I've never really been a big fan of Winnie the Pooh; I'm not sure why... perhaps because it always seemed too laid back with not much going on of any importance. Then again, I really don't remember any Winnie the Pooh cartoons that I've seen, though I know I must have seen some because when I started watching this one I immediately noticed that the voices were all different. Weird that I'd be able to pick up on something like that. I didn't recognize any of the voice actors except for Craig Ferguson who plays Owl and John Cleese who is the story teller.
Anyway, the next thing I noticed about this film is that it wasn't all dry, it actually contained some humor. There are bits where Pooh misinterprets Owl, who often speaks in big words to show off his intelligence, and since Pooh is self-admittedly not so bright, his mixup of Owl's speech can be a bit humorous. Then there are also bits where Pooh finds himself on the page of the storybook that the narrator is reading and Pooh is the story that is currently happening to Pooh and the gang, and Pooh actually interacts with the words written on the page. This may not be laugh-out-loud comedy, but it brought a smile to my face.
Since I haven't mentioned it yet, I should probably point out that Pooh and his friends are actually the stuffed animals of a kid named Christopher Robin. His friends include Owl, whom I've already mentioned, as well as Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Eeyore, Roo, and Roo's mom, Kanga. The story here isn't a complex one; Eeyore has lost his tail and so Christopher Robin sets up a contest to find a new tail. The prize is a pot of honey, which happens to be Pooh's favorite meal.
So Pooh looks around and grabs a pinecone, but when the narrator tells him he needs to come up with something better, he gets his cuckoo clock and slaps it on Eeyore's butt. Needless to say, it doesn't work out. Everyone else attempts a replacement tail of some kind or another, but none up working as good as his original tail, so Eeyore just gives up. Man, somebody get that depressed donkey some zoloft!
Pooh then heads to Christopher Robin's house to get some honey, which takes us into the second part of the story. Instead of finding Christopher Robin, Pooh finds a note, thanks to the narrator directing him to it. This is a funny little bit with the narrator saying that Pooh finds a note and Pooh responding "I did?" and then the narrator trying to direct him to the note lying on the ground. So Pooh takes the note to Owl, who misinterprets it and makes up some story (in song) about a fearsome creature called the Backson. Now the story shifts to Pooh and the gang trying to capture the Backson.
While this movie did not convert me into a Pooh fan, I have to say that I enjoyed it way more than I thought I would. It's a cute little movie that doesn't have a lot of emotional depth but it entertains. It's also fairly short, clocking in at around an hour. Also included on the disc are a couple animated shorts, which helps to extend the entertainment, though not by much as both are pretty short. The first one is called The Ballad of Nessie, narrated by Billy Connolly, and is about five minutes long. The second is called Mini Adventures of Winnie The Pooh: "Pooh's Balloon" Short, and is an even shorter, coming in at under three minutes.
The DVD has two more extra features, a short (just under three minutes) featurette called "Creating The Perfect Winnie The Pooh Nursery" which is two girls giving tips on decorating your baby's nursery, and then some deleted scenes. The DVD has three deleted scenes while the Blu-ray has five, and all have introductions by the director. The Blu-ray has a couple other exclusive extra features, Winnie The Pooh and His Story Too and Sing Along With the Movie.