Saturday, July 30, 2011

Winnie the Pooh (2011)

Today, we took the boys (all three of them, and yes, it still feels weird to type that) to the movies to see the new "Winnie the Pooh" movie. It was quite an exciting day, considering that it was Little Bear's first movie. It was The Baby's first movie, too, but it doesn't really count because he wasn't really watching anything.

The movie itself was quite good. It was preceded by a short film about how Nessie (the Loch Ness monster) came to be in Loch Ness, which was normal, cute Disney stuff. The Winnie the Pooh movie took several stories from the original book and mashed them together in an entertaining whole: the search for Eeyore's tail (spoiler: it was Owl's new bell pull), trapping the monster in the pit (when everybody falls in), and hunting for Christopher Robin when he had to leave for the day.

I liked that this movie stayed pretty close to the books and the spirits of the characters in the books; the recent Winnie the Pooh stuff (with the girl Chris Robin) has been so sanitized that it's almost unwatchable. The characters in the original book were all flawed an imperfect; the more modern stuff has iron out those flaws and, essentially, made every character the same. This movie allows the characters to breathe and to be imperfect: Owl is self-important and loves to lecture, Rabbit is bossy and shrewish, Tigger is self-absorbed and arrogant, etc. The characters are not quite as extreme as in the original stories, but it is quite pleasant to see them with their own personalities intact.

The slapstick humor in this, although not really from the stories, was appreciated. The boys enjoyed seeing people fall down or have things fall on them. There was no moral lesson, which was also appreciated; it was just stories without the self-important preaching. This is suitable for even the smallest audiences, although the scene when the backson (the monster) is described is a little bit more intense than the rest of the movie.

The boys were so good! The Baby slept through the movie entirely. The Boy sat through the movie, ate lots of popcorn, laughed at all the appropriate spots, and was very, very good. Little Bear flipped out when we sat down and the advertisements started playing; they really do play those way, way too loud. He doesn't hear stuff that loudly often! He settled down in my lap through the short film, and he stayed between my lap and the end of the aisle. He did some wandering, but stayed close and watched the movie. Halfway through, he lost interest and started wandering around the theater, occasionally returning to our seats and watching some more of the movie. He was good, though; he wasn't bothering other people and stayed quiet. The theater was a tiny theater that was mostly full, so there was some space for him to move around.

It was quite a good experience today! The boys had fun, and we chalk this outing as a "win." I don't think that I'd take Little Bear for a movie that was longer than an hour, but this was a great length and subject. The Boy, on the other hand, would be great regardless.

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