Review of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - 25th Anniversary
by Shannon Muir
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Feature: 10 out of 10
Sound: 10 out of 10
Picture: 10 out of 10
Bonus Materials: 9 out of 10
Navigation: 9 out of 10
- 1 disc
- Running time: Approximately 74 minutes
- G rating
- Bonus Features: "The Winnie the Pooh Theme Song" performed
by Carly Simon; "Pooh's Pop-Up Fun Facts"; Winnie the
Pooh Art Gallery; "The 100 Acre Wood Challenge" Game;
Disney Storytime, "Pooh's Shadow"; Sing-Along Song,
"The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers"; "A Day for
Eeyore" (classic short); "Making-of" featurette;
Exclusive Sneak Preview of two Pooh Movies
- Region 1 encoding; NTSC
- THX certified
Info From Amazon.com
Twenty-five years ago, three short films (all planned out by Walt
Disney, though he only lived to see the first completed) were
combined into the first feature highlighting a yellow bear of
very little brains but a big honest heart, Winnie the Pooh. This
had been Walt's original vision in order to build up the love
for Pooh amongst the children of the United States, who were not
as familiar with the bear and his friends as their counterparts
in Britain. The result is a cast of characters loved the world
over thanks in part to the efforts of Disney.
either know the film or the classic Milne stories on which it
is based, or much description of the three stories would inadvertently
produce too many spoilers. With the hope that this film's status
as a classic speaks to its story quality, attention will be turned
to the wide menu of bonus features on this anniversary DVD release.
rendition of the theme is nicely performed with a well-produced
accompanying video, that will also be used to promote the Disney
theatrical release PIGLET'S BIG MOVIE. "The 100 Acre Wood
Challenge Game" allows you to choose one of three characters,
then shows you a series of scenarios where you are to select the
proper answers in order to help each character reach their goal
(e.g. Pooh getting honey from the top of a tree); while well produced,
items always seem to generate in the same order or place, so can
be memorized reasonably quickly. "Pooh's Shadow" is
basically a read-along book on DVD, where the child can either
choose to read it on their own or read along with the narrator.
Whether the child is reading along reading on his or her own,
an adult may be needed to help "turn the pages" with
the remote control, as manual navigation is required.
the Pooh Art Gallery features production art, some colored versions
of the art produced for the A.A. Milne books as used for production,
and photographs taken at the studio and of a Pooh-themed Disneyland
attraction. As a plus, the gallery allows two modes for viewing
the artwork -- the Stills Gallery (where you advance each page
manually and can click on pictures to see them full-screen) or
the Video Gallery where it moves through for you at a predetermined
pace, with some informative accompanying narration. However, the
Stills Gallery icon was hard to see at times, so it was difficult
to know where I was.
for Eeyore" is listed as a classic short, yet its copyright
date is 1983, so whether you define it classic is perhaps debatable;
I think it earns the definition in large part to the production
quality and feel. Its introduction is similar to the feature film,
and the artwork very much in line with the feature (versus the
later television series and films). The narrator also interacts
heavily with Pooh, just as in the style of the feature. Frankly,
I don't think I'd ever seen this animation before, though I know
the Milne stories on which it was based, and absolutely enjoyed
The Sing Along
bonus feature, "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers,"
is basically that portion of the movie where Tigger performs his
famous theme, intercut with footage I suspect is from the television
show; the words appear on screen early on to sing along, but disappear
midway through to the end of the song, which may make it tough
for young ones to sing along. It's also a sampling to promote
SING ALONG WITH TIGGER available from Walt Disney Home Video.
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Story Behind the Masterpiece"
is not so much a behind-the-scenes of production featurette, as
a piece on the entire evolution of Pooh from how the books came
to be, through how Disney came to share Pooh with his own daughters,
to deciding to make the feature film. People interviewed for the
documentary include: storyman X. Atencio, animators Ollie Johnston,
Frank Thomas and Burny Mattinson, composers Robert B. and Richard
M. Sherman, voice actors Paul Winchell (Tigger) and John Walmsley
(Christopher Robin), and Dave Smith, Director of the Walt Disney
archives. It's a well-edited piece, lengthy and detailed, which
I believe is as informative to newer fans of Pooh and equally
enjoyable to long-time fans. One thing it explains, that I personally
never knew, is the rationale for adding Gopher -- a character
not from the Milne books -- in the feature film.
peeks at upcoming (at DVD release time) are of productions PIGLET'S
BIG MOVIE for theatres and WINNIE THE POOH: A VERY MERRY POOH
YEAR for the home market. The Piglet-themed movie piece revolves
around an interview with Carly Simon, who wrote five musical numbers
for the film plus provides her rendition of the theme (as heard
in the video included on this DVD) for the film, intercut with
film footage. Pooh's new outing for the home market is a new full-length
feature about "the value of resolution" and features
a full-length trailer, and it's musical numbers appear to be traditional
Christmas and New Year's songs.
Fun Facts" is the most deceptive bonus feature in that it
sounds like it is a stand-alone feature. In actuality, it is more
like a setting, which results in watching the movie while facts
about Pooh and his 25-year history to appear onscreen during playback.
Speaking of settings, French and Spanish Language Tracks are available
on this DVD, along with English subtitles for the hearing impaired,
French, and Spanish. There is also a setup to optimize for THX
(the DVD is in THX-certified Dolby Digital 5.1), which you may
have to run prior to watching the film. In my case, though I had
audio for most things, the movie played silently until I ran the
on the disc in general is pretty straightforward; it's just a
matter of following the bee. However, the staggering of some menu
items sometimes makes it a little difficult to remember exactly
which directional arrow to press to reach a choice. The sound
and video are digitally remastered and restored to a superb quality.
want to re-experience the Disney classic for yourself, or introduce
it to new generations, I fully recommend rushing to get your hands
on this new edition -- not just for it's high quality version
of the feature film, and the "A Day for Eeyore" short
which many younger Pooh fans may not have seen, but for the added
features that provide something for every age.
- Pros and Cons
- Wide variety of content-rich, well-produced bonus features,
especially the "Making of" Featurette and the Sneak
Previews of the upcoming Pooh projects.
- Inclusion of the "A Day for Eeyore" short.
- Excellent sound and video quality.
- Multiple dub and subtitle language tracks.
- Occasionally awkward navigation.
- Lack of answer variety in the "100 Acre Wood Challenge
- "Pooh's Fun Facts" being lumped in with the bonus
features when it probably is more logical on the main menu
(being neither a true stand-alone bonus feature nor a true
standard setting choice).
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