Pooh’s Heffalump Movie

(Frank Nissen, USA, 2005)


This animated movie for kids, a distant variation on A. A. Milne’s characters, begins with a surprisingly risqué touch. Winnie the Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) is heard writhing in bed, moaning “Honey, honey”.


Naturally, he is merely dreaming about his favourite food. 


This ecstasy is soon interrupted by signs that a dreaded Heffalump (an elephant-like creature) has disturbed the peace of Hundred Acre Wood. Rabbit (Ken Sansom), Tigger (Cummings again), Eeyore (Peter Cullen) and Piglet (John Fiedler) set out to catch the offending monster who lives with his fearsome kind on the other side of the fence.


Young Roo (Nikita Hopkins) is excluded from this adult mission, so he sets out alone, only to befriend Lumpy (Kyle Stanger). Together, they dispel the myths and prejudices that keep their tribes apart. It’s a nice message, delivered via a simple but efficient animation technique. At 65 minutes, the slight story does not outstay its welcome.


Like many films for kids, this one is a curious jumble of cultural associations. Kangaroos are part of the mix, and the Heffalumps speak with plummy British accents (Brenda Blethyn provides the voice for Mama Heffalump). But whenever Carly Simon’s overwrought songs fill the soundtrack, there can be no mistaking that this is an American movie.

© Adrian Martin June 2005

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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