Walt Disney Animation is sure keeping busy these days. Not content with adding Princesses Tiana and Rapunzel, WDA is looking to introduce to an old standby to some new friends. That’s right, Winnie the Pooh is returning to theaters. Hit the jump to find out what is in store for that willy, nilly, silly ol’ bear.
Rotten Tomatoes is reporting that animation czar John Lasseter has announced a new Pooh film in London this morning, the first to be produced by the Disney studio in over 35 years. The movie, to be directed by Steve Anderson and Don Hall, is expected to use five stories of A.A. Milne’s that have never been adapted and will weave them into a feature length animated film. Joining the production as the lead story artist is the great Burny Mattinson, who worked with Walt on the original Pooh films.
If the production stills are any indication, Mattinson will be bringing Pooh back to his E. H. Shepard roots. Though Lasseter stressed that the movie will not be strictly for kids, Pooh does not appear to be in danger of losing his whimsy. The stills showed characters interacting with the text and pages turning being used for scene changes.
There is a lot of good news coming out of Disney today but this might be best. Winnie the Pooh is easily one of the most beloved characters in the Disney pantheon but in his latest television incarnation has been CGI’d and been given a girl named Darby as his new BFF. A new film, made with the same spirit and dedication as the original is long overdue and Lasseter’s decision to put this on Disney’s slate is further proof of why is he is at the top of American animation today.
Pooh continues his search for honey in Spring 2011.