Disney wasn’t my go to animation studio growing up. However, Winnie the Pooh was always a joy to watch, even today as an adult. There was so much whimsy and wholesomeness portrayed in the characters that made them very hard to dislike.
We follow Winnie the Pooh and his friends in several short stories of their antics, from overeating and getting stuck in a front door, to tracking down Woozles and interacting with new neighbours. These include some come to life from various Disney movies as well as some ones I was not familiar with.
I’m usually all for unique styles of narration, which is evident in many of my favourite books and series. Percy Jackson, The Book Thief, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time… but while it was a nice narration style at the start, it quickly became convoluted to read. Milne was very fond of songs and poems interrupting his work, and would often make up a paragraph with one incredibly long sentence filled with purple prose. It was supposed to add character, but it just added confusion to me. And a narrative within each short story that was far from concise. It makes me wonder how a child would wrap their head around stories like that being read to them when I had trouble as an almost fully grown adult.
The characters saved the story for me. Seeing the way that these characters were written and their adorable little quirks was incredible, especially seeing how in depth some of the characters go from a single quirk. One favourite for me was Owl portraying himself as a smart person but being ashamed when he knew nothing. It was downright adorable. Rabbit was a favourite too, far more likeable and sweet than how Disney portrayed him. I wonder why they decided to make him so bratty when Pooh was far more bratty and sassy to Rabbit in the actual book.
However, some of these characters were incredibly problematic. For instance, Eeyore. Hate to go and compare books to movies, but Eeyore in Disney’s various adaptations was sad, loveable, and in need of some cuddles. I wanted to punch Eeyore in the books sometimes. A lot of the time it felt like he was using his depression just to get attention, especially with his choice of words. And Winnie the Pooh himself had similar problems too! He was self centred and at times sassy.
This could just be culture shock as I transfer from the cinematic portrayal of the bear with very little brain.
The language was absolutely better in the form of a bedtime story. Just silently reading this on the bus is NOT the ideal way to read this story. Maybe reading this to a kid, things would be a bit more amusing.
Winnie the Pooh gets a score of 3/5. I’m pretty sure I read this the wrong way; not aloud.
Yours in writing