Disney, once the prestigious leaders of animated family fare, have struggled considerably in recent years to remain creative and relevant in a climate dominated by the likes of Pixar and DreamWorks Animation. Their most recent in-house efforts, "Meet the Robinsons," "Bolt" and "The Princess and the Frog" have been middling efforts and their upcoming "Tangled" has virtually no heat behind it (maybe we're just the wrong demographic but the buzz on that one seems non-existent at this point). So it's no surprise then that Disney is trotting out a successful, cherished brand to try and right the ship.
Everyone's favorite depressive bear, Winnie The Pooh is headed back to the big screen. And really, it's a smart move. Most kids these days are not familiar with Winnie and his friends Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet, and if done right, the film could hit the sweet spot appealing to adults nostalgic for the A.A. Milne books, films and shorts from their youth, and young children intrigued by the cute trio. But perhaps most exciting, Disney is not being lured by 3D and CGI and will be producing the film with old fashioned 2D, hand drawn animation.
"Winnie The Pooh" is being headed by by Disney and Pixar animation chief John Lasseter but while you might be hoping for a film that will hearken back to the studio's golden age, don't hold your breath. The film will feature five brand new songs, but worryingly, it will move at "a faster pace punctuated with humour that's appropriate for modern audiences." We're guessing that means fart jokes and Black Eyed Peas references. Seriously, there is enough humor and charm in the source material that it doesn't really need to pumped up, but we're not studio executives so what do we know.
Jim Cummings, the longstanding voice of the bear will return as Pooh while John Cleese will be on hand to narrate the picture. The film is coming along quickly and is expected to land in theaters next year.