Whenever Walt Disney Animation Studios makes a sequel to one of their movies, I always get really excited to see it. Unlike other animation studios out there, Disney Animation is a studio that has only a select few animated sequels that are in the official Disney Canon not including the many pointless direct to DVD sequels released from the '90s to the 2000s. Since 1937, we have gotten some pretty good sequels to "The Rescuers" and "Fantasia" and now we have one to "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh". Although we have gotten many other Winnie the Pooh movies made by DisneyToons Studios like "The Tigger Movie", "Piglet's Big Movie", and "Pooh's Heffalump Movie", we have never gotten an official sequel from the original Disney Animation Studios until 2011. This official sequel is simply titled "Winnie the Pooh", and it really is such a charming and pleasant movie to watch. It understands what made A.A. Milne's original books as well as the original film so special and continues to show how much the character is timeless and will be a huge part of a future generations childhoods to come.
As we return to the world of the Hundred Acre Wood (as narrated by John Cleese), Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings) discovers he's out of honey and goes out to look for some more. While searching, he discovers his good friend Eeyore (Bud Luckey) has lost his tail and the others including Piglet (Travis Oates), Kanga (Kristen Anderson-Lopez), Roo (Wyatt Hall), Owl (Craig Ferguson), Rabbit (Tom Kenny), Tigger (also Cummings), and Christopher Robin (Jack Boulter) hold a contest to see who can find him a new tail with the prize is a jar of honey. The next day while on the search for honey and Eeyore's new tail, Pooh travels to Christopher Robin's house only to discover a note there which he cannot read. After taking it to Owl, he then discovers that the note Owl reads shows that Christopher Robin has been captured by a scary and troublesome creature known as the Backson. After Rabbit comes up with a plan to capture him, the group travels out to capture the fearsome creature and get back Christopher Robin. What happens next I cannot say because you'll have to see the movie yourself.
This film is really what a perfect sequel should be. It understands the predecessor very well and continues the fun journey as if you missed nothing. The story really is charming, simple, is actually surprisingly funny for a Winnie the Pooh movie. There's a certain scene that I won't spoil that involves some of the best wordplays you'll ever see in a movie. It really got a pretty big laugh from me which I wasn't expecting to happen. I love it when movies surprise me like that as it really makes them even more fun and special. As for the animation, it's once again top notch traditional animation from Disney. It really looks so smooth and well drawn and the animators really must've had fun drawing these characters. The expressions on Rabbit animated by Eric Goldberg in one scene were honestly some of the best-animated expressions I have seen in a very long time. It just shows how much I miss seeing traditional animation on theater screens because it can do expressions that no other form of animation can accomplish. Even the backgrounds in the film match the original backgrounds of the original film perfectly. The characters also once again have their same charm to them that they had back when they debuted in 1966. Winnie the Pooh is a delightful protagonist and the other characters really lead to some pretty funny moments. There's one scene featuring Tigger and Eeyore and it really was pretty fun to see two polar opposite characters be together. Also, their voice actors really are fantastic in this movie. I'm glad Disney didn't go on to recast big name celebrities in this film, but rather picked actors whose voices match the characters. It's something that should be done more often in film. Another thing I've got to mention are the songs written by Robert and Kristen-Anderson Lopez which are so delightful and charming as well. They really rare on par with the same songs the Sherman Brothers wrote for the original film. If I had only one problem with the movie, it's that the film is really short. The film runs at only sixty-three minutes which includes credits and I find that particularly short. Even "Dumbo" did run a minute longer than it, though that really is the only problem I had. I just wanted a little bit more.
Still though, "Winnie the Pooh" is a delightful and charming sequel and shows how much appeal the character has. The story is simple and pleasant, the animation is beautiful and very well crafted, and the characters are just as fun and appealing as ever. This really is such a delightful sequel and I really am glad that I watched it. I just hope more will do the same in the future.