This is my new rallying cry. Why? Because, both like Winnie the Pooh himself, it is both incredibly dumb and incredibly awesome. My pal the Flash probably put it better than I could, but this is why I find myself saying that: the trailer for Disney's upcoming animated feature, Winnie the Pooh.
©Disney. Based on the "Winnie the Pooh" works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepherd.
Seriously, if you could bottle Disney magic, the result would probably look something like that. This trailer puts a smile on my face and makes me feel like a kid again. This film looks like it has the perfect formula for pure awesome...first off, it's hand-drawn (and lovingly so). Plus, it's going to be adapted from the original Pooh stories of A.A. Milne, just as the three original Disney Pooh shorts were (which were later combined into the feature The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.) Not to mention the fact that Pooh and friends are such well-known and beloved, not to mention well-developed characters- the bit in the trailer where Pooh thinks Owl is sneezing when he says "issue" made me laugh out loud, just because it's perfect Pooh. On the audio side, we have a voice cast which includes Craig Ferguson as Owl, Bud Luckey as Eeyore, and, of course, the wonderful Jim Cummings as Pooh and Tigger.
The only concern I have is that the music will not be done by Richard and Robert Sherman. The memorable songs by the great Disney Legends and recipients of the National Medal of Arts are part of what made the Pooh shorts, like most of Disney's '60s output, just plain classic. I'm not even sure if they work together anymore- their last project together for Disney was The Tigger Movie ten years ago, and an homage to their immortal "It's A Small World" which showed up in this year's Iron Man 2 was written by Richard sans Robert. But in their stead is a team which includes Bobby and Kristen Lopez. Mr. Lopez won a Tony for co-writing the music for Avenue Q, and he and his wife have done a number of projects for Disney. In fact, they wrote a song very much in the vein of "It's A Small World" called "The World Is Something You Imagine" for the recent opening of the Disney Store in New York City, and it was pretty darn catchy. (I was actually in town for it standing next to Ms. Lopez herself- more on that in a future post.) The song in the trailer is not very Shermanesque, but it fits the Pooh spirit and sounds a lot like a late Beatles song.
With all of these elements, I think this bear of very little brain is in good hands. Hopefully, the trailer captures your fancy as it does mine, and you can join in the most unexpected but apt rallying cry ever: HECK YEAH, WINNIE THE POOH!