing is interesting comparing the start of the to the start of Disney's Robin Hood), but still: wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong. "Oh spelling isn't very good in 100 acre wood. Let's write loads of words everywhere all spelt almost right, but not." Also the books clearly describe Pooh as having a deep gruff voice, but this high-pitched nasal thing. I dread the day when my kids get hold of this.

PPS Please excuse me I may have got out the wrong side of bed this morning.

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I'm with Matt. And for me, the only wrong side of the bed is underneath it.

Saith Jeffrey:

and if the Milne personalities have been understood by the screenwriters,

But that's the point. The Milne personalities never were understood by the screenwriters, not in Many Adventures and even less so in the sequels, so there's little hope of that happening now.

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That's very interesting. We picked up the A.A. Milne compiled work at the library and read a few chapters to the kids. Having seen the cartoons first (both as a kid and now showing them to my kids), I found the tones very similar. Pooh, a bear of little brain, has little adventures full of childlike whimsy. If it weren't for Mando chiming in, I would think this is just a British thing. I thought the personalities were well captured. What do you think missed? The voice?

And I had no opinion on the LWW, other than it was a boring movie.

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Having kids, I vastly prefer the original Pooh movies, like The Many Adventures, over dreck like The Tigger Movie. If they are returning to original form, more power to them, and I'll see it with my kids in the theater (and probably over and over again on Blu-Ray, as well). Sterling Holloway brings an amazing amount of empty-headed cheerfulness to Pooh's voice, that keeps me smiling every time. They are gentle, and innocent, and good. It takes a certain amount of clever writing to help audiences laugh with a dim-witted character rather than at him, but the Disney writers were able to do it. Later featurettes became harsher and less clever. And the more recent stuff plays more like "A very special episode of Pooh," in that they try heavy-handedly to preach to kids. Like I said, a return to the gentler, older form would be an appreciated change.

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So I guess what we're saying, Mando, Matt, and Stef: You are being like Rabbit. :P

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IMO, for honoring the voice of the source author, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh surpasses every other Disney adaptation ever made.

Of course, Many Adventures skeptics may easily reply "That's not saying much." But I think it says enough.

Edited by SDG

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MattPage wrote:

: . . . such a whimsical, quintessentially British work.

Well, Winnie himself is Canadian, "Winnie" being short for "Winnipeg" and all. So if Canadians are caught somewhere between Britain and America in their sensibilities, perhaps it's only right that the Winnie-the-Pooh films should be, too? :)

FWIW, I don't mind Sterling Holloway's voice that much, but I think I'd feel better about it if he hadn't been in SO MANY Disney cartoons already, going all the way back to 1941's Dumbo, where he played the stork. (He also played the grown-up Flower in 1942's Bambi, the Cheshire Cat in 1951's Alice in Wonderland, Kaa the Snake in 1967's The Jungle Book, Roquefort in 1970's The Aristocats, and the Narrator in 1944's The Three Caballeros, 1946's Peter and the Wolf, 1947's Mickey and the Beanstalk, 1952's Lambert the Sheepish Lion, 1960's Goliath II and a few other short films I haven't mentioned here.)

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FWIW, I don't mind Sterling Holloway's voice that much, but I think I'd feel better about it if he hadn't been in SO MANY Disney cartoons already ...

Somehow, though, I think of him as Pooh FIRST and foremost, and so Kaa and everyone else sounds like Pooh. :) When I read Pooh to my children, I do Sterling Holloway (and all the other voices too, more or less).

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What SDG said... in both of his last two posts.

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Sigh ...

They haven't got Brains, any of them, only grey fluff that's blown into their heads by mistake, and they don't Think.

If you think Sterling Holloway is Pooh, that's because you've never heard Maurice Evans ...

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True, it ain't half as bad as what Disney did to Kenneth Grahame (speaking of books illustrated by Shepard) or, I suspect, Lewis Carroll (although I've never read the original Alice books). But why celebrate it for being the least bad of a bad lot?

When Rabbit and everyone else hides from Tigger in Many Adventures, Tigger yells, "Where the heck are you guys?" You couldn't get Milne to write that line if you threatened him with a shotgun.

Edited by mrmando

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"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain."

"I know," said Pooh humbly.

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You guys take your Pooh seriously...

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Well, at least Matt and I do.

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I think we need Stef back.

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I'm sure that my childhood - in which I experienced the Hundred Acre Wood in both its written and Disney forms simultaneously - affects my perception of things. I didn't come to notice the differences until I was old enough to make those kinds of judgments. By then, I was already fond of both, and one probably influenced the other. I can see the differences, but I guess the Disney versions don't disrupt my enjoyment of the texts, or vice versa. They overlap nicely for me, in spite of obvious differences.

Edited by Overstreet

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For the purposes of this discussion, Jeffrey and I are the same person.

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It's good strategy for you to cover the east coast while I cover the west, Steven.

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For the purposes of this discussion, I'm British. I invoke my English ancestor who arrived in the 1830s with a horsehair trunk, as well as my distant great-great-uncle from the Isle of Man.

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What do you think missed? The voice?

I think the voice is a part of it, I guess I expect Pooh to be British, partly because I am. But of course this is an American made film, so perhaps that#s being churlish.

IMO, for honoring the voice of the source author, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh surpasses every other Disney adaptation ever made.

Of course, Many Adventures skeptics may easily reply "That's not saying much." But I think it says enough.

So when VotDT is upon us will you praise it (or whichever of the Narnia films is in your opinion least worst) with such similarly faint damns as well?

MattPage wrote:

: . . . such a whimsical, quintessentially British work.

Well, Winnie himself is Canadian, "Winnie" being short for "Winnipeg" and all. So if Canadians are caught somewhere between Britain and America in their sensibilities, perhaps it's only right that the Winnie-the-Pooh films should be, too? :)

Isn't Winnie (the toy bear - Edward to give him his real name) only named after an actual bear called Winnipeg. In Edward's case I don't think Winnie is short for anything. Like my daughter, Nina, is named after her grandmother who was a Christina, but known as Nina. My daughter is just Nina.

Sigh ...

They haven't got Brains, any of them, only grey fluff that's blown into their heads by mistake, and they don't Think.

If you think Sterling Holloway is Pooh, that's because you've never heard Maurice Evans ...

Nor Lionel Jeffries, nor Alan Bennett for that matter. Holloway sounds like a constrictor that's got both a panther and a man cub stuck in his throat.

I'm sure that my childhood - in which I experienced the Hundred Acre Wood in both its written and Disney forms simultaneously - affects my perception of things. I didn't come to notice the differences until I was old enough to make those kinds of judgments. By then, I was already fond of both, and one probably influenced the other. I can see the differences, but I guess the Disney versions don't disrupt my enjoyment of the texts, or vice versa. They overlap nicely for me, in spite of obvious differences.

I guess what's influenced me is the Jeffries readings which we played again and again in the car. I am, as a result, much more familiar with Pooh 2 than Pooh 1 as a result, and British fully reproduced read out Pooh more than the Disney film which I watched in the cinema but probably never saw again (as we didn't have a video till I was past that stage).

Matt

PS I should probably stop. Much as I like trying, and usually failing to prove myself right, I don't really like making others agree I'm right when it means they lose their love of something I don't love.

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Nothing against Sterling Holloway ... love most of his characters, particularly Roquefort, and I still cherish a recording of him reading some of Kipling's Just So Stories.

But it was Evans who got to me first with Pooh, just as it was Basil Rathbone who got to me first with Peter and the Wolf (to cite another Disney/Holloway piece that betrays its source material ... got news for you, kids: before Walt & Sterling showed up, the wolf really DID eat the duck!). Not really interested in any of the hundreds of other Peter and the Wolf recordings, with the possible exception of my man Michael Flanders (if I can ever find a copy).

Evans was noted for his Broadway portrayal of Romeo in 1935; years later he played Friar Laurence in an audio recording of the play, and used nearly the same voice he'd used for Winnie-the-Pooh!

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Of course, Many Adventures skeptics may easily reply "That's not saying much." But I think it says enough.

So when VotDT is upon us will you praise it (or whichever of the Narnia films is in your opinion least worst) with such similarly faint damns as well?

Three films in a single franchise is hardly a comparable context to the hodgepodge of Disney adaptations over the years.

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