I find it’s very hard to display any sense of malice or distaste for something like “Pooh’s Heffalump Movie” which is so harmless and adorable in its presentation with simple animation and such an uncomplicated story. It’s the closest thing to quality for me that Disney’s created in years. Disney’s creativity and imagination has all but diminished over the years, except for when it applied to “Winnie the Pooh” and its many spin-offs. Though Christopher Robin is all but MIA in this film (appearing in the credits briefly), “Pooh’s Heffalump Movie” is still a very entertaining and guilt-free story about friendship that often echoes “The Fox and the Hound” except less heartbreaking.
Now, I love Winnie the Pooh and all its incarnations (except that one featuring the puppets), I’ve always thought Winnie the Pooh was a great story with an excellent world and fun characters, so I take every such opportunity to watch anything featuring these wonderful characters. The group is frightened to discover large foot prints appearing in their fields in the one hundred acre woods, and now set out to hunt the frightening heffalump, and Roo, who is told to stay behind, sets out on his own to find the monster, but comes along a friendly blue elephant who reveals itself to be the heffalump.
The two spend most of the film bonding and forming their friendship while Roo learns that “Lumpy” is no more harmless than Piglet. Newcomer Kyle Stranger is utterly adorable as Heffalump and really manages to provide a memorable performance here with some great voice work and a sense of awe within Heffalump who is a big fish in a large pond, and Jim Cummings performs his usual excellent voice work as Tigger and Pooh. Meanwhile, the incomparable Brenda Blethyn steals the show as Mrs. Heffalump, the character who appears in the climax to play a big role in the story.
Though, the film is for children mainly with a simple story, I still found myself entertained by its unabashed innocence. It’s adorable and non-threatening and a pretty good time. I’ll forgive you Disney for inserting Heffalump for marketing purposes, I’ll forgive you for releasing a film that’s not even ninety minutes, and I’ll forgive you for not including Christopher Robin, because this is a very cute film, with good acting, and a very simple but entertaining story. I’m a sucker for Winnie the Pooh and all its incarnations, and I had fun, so ease up on the marketing schemes, Disney.