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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Elliott M. Bour, Saul Andrew Blinkoff
Cast:
Kyle Stanger, Nikita Hopkins, Jim Cummings, John Fiedler
Writing Credits:
Evan Spiliotopoulos

Synopsis:
It's a hilariously haunting Halloween in the Hundred Acre Wood. Roo's best new pal, Lumpy, is excited to trick-or-treat for the first time ... until Tigger warns them about the dreaded Gobloon, who'll turn you into a Jaggedy Lantern if he catches you. But if they catch the Gobloon before it catches them, they get to make a wish! With Roo by his side, Lumpy knows he can face anything. So when Pooh eats all the Halloween candy, Lumpy and Roo decide to be "brave together, brave forever" and catch the Gobloon so they can wish for more. When the two friends become separated, however, Roo decides to wish for something even more important. Filled with adventure, unconditional friendship, and lots of laughter, Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie is a sweet treat for the whole family.

MPAA:
Rated G

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.78:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 66 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 9/13/2005

Bonus:
• Trick of Re-Treat
• Pass the Pumpkin
• Pooh’s Boo! Bingo
• Heffalump Halloween Party Planner
• Sneak Peeks


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RELATED REVIEWS


Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 27, 2005)

Someday I predict that Disney will offer a Pooh film for every conceivable holiday. Eventually we’ll get Pooh’s Awesome Arbor Day and Pooh’s Kooky Kwanzaa, no doubt. Until then, they’ll continue to milk the more lucrative occasions, and that leads us to Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie.

This flick follows close on the heels of the theatrical effort Pooh’s Heffalump Movie; it hit screens in February 2005, while the holiday-sequel was out about seven months later. The film reintroduces us to best buddies Roo (voiced by Jimmy Bennett) and Lumpy (Kyle Stanger). Halloween approaches, but Lumpy the Heffalump doesn’t understand the concept. It simply scares him and he’s a reluctant participant.

It looks like no one will indulge in the normal trick or treating, however, when Pooh (Jim Cummings) can’t resist temptation. He eats all the Halloween candy, which leaves nothing for the rest of his pals. Roo comes up with a solution: he and Lumpy will catch a Gobloon. Tigger (Cummings) scared the crew with a tale of this nasty magical creature but mentioned a tantalizing caveat: if you catch a Gobloon, it has to grant you a wish. Roo wants to nab one and wish for candy so they all can enjoy Halloween.

And there’s your plot! The rest of the movie follows their Gobloon-related exploits, all of which act as an excuse to learn some lessons about sticking behind your friends and facing your fears. We also see a “flashback” to a similar period confronted by Piglet (John Fiedler).

Therein lies one big problem with Heffalump. At 66 minutes, it barely qualifies as “feature-length” anyway, but we get only 45 minutes or so of new footage. The Piglet-centric parts come from a 1996 TV episode called “Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh”. There’s nothing particularly wrong with these, even though they essentially tell the same tale as this flick’s main plot.

However, they do give this project an even greater aura of cheapness than normal. I don’t expect these direct-to-video efforts to present the same polish and depth as theatrical releases, but c’mon – at least give us a full hour or so of new material! This whole effort feels recycled and cheesy.

Not that the kiddies will care or mind, I suppose. It’s left to middle-aged grumps like me to criticize projects like this. For what it is, Heffalump seems perfectly acceptable. As I’ve noted elsewhere, I find it tough to muster much emotion about these Pooh flicks. They’re so relentlessly gentle and nice that they provoke little feeling in either positive or negative directions. They offer some cute, light entertainment, teach a few lessons, and depart from your mind.

And that’s perfectly fine. Obviously something like Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie is aimed at little ones; it shoots for an even younger audience than the usual Disney animated effort. At least those attempt to entice adults, but the Pooh stuff doesn’t make any pretense that grown-ups will find much of interest here. On its own, Heffalump offers innocuous entertainment that will likely amuse the wee ones. I continue to feel irritated by its general cheapness, though.


The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Most of the time the presentation looked solid, but the reuse of old material caused some issues.

For the new footage, sharpness appeared immaculate. At all times, the movie looked distinct and crisp. If any instances of softness occurred, I didn’t notice them in this detailed and well-defined offering. Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects marred the presentation, and I noticed no signs of edge enhancement. As for print flaws, the movie remained clean and fresh.

As with most things Pooh, Heffalump offered a subdued but suitably full palette. Most Pooh offerings go with a gentle pastel look, and this one followed suit. The colors seemed clean and accurate within that scheme. They were always smooth and concise. Black levels were clear and deep, while shadow detail looked appropriately dense but never became too thick or opaque.

Based on this footage, Heffalump would have earned an “A” for visuals. Unfortunately, the presence of shots from “Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh” lowered the overall quality of the package. These elements didn’t look bad, but they were slightly soft and flat. Colors lacked intensity or vivacity, and blacks were a bit dull. Some source defects also appeared, though I suspected that these were mostly the result of sloppy clean-up animation. Since the new footage comprised most of Heffalump, it still received a “B+”, but the old clips forced me to lower my grade.

An unassuming soundtrack for an unassuming flick, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie offered Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Actually, the scope of the soundfield was a little better than I expected. The various “scary” sequences allowed the audio to use the various speakers to a moderately active degree. We got spooky noises in all five channels, though the front dominated. The various elements mixed well and we received decent panning. This created a modest but convincing little environment for the story.

Audio quality appeared solid. Speech came across as natural and concise, and I noticed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Music sounded fairly tight and brisk, with good dynamic range evident. Effects also seemed clean and accurate. Low-end was pretty good during the smattering of louder sequences; my subwoofer didn’t exactly receive a workout, but the movie used it effectively on occasion. Nothing about this mix dazzled me, but it was more than acceptable for this film.

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie tosses in a very small compilation of supplements. All fall under the category of “Games & Activities”. Trick or Re-Treat offers a contest in which Roo and Lumpy have to track down some missing candy. It turns into a mildly interesting piece meant for the little ones.

Pass the Pumpkin requires you to get a mix of players together. It acts as a variation on Musical Chairs. I didn’t get my friends together to try it, but I’m sure the kids will have fun with it. Pooh’s Boo! Bingo falls into the same category, as it presents a Pooh-flavored version of that game. The booklet comes with five Bingo cards.

The final piece presents a Heffalump Halloween Party Planner. This offers parents a number a number of activities in which they can engage the kiddies for Halloween. These include those we’ve already seen like “Pass the Pumpkin” and Bingo, but the area adds a few others too.

As the DVD starts, we encounter a mix of ads. We find trailers for Cinderella, Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, and Disney Princess: A Christmas of Enchantment. These also show up in the Sneak Peeks domain along with ads for Disney Learning Adventures, Disney’s Princess Fantasy DVD Game, Bear in the Big Blue House, Kronk’s New Groove, and JoJo’s Circus.

Every time I review a Pooh program, it seems like I can call it “mediocre but pleasant”. That description continues to be appropriate for Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie. It’s cheaper than most of this product since it reuses old footage, but it should prove moderately entertaining for the kiddies. The DVD offers picture that usually seems solid along with better than decent audio. Unfortunately, it skimps on extras. At least it’s less expensive than prior Pooh releases; its predecessors retailed for $30 instead of this one’s $20 list price. I think you can find many superior programs for your kids, but if they’re dedicated Pooh fans, Heffalump will probably merit a purchase.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.0555 Stars Number of Votes: 18
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