Back before Disney’s Winnie the Pooh came out in theaters I went to the studio and interviewed Directors Don Hall and Stephen Anderson and the legend Burny Mattinson. Burny Mattinson has had a long career at Disney Studios, he was a story board artist and became a character animator for Winnie the Pooh. So he’s been working on Winnie the Pooh for a very very long time.
Directors Don and Stephen decided early on that the new Winnie the Pooh movie needed to take Winnie the Pooh back to it’s roots. So they went back to the original stories, On October 14, 1926 A.A. Milne published Winnie-the-Pooh, the first volume of stories featuring the beloved bear and his Hundred Acre Wood inhabiting pals. Burny Mattinson was definitely on the same page, I asked him what he thought about My Friends Winnie The Pooh (my kids loved that show) and well let’s just say it wasn’t his favorite version of Winnie The Pooh.
So back to the books they went. They also traveled over to Ashdown Forrest in, in Sussex, England. To create the movie Winnie The Pooh they took six stories and kind of weaved them into a narrative. Obviously some of the stories dropped by the wayside in the process of that. And, of course, the film, organically changed even more over the course of the movie’s life. While in England they visited London where they were able to view some of the original book art. This helped them capture an older feel to the movie while they still made it new. I found that Winnie The Pooh was very well done. The artwork was outstanding from background to character. It’s the perfect movie for little kids and the young at heart.
One thing I truly love about visiting the Disney Studio lot is how much creativity is on the premises. Inspiration is from floor to ceiling. They completely recreated Christopher Robin’s room just for inspiration. I know they needed it for the opening scene, but I think this set we saw was not the same as what was in the movie.
Also on the walls we found Tigger…In Winnie The Pooh the characters play with the words which is absolutely adorable. They use the words as a ladder to climb out of the whole and the words are just part of the story. Just like the narrator is also part of the story. He talks to the characters and they talk to him.
And poor hungry Pooh in his honey dream. The Honey scene in Winnie The Pooh is one of my favorite scenes. It’s over the top like a Broadway musical and still fun to watch.
Winnie The Pooh is available on Blu-ray DVD Combo Packs October 25th.
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