Blu-ray: WINNIE THE POOH (2011)
Disney proves once again why Blu-ray is so great for animation. This 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer of the new WINNIE THE POOH feature shows off the richness of the hand drawn animation. Line quality is detailed throughout. The watercolor backgrounds are painterly. Colors range from the subtle to the striking primaries used for Pooh's shirt for instance. Blacks are inky and consistent. Digital compression issues are nonexistent. The picture is about as flawless as it can get.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack isn't as dynamic as the picture, but that's the nature of the film rather than the quality of the mix. Dialogue, music and sound effects are mixed clearly. The rear speakers are chiefly utilized for the music. The LFE track is used minimally, but effectively when needed such as the Backson sequence. Directionality is subtle as bees buzz or Tigger bounces across the soundscape. Ambience brings in the sounds of the Hundred Acre Wood across all the speakers.
Special features are light on this title. The mini-doc "Winnie the Pooh and His Story Too" gives a too brief overview of the history of Winnie the Pooh from the page to the screen. I would have liked to see something more focused on this production. That said too short doesn't mean the eight-minutes that are there are bad.
The deleted scenes include "The Tummy Song," "Rabbit's Friends and Relations," "Original Eeyore Intro," "Original Tigger Intro" and "Pooh Searches for a Tail." Each scene is either an extension of one in the film and come at various points of completion. With the directors' introduction, we learn that all of them were cut due to pacing issues primarily. "Original Tigger Intro" was changed because it seemed too similar to previous introductions to the character.
The disc also contains two shorts. THE BALLAD OF NESSIE played with the feature theatrically. MINI ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH: POOH'S BALLOON is a vintage-looking short adventure with Winnie, Christopher Robin and a blue balloon where Winnie pretends to be a rain cloud.
Other features include Disney Song Selection (skip to each of the film's songs), Sing Along With the Movie and Creating the Perfect Winnie the Pooh Nursery.