New Disney Re-Issue Was Well Worth The Wait

Courtesy:  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Walt Disney Studios’ home entertainment division has been very busy this year.  The company’s home division has released no fewer than ten of its classic and more recent movies to Blu-ray/DVD combo packs this year so far.  And even more are planned for release before the year’s end, including a handful of holiday themed features.  That makes for a very crowded field in terms of re-issues from Disney.  Families are thus left wondering which of the current crop of re-issues are the most worth adding to their home libraries.  One that is definitely worth adding to any family’s home library is the brand new re-issue of the 1977 classic, The Many Adventures of Winnie The PoohThe Many adventures of Winnie The Pooh is one of Disney’s most timeless works.  Taken from author A.A. Milne’s series of children’s books, this collection of stories is perfect for the entire family.  And it looks even better than ever now that it has finally been re-issued in high definition.  The quality of the footage hasn’t lost anything in the transfer from its most recent DVD release to its new Blu-ray release.  In connection, the movie’s animation style stands out as some of the most impressive of any true animated feature rooted in hand drawn animation.  Along with the beautifully hand-drawn animation, audiences will appreciate the inclusion of the fourth of the stories in the Winnie The Pooh franchise, A Day for Eeyore as a bonus feature.  Also included as bonuses, are a handful of mini-adventures and even the standard “Making of” featurette that adds more insight into how this feature was brought to life.  All of this taken into consideration, it all works hand-in-hand to make The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh a must have for any kid and kid at heart.

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh is a must have for any kid or kid at heart.  It is a perfect piece from Disney to add to any family’s home library.  The first and most important reason for that is how the collected stories were culled for the overall presentation.  Instead of the current trend by film makers to try and pull a bunch of different stories for one presentation, this presentation clearly separates Pooh Bear’s adventures.  They did so expertly, making the transitions completely smooth.  Audiences will love how the directing team of John Lounsbery and Wolfgang Reitherman had Pooh (and later Tigger–voiced then by Sterling Holloway and Paul Winchell respectively) break down the fourth wall in interacting with the narrator (Sebastian Cabot) at different points in the story.  It’s a cute moment for the family, but also quite an ingenious way to separate the stories, too.  Just as ingenious was the manner in which Lounsbery and Reitherman had their animation team incorporate Pooh and company into the story, showing the text on the pages with the characters acting out everything being read.  This would eventually go on to be a staple for the features based on Milne’s books, and a welcome one at that.  It doesn’t necessarily break down the fourth wall.  But it adds a certain charm and individuality to the story.  That’s because no other studio at the time was doing this.    It’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what audiences will appreciate in this new re-issue.  This is especially the case for those seeing it for the first time or even the first time in years.  Audiences will appreciate just as much, the original hand drawn animation throughout the feature.

The man for whom Walt Disney Studios was named died in 1966.  That was eleven years before this adaptation of Milne’s works had even been considered by anyone at Disney.  Many critics agree that the quality of Disney’s releases went down after his death.  However, had he been alive to see that his legacy had been carried on in The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, he would have been very proud.  That is because the previously released movies that comprise this presentation—Winnie The Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!—were each features in which Disney had a direct hand.  So seeing his previous works combined into one larger feature serves as a fitting memoriam to Disney’s legacy.

The animation and the writing in the stories culled for The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh work hand-in-hand to make this feature a truly fitting memoriam to Walt Disney’s legacy.  The brand new Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes another feature that serves as just as much of a memoriam in the form of Eeyore’s Day Out.  The fourth release in the series of stories about everyone’s favorite bear follows the same formula as the stories culled for The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh.  There’s the fourth wall being broken down, the solid writing in general, and the equally impressive hand drawn animation.  The story of Eeyore’s Day Out centers on the eternally depressed donkey on his birthday.  Pooh, Rabbit, Piglet and the others had all forgotten, making Eeyore even sadder.  Of course, everything turns out just fine and will leave any viewer with that warm, fuzzy feeling that the previous Pooh tales so wonderfully do.  Making it even more enjoyable is its lessons of friendship and forgiveness.  It serves to make this a wonderful addition to the whole set that is the brand new Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh.

The inclusion of the bonus Pooh tale is a great addition to this newly released re-issue.  There is still one more factor in this set that audiences will appreciate.  That final factor is the standard “Making of” featurette.  This bonus feature goes into full depth about how The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh came to life.  From the animation to the music and even the work of the voice cast, “The Story Behind The Masterpiece” shows just how much work went into making sure Walt Disney’s wish of making this feature happen was honored.  Audiences will love hearing the legendary Sherman Brothers discuss the feature’s musical numbers, including everyone’s favorite song about Tiggers.  Who out there knows the best thing about Tiggers?  The explanations of the old school animation style used to create every single movement of each character shows how much work used to go into making these works of art.  And it is sure to make any art lover and general viewer appreciate that work and its end result versus the far drier and sterile CG pieces that are created by every animation studio out there today.  It is the icing on the cake that is this deliciously wonderful new re-issue from Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.  Both the standard DVD and double disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack are available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct online at http://movies.disney.com/the-many-adventures-of-winnie-the-pooh and http://www.disneystore.com/the-many-adventures-of-winnie-the-pooh-2-disc-combo-pack/mp/1341260/1000316/.  More information on this and other re-issues from Walt Disney Studios is available online at http://www.facebook.com/WaltDisneyStudios.

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The Tigger Movie A Fun, Heartwarming Family Film

Courtesy: Disney Studios

Okay, everyone.  Is everyone ready to sing? *ahem*  ohhhhhhh,  The wonderful thing about Tiggers is tiggers are wonderful things.  Their tops are made out of rubber, Their bottoms are made out of springs.  They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy fun fun fun fun FUN!  Of course, there’s another verse to this song.  But this first verse of the classic song is a great explanation of why the new re-issue of The Tigger Movie is great, too.  And while it’s not the only one, the new re-issue of The Tigger Movie is just as fun as the previous Tigger movies and Tigger himself. 

The Tigger Movie first hit theaters over a dozen years ago.  And even having been re-issued for the second time recently, the movie still hasn’t lost any of its original flare.  The story itself is still as fun and touching as it was in its original release way back in 2000.  It brings back elements of Winnie The Pooh and Tigger Too (1974).  Not only do audiences get Tigger’s classic song about Tiggers again, but instead of being caught up in a tree, Tigger actually goes in search of a tree.  This time, Tigger goes in search of his family tree when he starts thinking that maybe it’s not so great to be the only one.

The lesson learned in the end of The Tigger Movie is one that’s still just as relatable today as it was over a decade ago.  In the age of the non-nuclear family, The Tigger Movie is still a comfort to audiences young and old alike.  It reminds audiences that family is a relative term.  It’s not such a bad thing to be one of a kind.  Being one of a kind makes a person that much more special.  And just because people may not be immediate family doesn’t make them a family.  Just as home is where the heart is, so is family.  That’s the most important thing of all.

The story and the lesson in The Tigger Movie is still enjoyable and relatable to audiences even today.  As enjoyable and relatable as the story and lesson are, the classic style animation adds that much more sense of nostalgia for adult audiences who grew up with the original Winnie The Pooh shorts and features.  The same applies for their children, too.  And now that it has been re-issued again, a whole new generation can experience the joy of true hand drawn animation. 

The classic style of hand drawn animation and the touching family friendly story go a long way towards making The Tigger Movie enjoyable even over a decade since its debut.  With the newest re-issue of the movie, audiences get a bonus feature that makes the whole experience that much better.  Younger audiences are treated to a family tree complete with stickers that they can apply to the tree to make their own family tree.  Parents can work with the children in writing in who is on their family tree, too.  It’s another opportunity for parents to spend time with their children.  Even more of a bonus is it’s an activity that parents and children can do together away from the television, too.  Disney is to be commended for this.  As simple a bonus feature as it is, it’s a wonderful addition that encourages family interaction, as well as learning one’s own family history. 

There are those who will criticize this most recent re-issue of The Tigger Movie.  But in a time when so many re-issues are being churned out just to have them on blu-ray, etc. this movie is one welcome re-issue for any family that doesn’t yet have it in their own home library.

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