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Dustin Putman

Dustin's Blu-ray Review
The Many Adventures of
Winnie the Pooh

The Film
2.5 Stars
(Release date: August 27, 2013) - Based on the beloved children's stories by A.A. Milne, Disney's "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" was the film adaptation that began a lucrative franchise of television series, featurettes and movies that endure to this day. An anthology of three shorter tales making up the 74-minute whole, the film includes "Honey Tree," wherein the honey-loving Pooh Bear gets stuck in the entrance to Rabbit's house; "Blustery Day," about an especially windy afternoon that comes to the Hundred Acre Woods, and "Tigger Too," about Tigger's search for acceptance among his friends for his excitably bouncy ways. "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," like just about all of Pooh's adventures, is clearly targeting viewers in their single digits. The stories are light on hard-hitting conflicts and inoffensive to a fault. There isn't much momentum to any of it—the film sort of just drags along, the charm of the characters pulling the audience through—but there is a certain comfort to be had from catching up with Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, and the rest of the treasured gang of stuffed animals come to life.

Blu-ray Picture/Sound

The most eagle-eyed and touchy of videophiles might cry foul, but the 1080p, AVC-encoded transfer of "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" looks aesthetically very pleasing. Grain is virtually nonexistent, but this cleanliness does not affect the integrity of the material in any great way. In a few scenes, particularly the ones set in Winnie the Pooh's home, there is a blurred, almost double-image effect to the backgrounds, though it is tough to say if this is a transfer issue or inherent to the source. Either way, it is the one minor debit in a high-definition image that is clear, well-defined, and with a color scheme as bouncy as Tigger. The scenes in the third segment set during a snowfall are particularly ravishing to behold. In regards to the DTS-HD 5.1 Master, there is little to complain about save for the observation that a relatively sedate movie such as this doesn't naturally lend itself to immersive surround sound. For this reason, the lossless 2.0 track also provided sounds more faithful to the original intentions of the filmmakers and is every bit as solid but unassuming. Take your pick, depending on your personal preference.

Blu-ray Features
"Disney Intermission," featuring bonus activities while the film is paused; the classic animated short "A Day for Eeyore" (25 min., HD); "The Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," including shorts "If I Wasn't So Small," "Piglet's Drawings," "The Expedition," "Geniuses," and "The Honey Song" (12 min., HD); "Theme Song" Music Video with Carly Simon (3 min., SD); "The Story Behind the Masterpiece," a behind-the-scenes documentary (25 min., SD); "Pooh Play-Along" (2 min., HD)

Bottom Line
"The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" likely wouldn't be a grown-up's go-to choice for entertainment on a Saturday night, but there is something to be said for the value of nostalgia. Pooh and his pals have got a lovability—and a familiarity—to them that will take older viewers right back to their childhood. As for kids under the age of about eight, they'll be in heaven. Lush and lovely to look at with a number of solid extras, "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" on Blu-ray is easily recommended for both the young and the young at heart.

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© 2013 by Dustin Putman
Dustin Putman