reviewed by Kristy Quist

Perhaps the original predecessor to Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh and his friends are all talking stuffed animals. In recent years, they’ve been more of a community unto themselves, but this new version brings us back to Christopher Robin and his playroom. It’s a quieter story, a far cry from The Tigger Movie and other such inane and exhausting outings. Instead, this movie plays on language and how misunderstandings of it allow imaginations to run wild. The words on the page actually appear on the screen several times and become part of the story. All of the characters have flaws—Pooh is driven by his tummy, Eeyore is a sad sack, and Owl is pretentious, but all of them love and care for each other anyway. And just as children get anxious for the comfort of their parents’ presence, the animals all look toward Christopher Robin’s return. It’s no Shrek—there aren’t a lot of jokes aimed above the heads of the target preschool audience. But it is warm, sweet, smart, and lovely, and a wonderful movie to share with your young child. Available on DVD this week. (Disney)