Winnie the Pooh is a 2011 American animated film inspired by three A.A. Milne stories. The film is a reboot of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh franchise, and it marks the first time a Winnie the Pooh film will hit theaters since the 1977 film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. In the film, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Roo embark on a quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. The movie is directed by Stephen Andersonand Don Hall, written by A. A. Milne and Burny Mattinson, produced by Peter Del Vecho, Clark Spencer, John Lasseter, and Craig Sost, and narrated by John Cleese.
The film was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and was released on April 15, 2011 in the UK, with a United States release date set for July 15, 2011.Production for the film began in September 2009 with John Lasseter announcing that they wanted to create a film that would “transcend generations.” The film also features six songs by Robert Lopez, as well as a rendition of the “Winnie the Pooh” theme song by actress and musician Zooey Deschanel. The movie is preceded by two animated shorts, one called The Ballad of Nessie about a friendly Loch Ness Monster named Nessie and how she and her best friend MacQuack, the rubber duck, came to live in the moor they now call home. and the other one called Jake and the Neverland Pirates (unrelated to the Disney Junior show of the same title) which tells the story of a young gang of would be pirates in Neverland, who have to fight Captain Hook for possession of one of them’s goldfish.
During an ordinary day in Hundred Acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh sets out to find some honey. Misinterpreting a note from Christopher Robin, Pooh convinces Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo, and Eeyore that their young friend has been captured by a creature named “Backson” and they set out to save him
Burny Mattinson, a Disney veteran who worked as the key animator on Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, served as lead storyboard artist for the film, with Stephen Anderson and Don Helm directing. Director Stephen Anderson is best known for his effort on Meet the Robinsons, Journey Beneath the Sea, Brother Bear, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Bolt. Director Don Hall also has veteran status at Walt Disney Animation Studios, significantly contributing to The Princess and the Frog,Meet the Robinsons, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Tarzan. Supervising animators for the film include Mark Henn (Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin), Andreas Deja (Tigger), Bruce W. Smith (Piglet, Kanga, Roo), Randy Haycock (Eeyore), Eric Goldberg (Rabbit) and Dale Baer(Owl). Similar to The Princess and the Frog, the film also uses Toon Boom Animation’s Harmony software. Instead of using live-action book scenes, the book scenes are CGI-animated with the characters interacting with the text.
Originally, the film was supposed to feature five stories from the A.A. Milne books, but the the final version ended up drawing inspiration from three stories. Lasseter had also announced that Rabbit’s friends and relatives would be in the film, but they never appeared.