Winnie the Pooh

In a multiplex crammed with bad teachers, horrible bosses and Michael Bay robot farts, it's a pleasure to sink into an animated family movie from Disney that radiates charm with a gentleness that seems damn near revolutionary. The classic characters that A.A. Milne created for his series of Winnie the Pooh stories have a hand-drawn appeal that carries over beautifully to the movie. There's Pooh, a stuffed bear belonging to one Christopher Robin, starting a brand new day in the English countryside by trying to find food (of course) and then help his donkey friend Eeyore find his misplaced tail. Not enough plot there to stock a Harry Potter trailer. But that's part of what I like about this watercolored honey of a movie. There's not an ounce of pushiness in its remarkably short running time (69 minutes — what!). The voice work, from the sunshine vocals of Zooey Deschanel to the narration of John Cleese, is a match for the artful animation. Jim Cummings, filling in for the late, great Sterling Holloway, has Pooh's voice down to perfection. And cheers to Craig Ferguson for getting in his own fun licks as Owl. OK, the plot doesn't really thicken or even come close. But only those of very little brain (less than Pooh's, that's for sure) would fail to appreciate the subtle magic brewing here. Lovely. Just lovely.

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