Million Dollar Arm
Struggling sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) has the idea to launch a reality TV contest in India that offers contestants the chance to land a Major League Baseball contract
Eeyore has lost his tail, Pooh Bear is hungry and everyone is afraid of the Backson. Animated family adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood
Even if you have your reservations about the Disneyfication of Winnie The Pooh, you should consider giving this charming film a whirl. At just 60 minutes, it barely has a chance to outstay its welcome, and in John Cleese's narration and the visual integration of the physical text of the book into the animation, it feels very true to A. A. Milne's beloved original stories.
With a resolutely unflashy voice cast devoid of celebrities (excepting Cleese's narrator), it's the characters themselves who matter: Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger, Kanga, Rabbit, Owl and of course Pooh. Some stick closely to the characterisations you'll remember from the books - Eeyore is mordant, Kanga motherly, Owl pompous - while some have been spruced up slightly for the cinema - Tigger is as bombastic as his previous Disney outings, Rabbit is more martial and Pooh himself is almost obsessively gluttonous. A fantasy where he imagines himself gorging on a world made of honey is part Roald Dahl, part Busby Berkeley.
The decision to keep the runtime down is wise, as none of the plotlines really need feature length development, but this is worth seeing in the cinema if you can, not least for a rather sweet short animation being screened before in about Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, and her quest for a home.
Everyone's favourite bear of very little brain doesn't demand much in the way of grey matter from cinemagoers themselves, but is completely adorable and beautifully drawn.
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On Film4: 31 August 2014