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When honey-loving Winnie the Pooh (voice of Jim Cummings) and his friends Tigger (voice of Jim Cummings), Rabbit (voice of Ken Sansom), Piglet (John Fiedler), Eeyore (Peter Cullen) and Kanga (voice of Kath Soucie) spot the huge footprints of the dreaded Heffalump, they form an expedition. Kanga's little Roo (voice of Nikita Hopkins) wants to go along too, but the Hundred Acre Wood team tell him he is far too young for such danger. Roo, meanwhile, decides to explore on his own, and bumps into Lumpy (voice of Kyle Stanger), a baby Heffalump, with whom he forms a friendship.

Review by Louise Keller:
A wholesome animated adventure with A.A. Milne's classic characters, Pooh's Heffalump Movie is an enchanting interlude. Not only the very young, for whom the film is targeted, will delight in this charming story featuring the characters from of The Hundred Acre Wood. Parents too, are in for a treat; the sign of a good family film, is when every age falls under its spell. There's simple animation that portrays the woodland setting, while the focus is heavily weighted on the characters. British youngster Kyle Stanger steals the film as the voice of the lovable baby Heffalump Lumpy, who befriends adventurous, little Roo (Nikita Hopkins). Even Carly Simon's heart-warming songs have just the right tone - tunes that are easy to hum and lyrics and stir the emotions without being clawing and overly sentimental.

A.A.Milne's elusive Heffalump is a character that represents our fears and nightmares, and now for the first time Pooh and his friends get to actually see this mythical beast. They're a likeable bunch, with honey-loving Winnie the Pooh, the workhorse of a donkey Eeyore, sprightly little Piglet, stripey Tigger with the lithp, brash long-eared Rabbit and the gentle Kanga, whose baby Roo is the apple of her eye. After finding a set of massive footprints in the woods, Rabbit plans the expedition to catch the feared Heffalump, and notes it will be fraught with danger. 'You can't argue with the word fraught' Tigger tells Roo, who is keen to come along.

Roo bounces away by himself intent on capturing the Heffalump, and much to his amazement stumbles over baby Heffridge Trumpler Brompet Heffalump the Third ('call me Lumpy'), a cute-as-a-button roly poly purple elephant-like creature with a bright pom-pom tail and angel ears. Neither is as grown up as he would like to be, and they become instant friends, sharing adventures and fun. When they get lost, the sight of this playful little Heffalump wrinkling his nose and prompting a lonely tear to trickle down his purple face, will move a heart of stone.

Meanwhile, Pooh and Co are getting rather lost themselves, as the pink jelly bean trail they leave is quickly eaten. Then they need reassurance that Lumpy is friend, not foe, but all's well that ends well, when Lumpy's massive mum (voiced by Brenda Blethyn) rescues Roo, when he takes a tumble. I especially enjoyed the sequences when Roo takes Lumpy home and they wallow in plain old fun, spitting out water-melon pips in the vegetable patch, and Lumpy popping carrots from his trunk like a cannon.

With its themes of unconditional maternal love and friendship, Pooh's Heffalump Movie is a delight.

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(US, 2005)

VOICES: Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, Nikita Hopkins, Kath Soucie, Ken Sansom, Peter Cullen, Brenda Blethyn, Kyle Stanger

PRODUCER: Jessica Koplos-Miller

DIRECTOR: Frank Nissen

SCRIPT: Brian Hohnfeld, Evan Spiliotopoulos (A.A. Milne characters)

MUSIC: Joel McNeely

RUNNING TIME: 68 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Tas: June 16; Vic, Qld: June 23; WA, NSW, SA: June 30, 2005


VIDEO RELEASE: September 21, 2005

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