Winnie the Pooh appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Virtually no problems emerged during this excellent presentation.
Sharpness appeared immaculate. The movie always came across as crisp and well defined, as I noticed no signs of softness at any point. Never did the detail waver during this accurate and distinct image. Jagged edges and moiré effects created no concerns, and I detected no signs of edge enhancement. Print flaws seemed totally absent. At no point did I discern any specks, grit, marks, or other issues during this clean and fresh presentation.
Pooh employed a varied and vivid palette, and the tones seemed terrific from start to finish. The colors always appeared vibrant and lush, and they displayed excellent clarity without any bleeding, noise, or other issues. Black levels also were rich and dense, while shadow detail presented clear low-light sequences that lacked any excessive opacity. Overall, Pooh looked terrific.
The subdued DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Pooh didn’t quite compare with the visuals, but it worked well for the material nonetheless. The track usually featured a forward emphasis, though this broadened during logical sequences. Music showed excellent stereo delineation, and quite a few isolated elements appeared in the side channels during production numbers.
Effects also created a nice sense of atmosphere, and bits such as carts or other moving pieces panned smoothly from one side to the other. Overall, the various elements blended together quite cleanly. As for the surrounds, they usually did little more than generally support the music and effects. This was a gentle soundscape for a gentle film.
Audio quality appeared solid. Speech came across as distinct and natural, and I noticed no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility. Effects sounded clean and accurate for the most part. They never displayed any signs of distortion, and they boasted positive dynamics. Music sounded bright and clear, and the songs offered fine range and delineation. Ultimately, Pooh won’t be your demo soundtrack, but it worked just fine for this film.
A few extras fill out the set. Winnie the Pooh and His Story Too goes for eight minutes, 33 seconds and includes notes from directors Stephen Anderson and Don Hall, producer Peter Del Vecho, Winnie the Pooh: A Celebration of the Silly Old Bear author Christopher Finch, and story supervisor Burny Mattinson. “Story” gives us a quick overview of the character’s history and his cinematic explorations over the years. The show’s too short to offer much meaningful material, but it’s an enjoyable primer.
Five Deleted Scenes Introduced by the Directors fill a total of 15 minutes, six seconds. We find “The Tummy Song” (2:10), “Rabbit’s Friends and Relations” (4:20), “Original Eeyore Intro” (4:13),”Original Tigger Intro” (2:11) and “Pooh Searches for a Tail” (2:12). The clips come in a few forms, as they mix story reels, pencil animation and completed material. All are fun to see, as they offer some entertaining additions.
Anderson and Hall deliver introductions for all the clips. Don’t expect a lot from them, as they stick with basics. Still, they add enough info to make their terse comments worthwhile.
Two Bonus Shorts appear. We find “The Ballad of Nessie” (5:32) and “Pooh’s Balloon” (2:47). Narrated by Billy Connolly, “Nessie” ran in front of theatrical screenings of Pooh; it’s a charming fable about how Loch Ness came to be and how the LN Monster took up residence.
“Balloon” simply offers an update on part of “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree”. Oddly, it takes the original animation and dubs new dialogue on top of it. Why? I don’t know, but the clip would be more satisfying if it just provided the unaltered source footage.
Sing Along with the Movie simply adds Karaoke-style subtitles as the movie plays. Disney Song Selection provides a form of chapter search, as it lets you jump to any of the flick’s seven tunes.
The two-minute, 52-second Creating the Perfect Winnie the Pooh Nursery finishes the package. “Ellie and Melissa the Baby Planners” teach us how to fashion your brat’s nursery to feature massive Poohage. This feels like an ad, but Ellie and Melissa are kinda hot, so I didn’t mind. (Sign you’re old: when you’re turned on by a couple of nursery-focused moms.)
The disc opens with ads for The Muppets, Cars 2, Tinker Bell and the Pixie Hollow Games and Lady and the Tramp. These also appear under Sneak Peeks along with promos for Disney Junior, Secret of the Wings, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Prep and Landing: Naughty Vs. Nice. No trailer for Pooh shows up here.
One shouldn’t expect Winnie the Pooh to reinvent any animated wheels, but it does exactly what it wants to do. It brings the viewer a charming, clever piece that will entertain kids and adults alike. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture quality as well as good audio and some decent supplements. Pooh is a winner.