|Year Released||1997||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||73:00 minutes||Other Extras||None|
Warner Home Video
|Starring||Winnie The Pooh
oh and Tigger too!
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||No||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
Dutch (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Hungarian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Hebrew (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Greek (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
So why the heck am I reviewing Winnie The Pooh? Well, why the heck not? I was brought up as a kid on the wonderful stories of A.A. Milne, far more years ago than I am going to let on. Of course, my favourite character was not that slightly dopey bear... Oh, sorry, in these politically correct times I can't call him that can I? I have to go with something like intellectually challenged or similar rubbish, don't I? Never understood why it is any better to go by some hoity toity description when all it damn well means is that you are dopey. Still, getting back to Pooh, no my favourite character is that wonderfully morose donkey called Eeyore. One of the world's great philosophers in my opinion. So I always enjoy returning to Winnie The Pooh to indulge in that wonderfully morose ass. And as much as it pains me to say it, I am heartened by the fact that the Di$ney company decided to buy the rights and keep these wonderful characters alive for future generations of children young and old.
Pooh's Grand Adventure sees Christopher Robin heading off, on the first day of autumn, to school to unravel the mysteries of the universe, leaving our loveable characters to look after themselves in that wonderful place known as The Hundred Acre Wood (thankfully not yet renamed in politically correct terms as The Forty Hectare Wood, which sounds woeful). Unfortunately, when the collective IQ of our wonderful characters barely registers on the Richter Scale (think about it), things naturally happen, especially as Christopher Robin has left a certain bear a jar of honey with a note attached. In the immortal words of Miss Vivienne in Pretty Woman, "BIG mistake, huge mistake". Our loveable Pooh of course misses the note until too late - that is after it is covered in honey. So when the search for Christopher Robin begins and Pooh and Piglet and Tigger have to resort to Owl for help, Owl makes his usual mockery of the English language by misinterpreting the honey covered note and sends the gang off on a wild goose chase (well, okay, a school boy quest). Of course their quest for Christopher Robin is fraught with such hazards as lots of hefalumps and woosels as they search for Skull Rock where Christopher Robin has gone to. I guess we all know how this ends up but what the heck, why introduce a spoiler. Suffice to say we have the usual dollop of Di$ney messages here and everyone lives happily ever after - and why not since it is The Hundred Acre Wood after all.
Yes, well, I doubt whether anyone has ever accused a Di$ney penned story as likely to be confused with Shakespeare, and such is the case here. Nothing really original here as far as plot goes, but this is unlikely to tax the old children's minds too much and thus makes great stuff for throwing on the system to keep the young ones (and older ones too) very happily amused for seventy minutes.
Presented in a Full Frame format (1.33:1), this is not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is sharp throughout and has a very good definition to it, and this is mercifully free from any real inherent faults in the animation. Okay, so the animation is a little flat, but hello - isn't that how traditional animation is supposed to look? There is no problem at all in the way the animation is presented and there are certainly no problems with low level noise in the transfer.
The colours come up fairly vibrantly, although once again I was expecting a little more vibrancy than we actually got. This may actually be an inherent carry over from the original animation, which is quite possibly a little flat through the use of slightly muted colours. Whatever the reason, it is not at all a distraction to the transfer. The colours have in general been handled extremely well and there is no hint of oversaturation in the transfer at all.
There were no apparent MPEG artefacts nor did there appear to be any film-to-video artefacts. Film artefacts were also quite rare during the film, and were in no way distracting to the film. Overall, this is a most pleasing transfer and possibly the best I have yet seen for an animation title: clean and clear, there is really nothing to complain about here at all.
There are eight audio tracks on the DVD: the English, French and Italian audio tracks are Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks whilst the Dutch, Portuguese, Hungarian, Hebrew and Greek audio tracks are Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded tracks. I listened to the English default.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.
The usual animation sync "problems" exist but who really cares about it?
The musical score by Carl Johnson sounds as if it comes straight out of the Di$ney manual for "orchestration by the numbers" type scores for films. Nothing too profoundly original here, but it supports the film fairly well indeed. Of note is the closing credits song Wherever You Are: recognize the female vocalist? None other than Vonda Shepard who has gone onto fame and fortune with the hit television series Ally McBeal.
This is not the most dynamic 5.1 soundtrack that you will ever hear but what were you expecting? There is some nice if understated ambient detail out of the surround channels, the rears especially but beyond that you would barely know this to be a 5.1 effort. The main emphasis of the 5.1 soundtrack comes from the bass enhancement used for thumps and so on - nothing too extreme to upset the little ones, but nicely firm support where required. Whilst I believe that there was greater scope for inclusion of detail noises in the surround channels, what we have is decent and quite clean and clear. Overall, a very decent effort without forcing the issue at all as far as dynamics is concerned. The sound picture is fairly natural.
A very good video transfer.
A good audio transfer.
Doughnut holes, get your doughnut holes here!
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
23rd April 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|