Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger
Starring: Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, Nikita Hopkins, Kath Soucie, Ken Sansom
Director: Frank Nissen
We’ve had Pooh, Tigger and Piglet movies, now it’s the heffalumps’ turn. With Roo (voiced by Nikita Hopkins) taking a more prominent role than before, he sets off on a mission of his own to capture a heffalump having been told pointedly by Rabbit and backed up by Pooh and co that he’s far too young to undertake a mission of such fearsomeness. Our intrepid young hunter sets off exploring, venturing alone into heffalump territory and before long Roo bumps into Lumpy (voiced by 8 year-old newcomer Kyle Stanger). A young, playful and anything but ferocious heffalump, Lumpy and Roo become firm friends.
Meanwhile Pooh, Rabbit, Tigger and Piglet head up another hunting party with Eehore trailing behind weighed down by all the necessary gear, and so the adventure unfolds…
The talented voice actors and screenplay cleverly highlight all the same lovable characters’ traits and trademark mannerisms that the youngsters find so appealing, and which the children instantly recognise them by and are expecting to see. This character familiarity is an instant hit. In addition to the excellent regulars, Brenda Blethyn voices Mama Heffalump and Kyle Stanger makes a wonderful and commendable debut voicing the likeable young heffalump, Lumpy.
The story as usual follows a theme, in this case showing tolerance of others’ differences and learning to value friendship. Renowned singer/songwriter Carly Simon once again complements the movie with some original songs as she did on PIGLET’S BIG MOVIE.
The movie is also interspersed with some chuckling moments and suitably scary ones to keep the kids amused, yet despite this tried and tested formula it could have benefited from more of them and was a little too slowly paced in parts.
However Disney’s latest helping of Pooh and co will still delight its target audience and the animation is as memorable as ever.