My wife is very tolerant of my movie addiction, so I’m always keen to get her opinion on things I think she’ll enjoy. Sometimes that’s a greyer area, as there are certain things in life which have meant a lot to her and if one of them finds its way back into popular culture, that can be a potentially sensitive area. Take, for example, the new Winnie The Pooh trailer which ended up on internets everywhere earlier this week.
I know that Winnie The Pooh has a tender place in her heart, not least due to her father reading her the stories so often when she was young, that he knew every word off by heart, from heffalumps to woozles. Not of course, this Winnie The Pooh:
Or indeed, this abomination against nature that surfaced a few years ago:
But, of course, this Winnie The Pooh:
I will confess that when I became aware that a new Pooh movie was on the way and that John Lasseter had helped guide its direction, from the descriptions I was mistakenly expecting something like the latter image. Silly me. Of course it looks very much like the first of the three, in the style of the classic Sixties movies. So much so, that the only thing that distinguishes it as being contemporary is the Keane song that’s being played over it – a track so maudlin that, when I solicited my wife’s opinion, her reaction was, somewhat unexpectedly, “It’s so sad – it’s like Christopher Robin has terminal cancer or something!” Keane, you have a lot to answer for.
I can only hope that Lasseter knows what he’s doing – hand-drawn animation is struggling, and it’s certainly a brave move to put such a movie with such a distinctive style back in cinemas, and I personally hope that the story is nearer Pixar’s more recent output than Disney’s, while still retaining something of A.A. Milne’s original intent. Whatever happens, it will be fascinating to see how this one pans out. Get well soon, Christopher Robin.