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Western Animation / Winnie the Pooh (2011)

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Pooh: Ever have one of those days where you just can't win, Eeyore?
Eeyore: Yup. I know how you feel.

Winnie the Pooh is the 51st film in the Disney Animated Canon.note  It is a direct sequel to the 1977 film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, based on three previously unadapted Pooh stories from the book ("In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One" and a fusion of "In Which Rabbit Has a Busy Day and We Learn What Christopher Robin Does in the Mornings" and "In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump").

  • Pooh runs out of honey and has to find some.
  • Eeyore's tail is gone and everyone tries to find the perfect replacement.
  • Christopher Robin goes away for a while and leaves a note saying he'll be "back soon", but his friends assume that he was captured by a monster called the Backson, and go on a hunt for it!

Notable for being the second traditionally-animated theatrical Disney film post-Home on the Range (and, to date, the last in the canon altogether before shifting to entirely CGI), as well as the fourth sequel in the Canon.

It's also the first Winnie the Pooh project handled by Walt Disney Animation Studios since A Day for Eeyore back in 1983.note 

To compensate for its short runtime, the theatrical release opened with the short cartoon The Ballad of Nessie.

If you're looking for other Disney Pooh media, or to get linked into it, see here.


Winnie the Pooh provides examples of the following tropes:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The hunny pots at a few points along with some bushes.
  • Absentee Actor: Gopher is nowhere to be found. This is also the first main work since Lumpy's first appearance where he does not appear.
  • Acting Out a Daydream: When Pooh imagines everything being honey, he accidentally eats some mud.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Piglet smiles ruefully after finding out the "Backson" in their pit is in fact Pooh:
    Piglet: Aw, Pooh, you went for the honey, didn't ya? But I told you it was empty.
    Pooh: Yes, and I believed you, Piglet...but my tummy had to see for himself.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: After mostly being Closer to Earth in the Disney canon, the film makes Kanga just as silly and oblivious as everyone else, even more so than her book counterpart. Everyone else is to a lesser degree Denser and Wackier too (lesser because they were already quite comical).
  • Adults Are Useless: Rabbit, Owl and even Kanga get in on this. They are played off more as One of the Kids in this instalment, being just as clueless about the Backson as everyone else, and at one point mistake Pooh for such and try to volunteer one another to confront it. None of them are willing.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: "Witaj w moim swiecie" by Edyta Bartosiewicz is the ending theme for the Polish version.
  • Animation Bump: The balloon in the first story looks more upgraded than the film itself.
  • Arc Words: "A very important thing to do."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Played straight when Owl first describes the Backson to Tigger. "Malicious, ferocious, and worst of all, terribly busy!"
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: The narrator poetically defines "paragraph" as "a group of sentences that form a complete thought". That would be a "pericope"; a paragraph is just a distinct block of text regardless of how it's parsed, and although paragraphs are often divided by topic, it's usually done more for the sake of readability.
  • Art Shift: "The Backson Song" is done in the form of animated chalk drawings.
  • Ascended Extra: Eeyore, Owl, and Kanga became Out of Focus during many projects during the mid-2000s. Here, Kanga is given more characterization and the former two play integral roles in the conflict of the movie.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Rabbit tells Owl how much he admired the speech instead of what was expected, that Owl could fly out of the pit they were all stuck in.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: After finding out Owl's story with the Backson isn't real, the other animalsnote  give him uncharacteristically angry enough looks that he decides to make a hasty exit.
  • Big Bad: The Backson (albeit falsely).
  • Body Horror:
    • A Played for Laughs example is done in this teaser clip — when Pooh tries to reach for a pot of honey, his belly bursts open — to reveal a bunch of white stuffing inside. It also serves as a Call-Back to Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, where the same thing happens during Pooh's morning exercises.
    • When Pooh is dancing among a line of duplicates of himself made of honey, he casually bites off the head of the one in front of him.
  • Bookends: The live-action shots of Christopher Robin's room.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Of the Modern Era films in the Disney Animated Canon. The film is much shorter the other recent films in the Canon, clocking in at barely over an hour (it's shorter than Dumbo, but the second-shortest to Saludos Amigos!), is much more light-hearted, and focuses more on comedy.
    • This also applies to its placement between the Disneytoon Pooh sequels and Christopher Robin, the majority of which were more earnest Character Development pieces with relatively more poignant moments and serious issues to resolve.
  • Broken Record: In Pooh's honey-induced hallucination, everyone starts repeating the word "honey" over and over, including the narrator:
    Narrator: As Pooh watched the honey honey away, his honey honey honey honey honey honey honey honey honey honey honey honey honey...
  • Butt Sticker: At the beginning of "The Backson Song", the Backson drops on Owl and starts dancing, then turns around to show Owl flattened on his backside.
  • The Bus Came Back: After being absent throughout most of the 2000s, Owl finally returns to the franchise and is given a major role.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Oh bother" for Pooh.
    • "Silly old bear" for Christopher Robin.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Gopher does not appear nor is he mentioned. This is probably to emphasize the producers' intent to return to the original stories, where he did not appear either, after so many films and specials that have had him.
  • Companion Cube: Christopher Robin's balloon, nicknamed "B'loon", is a completely normal (if unrealistically indestructible) balloon, but is treated by all the characters as if it was a living, sentient character. This is taken to its logical (and hilarious) extreme towards the end of the film, when B'loon gets all the credit for saving everyone.
  • Continuity Nod: Eeyore tells Tigger "The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is that you're the only one." Tigger had told Pooh in a previous film "The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is that I'm the only one!"
  • Continuity Reboot: Somewhat. The film ignores pretty much everything that came after The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and according to producer Peter Del Vecho, the film is intended to act as a "reset" for the franchise.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits start with the stuffed animals posed in various scenes from the film as Christopher Robin would do with them in his room, and then their animated versions interact with the rolling credits.
  • Creator Cameo: Songwriters Kristen-Anderson and Robert Lopez voice Kanga and Pooh's tummy, respectively.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • "A Very Important Thing to Do".
    • More a 'Gloomy Reprise' than anything, but there is a victory song sung whenever somebody finds a replacement for Eeyore's tail. When Eeyore replaces his tail by himself (using an anchor), he walks in on the scene and sings a solo version declaring himself victor. The enthusiasm he shows when singing is the same amount he shows for most things he does.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pooh gets in on this occasionally in his scenes with Owl.
  • Denser and Wackier: Than even the original three featurettes! Given the writing and the animation, this was wholly intentional by the directors!
  • Disney Acid Sequence: "The Backson Song" and "Everything is Honey".
  • The Door Slams You: Upon entering Owl's home, Tigger slams the top half of the front door in Rabbit's face.
  • Easter Egg: Look at the poster on this page and think about what the trees look like.
  • The Eeyore: Eeyore. Not that anybody cares.
  • End of an Age: This film is notably the final 2D hand-drawn film in the Disney Animated Canon to date, as those succeeding this (at least as of the beginning of 2018) are fully 3D CGI.
  • Evil Overlooker: An extremely subtle one, see Easter Egg.
  • Eyebrow Waggle: Pooh does this when he asks the narrator if there's any honey in this paragraph.
  • Failure Montage: Pooh and the gang trying a great many things to replace Eeyore's tail, until they run out of things to try.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Near the end, Pooh has to decide between the pot of honey Owl offers him and returning Eeyore his tail which he found. Willingly, he chooses the latter.
  • Forgot I Could Fly:
    • Averted in an interesting way. When Pooh and friends (aside from Piglet) are stuck in a pit, their only means of escape are from a rope that is quickly cut up for the each of them. Their only other option is Owl, who can fly, but this does not occur to them. However, when Piglet becomes afraid to go to Christopher Robin's house alone, Owl flies up there, encourages Piglet to travel, and then flies back down into the pit. After that, they comment on...the speech he made.
    • In a less comedic way, when Pooh and friends begin to line up items to the Backson Trap, Owl uses a rope to lower himself down to the bridge where Pooh and friends play Pooh sticks. To place items.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: When Pooh has a hallucination of everyone saying "Honey" over and over, even the narrator is affected by this.
  • Funny Background Event: In "The Backson Song", the characters all complain about holes in their socks — except Pooh, who has holes in his shirt and a solid sock.
  • Gesundheit: Everybody thinks Owl is sneezing whenever he says "issue".
  • Growling Gut: Poor Pooh suffers this throughout almost the whole film, even having a hallucination from going hungry for too long.
  • Hallucinations: While suffering withdrawal from honey, Pooh hallucinates his friends saying "honey" (even the narrator) and their heads turning into honey pots, and enters a fantasy world coated entirely with honey.
  • Idiot Ball: In many Pooh features, Kanga is usually the Team Mom and Only Sane Woman. In this film, she is just as silly natured and naive as the other animals, and as easily convinced into Owl's wild goose chase with the Backson.
  • Intentional Mess Making: When Christopher Robin writes, "Back soon" as "Backson", Owl believes that the Backson is an evil creature who does things like scribble in other people's books and tangle up Christmas decorations.
  • Interactive Narrator: This time it's John Cleese. He doesn't just report the events of the story but often actually incites them, such as his "just then, Pooh spotted a note" being the trigger for Pooh actually spotting it.
  • Internal Reveal: When Christopher Robin returns in the climax, he reveals to the animals they misinterpreted his letter; he wasn't captured by the Backson, he had gone to school and would be back soon. Of course, the audience had known since Pooh first found it.
  • Late to the Realization: Owl gets this after singing the "The Villain Sucks" Song.
    Everyone else: [singing] ...we'll be back sooooon!
    Owl: "Back soon"...
    Everyone else: [singing] Back sooooon!
    Owl: Sounds like "Backson".
    Everyone else: [singing] Back sooooooooooon!
    Owl: Oh well! Good luck everyone!
  • Lighter and Softer: This film is much less dramatic than the Pooh films of the 1990s/2000s, instead taking a more breezy, comedic approach to the material similar to the original 1977 feature film. Makes sense since this film is also based on the original A.A. Milne stories.
  • Meat-O-Vision: After spending almost the entire day without honey, Pooh sees everything as honey. It gets so bad that dialogue is replaced with the characters just saying "honey" and the book's words all replaced with "honey" as well. Also falls under Madness Mantra, arguably.
  • Metafictional Device: Part of the bundle of No Fourth Wall tropes along with the Interactive Narrator. Pooh climbs the narrative text like scaffolding, and eventually it helpfully arranges itself into a ladder allowing the group to escape the pit.
  • Mondegreen Gag: Christopher Robin's letter reads, "Gone out, busy. Back soon. - C.R." Owl misreads the last part as "Backson", setting up the conflict for the film.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The musical "Honey Pot" sequence gets cut off abruptly as Kanga requests that they celebrate her giving Eeyore a tail with silence. Which is ironic considering the voice of Kanga is the co-songwriter of the film.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The first trailer was surprisingly sad, seemingly going with the audience's nostalgia for the original shorts and implying that Christopher Robin is giving up his toys. The feature itself on the other hand, was Denser and Wackier (though still having its moments), and adapted three previously unadapted A.A. Milne stories. Not that that hurt the film in any way, but it's still an example.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: The end credits include a statement proclaiming that "No stuffed animals were harmed".
  • No Fourth Wall: Like the featurettes, the Narrator frequently interacts and gives advice with the characters, who can also walk on, touch and knock down letters from the pages of the book they are in. This even serves as a plot point.
  • Noodle Incident: Owl to Pooh — "...And let me tell you, that was the last time I'll ever put MY beak in a keyhole!"
  • Not So Above It All: As mentioned above, Kanga, though still the sensible Team Mom and even the first to get sick of the celebratory number, gets far more child-like moments here, buying into the Backson story as much as everyone else and even adding her own personal superstitions to it.
  • Ode to Food:
    • "A Pooh Bear Takes Care of His Tummy" is about how Pooh "takes care of his tummy" by making sure he eats when he's hungry.
    • "Everything is Honey" is about the imaginary world where everything is honey.
  • Overly Long Gag: The conversation about "knots".
  • Promoted to Opening Titles: While the original features showed his stuffed toy counterpart, Tigger is strangely absent from the theme song, he is finally added to the Theme Tune Roll Call in this film. Fittingly in an And Zoidberg fashion after Kanga and Roo.
  • Poke the Poodle: The Backson's "evil deeds" seem to be this.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Most of the plot could have been easily avoided if Owl or the other characters knew how to read, or rather knew how to read well.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Zooey Deschanel performed the film's songs (written by the co-writers of Avenue Q). The end credits song ("So Long") is written by Deschanel and her She & Him partner M. Ward.
  • Random Events Plot: This film manages to take three chapters from the books and mix them all into one competently structured story, albeit with several scenes that do nothing to push the plot forward. Given how its established that this is completely in the imagination of a child, it's all in good fun. It's also a nice nod to the source material, which was more concerned with humor and charm than narrative, and also to the 1960's Disney films directed by Woolie Reitherman, which were all pretty episodic.
  • Real After All: The Backson makes an appearance in the post-credits stinger, but he seems a rather cheerful fellow rather than the monster Pooh and his friends thought he was, hinting at a sequel.
  • Retraux: The film makes more of an effort to follow the style of the original shorts more closely than the previous Disney Toon Pooh films, right down to details like xerox lines and the backgrounds.
  • Revisiting the Roots: In contrast to previous Pooh films, the film harkens back to the more lighthearted tone and style of the original short films.
  • Running Gag: Several.
    • Eeyore loses his tail, and throughout the characters keep attaching different objects to the nail on his buttocks.
    • Pooh's strangely-human tummy rumbling sounds.
    • Everyone singing the "Congratulations" song every time someone finds a tail for Eeyore. Including a gloomy, solo version sung by Eeyore himself when he walks onto the scene with his new found tail (an anchor).
  • Scenery Porn: The watercolor backgrounds are very nice to look at.
  • Separated by a Common Language: There was a minor kerfluffle among British viewers about Rabbit referring to a "jump rope" rather than a "skipping rope". The same character at one point also imagines getting a lot of money, which has dollar signs on it.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Owl, as ever, such as "The report of my aerial excursion is inconclusive", but also Eeyore: "That accounts for a good deal...that explains everything".
  • Sequel Hook: The Stinger reveals Owl was right about the Backson and it's Real After All, but turns out to be a nice guy, before it falls into the gang's trap and hopes they'll free him soon.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sneeze Interruption: Parodied when Eeyore and Winnie the Pooh think Owl sneezed in the middle of his sentence but really he said, "issue", which leads them to think he had a cold, which leads Eeyore to think he will catch one, too.
  • The Stinger: The Backson stomps along through the woods, looking menacing, and then comes across the objects trail that Pooh and friends left, and cheerfully proclaims about how you can find so many interesting things in the woods. He sees the picture of himself, thinks everything must belong to the guy in the picture, and proceeds to pick up the items, leading right into the pit and falling into it.
    The Backson: I sure hope that fellow will be back soon.
  • Story Book Opening: 'Natch.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Shows up a lot in "The Backson Song".
    Owl: Its toes are black
    Its fur is blue
    I swear that all I tell you is NOT MADE UP!
  • Take That!: These two trailer spots, which poke fun at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which was released on the same day as this film.
  • Trailer Spoof: The film came out the same weekend as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and thus some Pooh ads started out with lighting text on a cloudy sky (like the Harry Potter movies) with taglines such as "Get ready for the final battle" and "How do you spell adventure?" ...with cuts to Pooh running from bees and inverting a set of blocks from "POTR" to "POOH".
  • Tempting Fate: After Piglet gets stuck in a beehive, he comments how the bees are actually being very calm and as long as nothing riles them he should be fine. Pooh then immediately proceeds to hit the hive with a stick.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After going increasingly hungry throughout almost the whole film, Pooh is rewarded for finding Eeyore's tail with a giant pot of honey.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: "The Backson Song".
  • Wardrobe Malfunction: Pooh's tummy bursting open with stuffing when he reaches for a pot of honey on Owl's mantle. The stuffing even tumbles out.
  • Who's on First?: The "knot, not" conversation:
    Piglet [who has just cut the rope into pieces]: And six! There! And now you can all get out!
    Pooh: How very thoughtful you are, Piglet.
    Rabbit Oh, good grief! Tie them together, Piglet! Can you tie a knot?
    Piglet: I cannot.
    Rabbit: Ah, so you can knot!
    Piglet: No, I cannot knot.
    Rabbit Not knot?
    Rabbit: Pooh!
    Pooh: Pooh who?
    Rabbit: No! Pooh— er Piglet, you'll need more than two knots.
    Piglet: Not possible.
    Owl: Ah, so it is possible to knot those pieces.
    Pooh: Yes, knot those pieces.
    Piglet: Why not?
    Eeyore: 'Cause it's all for naught.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Parodied in a Freeze-Frame Bonus during a montage of Eeyore trying out replacements for his tail (he uses a weather vane at one point and gets struck by lightning). Instead of a skeleton, he's full of stuffing.
  • Your Other Left: The Narrator says this when he's trying to get Pooh to look at the letter left by Christopher Robin.


Winnie the Pooh

Owl has some explaining to do.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ScrewThisImOuttaHere

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