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Winnie the Pooh


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#21 MattPage

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 05:40 PM

Stef, just be glad for Pixar. Our parents didn't even have that.

This isn't for anyone who likes the books is it? I mean the animation may be hand-drawn, but it looks horrible compared to the images in the books. And complaints about the Chronicles of Narnia just look nit-picky compared to this.

Just glad we haven''t got into the swing of going to the cinema just yet.

Matt

PS both my 4 year old and my 2 year old love Ponyo.

#22 Overstreet

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 06:09 PM

Beautiful trailer. Really feels like the spirit of the original Disney Pooh cartoons, and I'm glad they're keeping the storybook motif (Piglet bumping into the text, etc.) I'll be seeing this in the theater, even if I have to go alone.

It's such a perfect cast of characters for a children's storybook world, and if the Milne personalities have been understood by the screenwriters, then this story should be enjoyable for most parents too.

If I could imagine some stories for children that have anything like the enchantment of Milne's world, I'd call that quite an accomplishment. I learned a lot from those stories when I was a kid, and enjoyed them over and over and over again.

#23 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 06:09 PM

MattPage wrote:
: This isn't for anyone who likes the books is it?

Um, I think it has to be, especially given how the trailer ends with a somewhat vintage-looking book and all.

: And complaints about the Chronicles of Narnia just look nit-picky compared to this.

You mean in terms of reinventing the storyline? I think the better point of comparison here might be how this film compares to the featurettes that were produced between 1966 and 1974 and edited together (with a brand-new epilogue) into the feature film The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh (1977). Those featurettes introduced some "new" bits too -- including a gopher who actually says "I'm not in the book, you know!" -- so if the new film includes a bit of that too, it would arguably be in the spirit of the original film.

To put this another way, I believe Disney is trying to ignore the recent sequels The Tigger Movie (2000), Piglet's Big Movie (2003) and Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005). If memory serves, all three of those films followed a formula that ended with climactic "scenes of peril", among other things, and I think the idea here is that the new movie will just skip all that and tell a story closer in spirit to both the book and the earlier movie.

: PS both my 4 year old and my 2 year old love Ponyo.

I think my kids liked that one too, though as far as Miyazaki movies go, they were bigger fans of Castle in the Sky.

#24 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 07:59 PM

You mean in terms of reinventing the storyline? I think the better point of comparison here might be how this film compares to the featurettes that were produced between 1966 and 1974 and edited together (with a brand-new epilogue) into the feature film The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh (1977). Those featurettes introduced some "new" bits too -- including a gopher who actually says "I'm not in the book, you know!" -- so if the new film includes a bit of that too, it would arguably be in the spirit of the original film.


The Many Adventures is a wonderful feature--if they get even 2/3rds of the close to that film, it will be a winner. The gopher rocks, too. I think it is the whimsy of the stories that resonates the most--it's a delightfully lyrical romp through the Hundred Acre Wood.

#25 Overstreet

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:10 PM

That's the thing: To make a feature film from the Hundred Acre Wood, anybody would have to consider the books as just "a packet of seeds." There's not enough there there to fill a film. A Pooh movie has to be something all its own, with respectful nods back to the source material.

The charm of reading Milne is that his language, storytelling, haiku-like dialogue, and character development all mirror the Shephard drawings (or, rather, vice versa). They're all spare, sketchy, whimsical. They avoid "cute." Everything is necessary, and that includes the playful absurdities. Because these stories are all about the serious work of play.

The challenge for a filmmaker is to embellish Milne's characters and events enough to create a compelling big-screen experience without spoiling the spirit of the thing. The Many Adventures did that pretty well, I thought, and it's still one of my favorite Disney features.

#26 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 09:01 PM

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).

#27 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:11 PM

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

#28 MattPage

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:49 AM

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

#29 MattPage

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 03:56 AM

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.

#30 mrmando

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 04:19 AM

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.

#31 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 08:07 AM

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.

#32 CrimsonLine

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:44 AM

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.

#33 Buckeye Jones

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:46 AM

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

#34 SDG

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 10:27 AM

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, 12 November 2010 - 10:28 AM.


#35 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 10:52 AM

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.)

#36 SDG

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 11:03 AM

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).

#37 Overstreet

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 12:39 PM

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

#38 mrmando

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:06 PM

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 ...

#39 mrmando

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:15 PM

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, 12 November 2010 - 01:34 PM.


#40 SDG

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 01:35 PM

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

"I know," said Pooh humbly.