Another cog in the Disney/Winnie the Pooh machine comes to life here, as Pooh’s Heffalump Movie brings back all the characters you love for a story about acceptance, no matter what you look like.
Roo (voiced by Nikita Hopkins) becomes curious about the dangerous and scary Heffalump (which looks a lot like an elephant) that Pooh, Rabbit, Tigger and Piglet talk about, and he heads into an unknown part of the 100 acre forest to search for it. He finds a young heffalump named Lumpy (Ky…e Stanger), and the two have fun until they try to go back to Roo’s home, and Lumpy is scared to leave his part of the forest, much like Roo was scared to leave his home before going out to find Lumpy. Roo convinces Lumpy things are OK. However, when Pooh, Rabbit and the group return and see Lumpy, they try to catch him, and the last 10 minutes or so boils down to Roo saving Lumpy and vice versa.
I initially went into the film expecting 68 minutes of Disney tripe, but I came away from this liking it more than I expected. The film is geared for the really young kids and I think they’ll enjoy watching this. While the vocal talent behind the characters is unknown (except for a quick appearance by Brenda Blethyn (Secrets and Lies) as Lumpy’s mom), they got Carly Simon to do some songs for the film, which was a surprise. It’s a very pleasant movie to watch and the kids will enjoy.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack sounds very good, with some effective surround sound use when Roo and Lumpy are playing, or just generally go from one side of the screen to the other. You can even spot some LFE use from your subwoofer during a couple of the songs to boot. One of Disney’s better efforts.
The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation looks equally good also. The colors are reproduced very clearly and vividly, and it appears that there may be some CG work involved here too on some of the more stationary objects like doors and branches, but everything else looks hand drawn and excellent.
The few extras that are here are geared towards the children most interested in watching the movie. Aside from trailers for other Disney releases, there is a section of songs that the kids can sing that were pulled straight from the movie and include subtitles. There are 5 songs that total about 10 minutes. Next is a set-top game where you find Roo or Lumpy using your DVD remote, followed by a look at the new Pooh character. It includes opinions by some kids and some thoughts by the crew on the character, and is also geared towards the kids, as they talk about the Heffalump’s look, some of the sketches of him, and the cookies he likes to eat. Following that is some DVD-ROM material that lets you print out the recipe for the cookies along with some coloring pages.
Pooh’s Heffalump Movie makes for a pleasant viewing experience for the ankle biters in your clan. The movie is quick and painless and retains an innocence that other films don’t have, and the good audio/video qualities are an unexpected bonus. This is an easy recommendation to your kid’s section.
Special Features List
- Sing Along
- Hide and Seek Set Top Game
- Backstage Disney
- DVD-Rom extras