"Oh, bother," as Winnie The Pooh would say. Or, "Oh, fluff and stuff." Everybody loves Winnie the Pooh, but there are probably relatively few everybodies who will be taking their kids to see the latest Pooh adventure this weekend -- what with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 making its debut. Winnie the Pooh opened in a handful of overseas markets last April and flopped. It recorded its biggest gross in the U.K., which was to be expected, given the wide range of top British talent who voiced many of the characters. But that amount, just $593,568, barely covered the costs of distribution in the U.K, let alone production. For the most part, critics have been complimentary, if not spinning with excitement like Eeyore, over the movie. "It's predictable, painless, occasionally amusing fluff," sums up Gary Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times adds the adjectives "sweet and innocuous." (He also assures parents that it's also "nightmare-proof.") And the Boston Globe 's Tim Russo contributes "agreeably traditional." And it's traditional in ways other than its 2D, handdrawn look, several critics agree. Dante Anthony Fuoco in the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that it "has a visual and emotional artistry that depicts the value of committed friendships, highlighting challenges that may come along. Yet what it expresses most of all is the sheer fun and joy these experiences can bring." A.O. Scott in The New York Times remarks, "It is good to see Pooh again, along with Rabbit, Owl and Eeyore ... and to discover a new path back into the old, classic story." And Scott Bowles in USA Today concludes that while the movie "doesn't stand a chance at the box office, Pooh succeeds by embracing much of what modern films (including Potter 's) have largely forgotten old-fashioned movie pleasures. Like simplicity. Harry Potter, for instance, is fighting for his life, his friends and the fate of the human world. Pooh is looking for Eeyore's tail."

15/07/2011