This summer Walt Disney Pictures will release the first big screen Winnie the Pooh movie in more than 35 years. The story will see Pooh Bear gathering together all of the usual cast of characters from the 100 Acre Woods on a mission to save Christopher Robin from something or other. Images from the upcoming animated feature have been released and just a cursory glance at them has childhood memories bubbling up from some dark, disgusting place inside of me.

Disney hasn’t looked like classic Disney in quite a while. And by classic Disney, I’m talking about hand drawn animation featuring all of the core characters from back in the day when Walt was doing things. I know the Pooh characters aren’t Mickey and Minnie; they weren’t created by Disney they were acquired by them. But the acquisition happened long enough ago that for my childhood they all stood side by side in the Disney pantheon.

Disney was on fire in the 90s, creating animated features that everyone loved. It was a new golden age for the company. But these were all new Disney icons that were being created; they weren’t the ongoing adventures of the classic crew of characters that are among the first images we introduce our babies to as a culture. The 00s were way worse than that when it came to warm, fuzzy Disney memories. They tried with The Princess and the Frog, but it felt like a desperate grasp to recapture something that was gone. Pixar took over and did amazing work, but they were only tertiarily Disney, and their computer animation feels like a completely different animal than classic Disney animation.

With Winnie the Pooh, this all seems to have changed. These images look like something that could have come out of my childhood, or my parents’ childhoods. If I had kids I would be getting pretty excited to take them to go see this: to introduce them to Eeyore. Hell, I might have to steal some kids and make this happen anyway.

Coming Soon has the whole gallery: here


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