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Pooh's Heffalump Movie Review

By Shawn McKenzie 02/11/2005

I’m still not a big fan of Winnie the Pooh.  Unlike other characters that have been around for years, I never saw the appeal in him, even when I was a little kid.  Today, he still appeals to the under 10 crowd, but unless you are a kid at heart and liked him as a child, you probably are not likely to see his latest movie, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie without kids.  I will say though that the movie is slightly better than the previous big screen outing for Pooh and the gang, Piglet’s Big Movie.

Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) has noticed a scary noise in the 100 Acre Woods.  The rest of the gang has noticed this too, including sidekick scaredy-cat Piglet (voiced by John Fiedler), the bouncy Tigger (also voiced by Cummings), Kanga (voiced by Kath Soucie), her son Roo (voiced by Nikita Hopkins), the nasty Rabbit (voiced by Ken Sansom), and the depressed Eeyore (voiced by Peter Cullen.)  The sound is that of a Heffalump, and it sounds like the call of an elephant.  While they are all afraid, they try to find the source of the noise, and if it is a monster, they wanted to capture it.  They don’t want Roo to come along, because they think that he is too young.  This makes him mad, and he sets off on his own to investigate the monster himself.  While looking for the Heffalump, he runs into a strange new character.  When the character identifies himself as a Heffalump, specifically named Lumpy (voiced by Kyle Stanger), Roo realizes that the Heffalump isn’t scary at all.  At first though, both Roo and Lumpy were afraid, because they both assumed that the other were scary characters.  Roo thought Lumpy was the monster, and Lumpy thought all of Roo and his friends were monsters, especially Rabbit.  After getting to know Lumpy, he realizes that the baby Heffalump isn’t even the source of the scary noise.  The noise belongs to Lumpy’s mother, Mama Heffalump (voiced by Brenda Blethyn.)  Lumpy playfully goes along with Roo in being “captured” (Roo lassos him), but Roo eventually “releases” him and takes him to meet his friends.  After meeting Roo’s friends, Lumpy freaks out, because Roo’s friends try to capture the Heffalump.  This is after Roo and Lumpy both had accidentally destroyed Pooh’s house and Rabbit’s garden while playing together.  When Roo gets in trouble, it’s up to Lumpy, with the cooperation of Roo’s friends, to rescue the young kangaroo, using his nose-blowing-sounding trunk to call his Mama for help.

Despite the story being extremely sappy, at least it is a story that gives a message about tolerance that kids could learn from here.  For that reason alone it makes the movie better than Piglet’s Big Movie.  Both parties made assumptions about each other, and, in the end, they all learned something about making assumptions, which grownups could learn from as well.

The new character of Lumpy is a cute character that fits well with the older, more established ones.  It is a little purple baby elephant with a thick English accent and a playful spirit.  I think that if they make more Pooh movies, Lumpy would be a welcome addition.

Overall, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie isn’t a bad movie, just not one that appeals to grownups alone.  The kids in the theater obviously loved it at the screening, and I didn’t roll my eyes at it (like a Barney or a Pokemon movie), but it still wouldn’t appeal to me as a regular, full-grown moviegoer.  I try to gage my rating according to the target audience’s reaction, and the fact that the message was good made the movie itself tolerable.  At least parents won’t feel tortured sitting in the theater with their kids while watching it.


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