Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh/Tigger
John Fiedler as Piglet
Nikita Hopkins as Roo
Kyle Sanger as Lumpy
Kath Soucie as Kanga
Ken Sansom as Rabbit
Peter Cullen as Eeyore
Brenda Blethyn as Mama Heffalump
Jimmy Bennett as Roo
David Ogden Stiers as Narrator
Pooh’s Heffalump Movie is fun for kids and adults will find it tolerable. If you liked the other Pooh movies, you’ll enjoy this.
The following is the official plot synopsis for the film:
“Awakened by a rumbling that could only be made by the much-feared Heffalump, the Hundred Acre Wood crew sets forth to catch the dreaded creature. Disregarded as too young to partake in such a dangerous expedition, Roo opts to search on his own – with far greater success than his friends. But in meeting a young, playful Heffalump named Lumpy, Roo quickly discovers that Heffalumps are nothing like what he’s been told, and that the creature is equally afraid of Roo’s silly pals. Roo and Lumpy strike up a sweet friendship and work together to dispel the unfounded fears of their respective friends and families.”
Pooh’s Heffalump Movie is rated G.
The best thing about Pooh’s Heffalump Movie is that it is only 68 minutes long. So if you’re a parent taking young children to see it, then fear not. The film does not overstay its welcome. To make things even better, this is probably the best Pooh movie to come along in a while. The plot is a little more interesting, there’s a bit of comedy, and some new characters are introduced. I enjoyed it more than Piglet’s Big Movie.
The setup of the film allows for a lot of comic potential. It starts out with all the characters being terrified of the Heffalump, which is funny. Then you have them mobilizing for a hunt despite their glaring incompetence. Again, there’s lots of comedy potential there. Then you have them finally encountering the large, friendly, cute Heffalump that is the complete opposite of what they were expecting. As you can see, each of these situations allows for the characters to play up their strengths. You have Piglet’s fear, Pooh’s cluelessness, Tigger’s bravado, Rabbit’s bossiness, and Eeyore’s depression. They all work into the story well.
As already mentioned, the full Pooh cast of characters returns in fine form. But this time around you have the addition of Lumpy, the Heffalump. He’s so sweet and cute that you might get a cavity just watching him. But it’s still a fun character that children and adults will like. You get to meet his mother late in the film as well. And be sure to stay through the credits to see additional scenes with other Heffalumps. The addition of these characters was the right way to go with the Pooh franchise and I’d certainly like to see other new characters beyond the core Pooh group.
The animation is your standard Pooh style. The characters all look like they should (though Rabbit’s eyebrows are drawn differently throughout the film). One highlight is a scene with some fireflies during a lullaby between Kanga and Roo. The song is sung by Carly Simon who returns for another visit to the 100-Acre Woods. It is probably the best of the new songs (though I find it hard to recall now).
What Didn’t Work:
Pooh’s Heffalump Movie has a few moments that some children may be frightened by. One scene shows Roo being stalked by the Heffalump and it could be intense for some kids. My children absolutely loved the film and weren’t fazed by the scary parts one bit. However, a sensitive child seated behind us started cowering with his dad and whimpering. I guess you’ll have to figure out how sensitive your kid is and decide if they can handle it. I will say that every kid left the movie seemingly very happy.
Though I generally liked this film better, I thought that Piglet’s Big Movie had a better score by Carly Simon. The songs were a little more memorable and the tunes were better.
And as fun as the plot was, it was bogged down by typical Pooh story trademarks. Rabbit and the gang shoo somebody off because they are too young or too little. There is a horrible misunderstanding and someone is put in mortal peril because of it. The characters overcome their fears or prejudices in order to save the day. These are key parts of almost all the recent Pooh films. They need to look for new ground to cover.
The Bottom Line:
Pooh’s Heffalump Movie is worth taking little kids to the theater to see. They’ll enjoy it if they liked the other Pooh movies and adults will find it short enough to be tolerable.