"Winnie the Pooh" Charms Its Way to the Big Screen

 Walt Disney Animation Studios returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with the endearing animated feature “Winnie the Pooh.” Featuring the timeless charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo…and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail.

Inspired by three stories from A.A. Milne’s books in Disney’s classic, hand-drawn art style, “Winnie the Pooh” will be shown soon exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Glorietta 4 & Greenbelt 3).

“The entire story takes place in the course of a day,” says director Don Hall. “It’s business as usual in the Hundred Acre Wood. Pooh wakes up absolutely famished and he happens to have no honey. So that sets him out on his journey, which is ultimately derailed—first by a contest to find Eeyore a new tail.”

Pooh later finds a note from Christopher Robin that reads: “Gone out. Busy. Back soon.” But then Owl misinterprets the note, proclaiming that the boy has been captured by a creature called a “Backson.” Soon, the whole gang is on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from the imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply hoped to find some honey.

“We always set out to make a movie that will transcend generations—appeal to kids, entertain their teenage brothers and sisters, and make Mom and Dad laugh out loud,” says Executive Producer John Lasseter. “The personalities of A.A. Milne’s characters are so sharply drawn, so elegant in their simplicity, we found that they were amazingly funny before we even made our first story sketch. These are characters most of us have grown up with—characters we all want to introduce to our little ones and rediscover with all the loved ones in our lives.”

“Winnie the Pooh” not only features characters parents love to share with their children, but values and simple joys of life. That sharing among generations is reflective of Walt Disney’s philosophy.

“I do not make films primarily for children,” said of the late Walt Disney. “I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be 6 or 60. Call the child ‘innocence.’ The worst of us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be. In my work, I try to reach and speak to that innocence, showing it the fun and joy of living; showing it that laughter is healthy; showing it that the human species, although happily ridiculous at times, is still reaching for the stars.”

Funnyman John Cleese (“Shrek Forever After,” “A Fish Called Wanda”) serves as the narrator for “Winnie the Pooh.” The voice cast features some returning favorites who’ve voiced their characters before: Jim Cummings (“Gnomeo & Juliet,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Shrek”) lends his voice to Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, and Travis Oates, who’s provided the voice of Piglet for seven years, returns as the voice of Pooh’s nervous little friend.

The cast also includes Pooh newcomers Bud Luckey (“Toy Story 3”) as the voice of Eeyore, Craig Ferguson (“The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson”) as the voice of Owl, and Tom Kenny (“SpongeBob SquarePants”) as the voice of Rabbit. Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who also co-wrote original songs for the film (TV’s “The Wonder Pets,” off-Broadway’s “In Transit”) is the voice of Kanga; Wyatt Hall, the 7-year-old son of Director Don Hall, is the voice of Roo; and Jack Boulter is the voice of Christopher Robin.

The film is directed by Stephen Anderson (director, “Meet the Robinsons”) and Don Hall (head of story, “The Princess and the Frog”); Peter Del Vecho (“The Princess and the Frog”) produces. “Winnie the Pooh” is executive-produced by John Lasseter. Robert Lopez (Broadway’s “Avenue Q”) and wife Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit”) provide original songs; the original score is by Henry Jackman (“Kick-Ass,” “Monsters vs. Aliens”).
Actress/musician/singer/songwriter Zooey Deschanel (indie folk band She & Him) provides the vocals for a special rendition of the beloved “Winnie the Pooh” theme song as well as additional songs from the film, including the end-credit song, “So Long,” which she wrote.