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Winnie the Pooh - Flop or Success?

Written by steet :


WinnieAside from a big-budget movie making big bucks this week end (aka the last part of Harry Potter, taking in the best grossing weekend ever for a film), there was a small and simple movie which doesn't play in the same league : Winnie The Pooh.

This charming film is an attempt from Disney to revitalize this franchise (after the failed attempts at making CGI Winnie, Disney didn't want to lose one of the best selling franchise when it comes to merchandise), and the image of the company at the same time, by making it a 2D movie just like the original film. It was made by high quality artists working at Disney Feature Animation (unlike the previous "cheapquels"), but with a very low budget in mind (~30 M$).

The film has received very positive critics, and even though I'm not particularly fond of the RottenTomatoes scores, it currently has 91% and is actually considered the best animated feature to come out this year!
So it's a critical success...but unfortunately not a commercial success.

While "totally rotten" Cars 2 made a 66M$ debut in the USA, Winnie only made 8M$.

Conclusion? This is the last nail in the coffin of western 2D animation. Maybe Disney didn't expect better, hoping for higher sales on the DVD and a merchandise boost. But still, low box offices is something that companies keep in memory, no matter how small the budget is. Don't expect any other 2D animated feature from Disney anytime soon...

Here's my opinion : While I *really* appreciate the latest efforts from Disney Feature Animation to restore their lost quality image (with Bolt, Princess & The Frog and Tangled being critical successes as well), they're doing it the wrong way.

To me, to "save" 2D animation, they should have made movies that weren't meant for a restricted audience. Princess & The Frog already had a very big problem with that (because of the "princess" focus, which lead most people to believe only little girls would be interested - something that was heavily corrected on the marketing for Tangled, including the title change, which I still believe helped to make it a big success) Yes, I did not go out to see Winnie the Pooh, because to be honest, it is and has always been Disney's kiddiest franchise. Sure, it's something "family" can enjoy, but not something I'm particularly attracted to. Does Disney even think of people who love traditional animation but don't have children? By doing Winnie, they cut out this very large portion of the population instantly.

If I was the one deciding the next projects at Disney, I would have made a film focusing on classics characters instead : Mickey, Donald, Scrooge. (why have they never tried a theatrical feature film for Mickey is beyond me! especially considering they've got the perfect material with the Epic Mickey video game - which WAS a commercial success!)

Or, I would have brought back one of their most successful properties ever from the 90's, be it Ducktales, Darkwing Duck or TaleSpin. All these SCREAM for a revival in 2D animation, and a movie would be perfect considering they had serious AND comical storylines, amazing art and interesting characters for everyone (and I really mean EVERYONE). And unlike the DTV "cheapquels", they were series, so they were meant for having sequels.

But hey, what do I know!

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July 19, 2011
Uk Female Is not currently on the site
I enjoyed the film. To be honest, I quite liked it. My 'rents laughed at one point.

July 19, 2011
Usa Is not currently on the site
:mdr: Funny!

July 19, 2011
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
It was a mistake to release Winnie the Pooh on the same day as Harry Potter. Timing is everything when it comes to releasing a movie, definately releasing it on the same day as the biggest summer blockbuster was not smart on Disney's part. I don't think 2D films draw as much as they use to, kids these days are more use to seeing their TV programs and movies done with computer animated characters. Timing is what killed Winnie the Pooh in the end, if it had been pushed back to another week after Harry Potter or released before it, it might have done better.

July 19, 2011
Usa Female Is not currently on the site
I'm not a wolf. Kthxbai.
IMO they also made a mistake releasing it the same weekend as the final Harry Potter movie.

July 19, 2011
Usa Is not currently on the site
Awe it ok Balto lover 01 and Kepz; you'll have your day. lol ;)

July 19, 2011
Mexico Female Is not currently on the site
Man I don't have to study marketing or that stuff to know that releasing a film the same day a mega box office performer movie like Harry Potter is being released is a pretty dumb move.

What irks me MORE is that this is not the first time Disney does some mentally retarded stuff like this. If I remember clearly Princess and the Frog was put up against Avatar, and Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakel.

I've always been pretty skeptic about conspiracy theories, but do you think that maybe...the people in charge of marqueting at Disney are doing this on purpose? You know like if they wanted to pull out hand-drawn animation just to focus on CG movies only? Since you know CG movies equal 3D, and 3D equals more expensive tickets, and more expensive tickets equal MOAR MONIES.

Heck even Winnie the Pooh wasn't recieving a lot of advertisement, I was in San Diego for a week, my little cousing only watched Disney Channel all day, and there was so little advertisement for Pooh.

Soooo was this on purpose, or someone isn't doing his job right and needs to be fired.

I won't mind a Mickey film as long as it is not based on the corporate, annoying version and more on of the rascal like the one starring Epic Mickey.

July 19, 2011
Usa Male Is not currently on the site
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I actually enjoyed the film (see my news post from late last month.) Granted, I think Disney should have tried something new, rather than just re-visit an already-well-known place called the Hundred Acre Wood. But the film itself was enjoyable; I wish people were more willing to see it.

July 19, 2011
Usa Is not currently on the site
it was a flop. i saw it yesterday. i own every winnie the pooh ever made, and i dont think it was up to the normal standards of winnie

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