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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Frank Nissen
Cast:
Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, Nikita Hopkins, Kath Soucie, Ken Sansom, Peter Cullen, Brenda Blethyn, Kyle Stanger
Writing Credits:
Brian Hohlfeld (screenplay), Evan Spiliotopoulos (screenplay), A.A. Milne (characters)

Tagline:
Heffa nice day.

Synopsis:
Straight from the theaters, it's a grand scale animated feature that is as exciting as it is charming, where friendship, understanding, and adventure abound as Winnie the Pooh and his friends learn that things are not always as they appear. A quiet day in the Hundred Acre Wood quickly grows mysterious when a strange sound echoes through the trees ... a sound that can only be ... a Heffalump! While the friends devise, Roo sets off into the Wood and discovers a Heffalump named Lumpy. To Roo's great surprise, Heffalumps are quite friendly and playful. After meeting Lumpy, Roo wonders why the others are so frightened and why Lumpy is so afraid of Roo's friends. Upon discovering their new friendship, Roo and Lumpy's loved ones realize that Heffalumps are nothing to fear at all. Filled with humor, heart, and Heffalumps, this warm and wonderful adventure is great fun for the entire family.

Box Office:
Budget
$20 million.
Opening Weekend
$5.805 million on 2529 screens.
Domestic Gross
$18.081 million.

MPAA:
Rated G

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

Runtime: 68 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 5/24/2005

Bonus:
• “Hide ‘n’ Seek with Roo and Lumpy” Game
• “Welcome to the Family, Lumpy” Featurette
• Disney’s Song Selection


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Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 17, 2005)

Although 2003’s Piglet’s Big Movie didn’t exactly light up the box office with its $23 million gross, I guess that was good enough for Disney to greenlight another Winnie the Pooh-related flick. Thus we got 2005’s Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, a tale that deals with the seemingly mythical title critters.

A loud trumpeting sound disturbs the peace in the Hundred Acre Wood. This excites young Roo (voiced by Nikita Hopkins) but it frightens most of the other locals. They rush to Rabbit (Ken Sansom) for his advice, and their investigations indicate their realm has been invaded by an apparently vicious beast called a Heffalump.

This doesn’t intimidate Roo, who wants to take an expedition into Heffalump Hollow to capture one of the critters. The group agrees but although Roo is the only competent member, the others won’t let him come along because he’s too young. Despite their chastising, Roo sets out on his own to prove his abilities. The movie follows his exploits as well as the attempts made by the others and the results of the dueling expeditions.

When you head into a Winnie the Pooh effort, you know pretty much what you’ll get. The series possesses absolutely no potential to surprise, which I suppose is both good and bad. On one hand, it seems unlikely that you’ll ever find a Pooh enterprise that comes across as inspired. They’re not quite lowest common denominator pieces, but they don’t ever become anything special.

On the other hand, at least you know you’ll likely get a reasonable level of quality from the Pooh pictures. They never become embarrassing or unwatchable, as they stay consistently decent. I wouldn’t call that high praise, but it at least the pieces are moderately entertaining.

Of course, I look at things from an adult point of view, and I’m sure something like Heffalump would work better for a younger audience. As someone decades past childhood, I found a modicum of entertainment here but not enough to make this as satisfying as better Disney flicks.

Heffalump actually seems a little darker than usual, at least for Pooh. There’s nothing as scary as what you’ll find in Disney flicks like , but given the relentless niceness of the world of Pooh, any form of threat comes as a surprise. As it deals with its “fear of the unknown” theme, some threats appear and characters experience potential harm. That makes Heffalump a little different.

But not by much, so don’t expect anything terribly unusual from Pooh’s Heffalump Movie. That means a couple of laughs, a gentle message, and that’s about it. I see it as decent fare for little ones but nothing much more than that.


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

Pooh’s Heffalump Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Only minor flaws marred the presentation.

Sharpness seemed very good. Due to some edge enhancement, a few shots demonstrated minor softness, but those instances were modest. Instead, the movie usually remained tight and well defined. No instances of jagged edges or moiré effects popped up along the way. The print displayed no examples of print flaws, as it always stayed clean and fresh.

Though most cartoons provide larger than life tones, Heffalump maintained a pretty natural palette. That didn’t mean the colors lacked boldness, however. The hues consistently looked vivid and lively, and they stayed concise at all times. Black levels were deep and solid, while the rare examples of shadow detail seemed appropriately defined. Overall, Heffalump offered a good image that fell short of greatness solely due to some edge enhancement.

Nothing special manifested itself via the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Pooh’s Heffalump Movie, but it worked fine for the most part. The soundfield seemed decent. Music featured positive stereo imaging, and more effects than I expected emanated from the side and rear speakers. The track stayed focused upon the forward channels, where the different elements popped up from the appropriate locations and melded together neatly. Some good directional dialogue appeared at times, and the pieces also panned nicely.

The surrounds kicked in acceptably when necessary. For example, Tigger bounced to the back, and the “scary” Heffalump bits used the surrounds More rear activity would have been good, but the mix still used all five speakers reasonably well.

Audio quality usually seemed solid. Speech sounded distinct and natural, and I noticed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Effects came across as accurate and fairly distinctive. Music also appeared reasonably clean and full. Dynamic range was fine; the highs and lows didn’t tax anything, but they sounded concise and smooth. The audio of Pooh’s Heffalump Movie mostly seemed positive.

A smattering of very minor extras appear on this DVD. Disney’s Song Selection basically acts as an alternate form of chapter menu. It lets you jump to any of the film’s five song performances, and it also allows you to show on-screen lyrics.

In “Game Time”, we find Hide ‘n’ Seek with Roo and Lumpy. This forces you to find either Lumpy or Roo. It’s nothing more than a simple guessing game. Maybe this is fun for kids, but it seems pretty lame to me.

”Backstage Disney” offers a seven-minute and 24-second featurette called Welcome to the Family, Lumpy. We find movie clips and comments from producer Jessica Koplos-Miller, director Frank Nissen, writer Evan Spiliotopoulos, Brian Snedeker, and a mix of unnamed kids. They tell us what heffalumps are and their creative design, and other heffalump factoids. The program is pretty cutesy and aimed at kids, so don’t expect to learn much about the topic. We do learn how to make the Heffalump Rumple Doodles, at least.

Heffalump opens with a collection of ads. We find promos for Chicken Little, Little Einstein, and Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween. All of these also appear in the Sneak Peeks domain along with Tarzan II, Pooh’s Grand Adventure, JoJo’s Circus, Winnie the Pooh Shapes and Sizes/The Wonderful World of Words< and the Disney Princess line.

Folks with DVD-ROM drives will find a couple extra bits. They can print out coloring pages or the Rumple Doodle recipe.

While the best Disney fare entertains both kids and adults alike, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie proves more heavily oriented toward the little ones. Grown-ups probably will be able to stand their time with it, but they shouldn’t expect a lot from it. The DVD presents very good picture along with decent audio and only some very minor extras. If your kid loves Pooh, give this a look. Otherwise, stick with Disney’s stronger fare.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.6571 Stars Number of Votes: 35
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