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Movie Review

The heffalumps are coming! The heffalumps are coming!

Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger and Eeyore are in a tizzy. Their world has turned topsy-turvy. Their homes and hunny are in jeopardy. And Christopher Robin is nowhere to be found. That means these fainthearted, fuzzy friends must protect themselves from the biggest threat the Hundred Acre Wood has ever faced: humongous, horrendous, horrifying ... huggable heffalumps.

Only Roo keeps his head when he hears about the heffalumps. While the others run in circles, chasing their own shadows, he resolutely marches toward Heffalump Hollow, confident he'll be able to capture one of the brutes who lives there. What he captures isn't a beast; it's a new friend named Heffridge Trumpler Brompet Heffalump the Third—or Lumpy for short. The two cheerfully play together for hours, then head home to show the others that there's nothing to be afraid of: Heffalumps are fuzzy, cuddly (stuffed) animals, too.

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Positive Elements

There's a small lesson here about not growing up too fast, but the big one is that you shouldn't be afraid of heffalumps, er, people, just because you don't know very much about them. The family that lives on the other side of the tracks. The natives who live on the other side of the world. People who are bigger than you. People who are a different color than you. People who speak a different language than you. Judge others by how they act, not by what you've heard about them, what they look like or what they sound like, the movie says. Sharon Morrill, President of DisneyToon Studios puts it this way: “This film, at its core, is about entertainment for families, but it also shares an important message for parents and children alike—it shows how each individual needs to make their own assessment of other people. It imparts a universal message about prejudice and how you can’t judge a book by its cover, or even a heffalump.”

Pooh and Co. jump to the wrong conclusions, but they all do everything they can to protect Roo when it seems to them that he's been grabbed by a heffalump. Kanga showers love, affection and understanding down on Roo. When he fidgets under the constraints of being small, Kanga doesn't belittle him; she does everything she can to build him up and give him hope for the future. Roo bravely decides to accept Lumpy for who he is. Also, Lumpy's mom saves Roo when he's trapped by fallen tree trunks. And Roo saves Lumpy when he's caught in one of Rabbit's heffalump traps.

Both Roo and Lumpy express a huge amount of faith in their moms' abilities to "make everything better." Desperate to get Lumpy back home, but losing their way in the woods, the pair decide to find Kanga and let her solve their problems for them. And when Roo is trapped, Lumpy musters all of his strength to call for his mother to come save his new pal.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

None.

Violent Content

As always, Pooh falls into his hunny pot, Tigger bounces into everyone and Piglet is terrified by everything. Before actually meeting a real live heffalump, the friends imagine what they might look like: bursting with scary teeth, spikes and claws. In their collective "dream," a heffalump tramples on Eeyore's house, squashes Rabbit, tramples trees, etc. When the gang sets heffalump traps, they, of course, fall victim to their own ingenuity. Piglet winds up in a cage, Tigger gets flipped up into the air. A net ensnares Kanga.

Slightly more intense are a couple of scenes in which Roo falls down cliffs. Once he's saved by his rope catching on an overhang. The other time he's trapped at the bottom by huge, crisscrossed tree trunks. (Mama Heffalump picks them up with her trunk and hurls them aside to get to him.)

Crude or Profane Language

None. Roo says "gosh" once.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None.

Other Negative Elements

Lumpy and Roo get to playing too hard in Rabbit's garden, pretty much trashing the place as they throw produce at each other and shoot watermelon seeds. Roo goes to Heffalump Hollow by himself (without telling his mother where's he's going) even though he's been warned by Rabbit and Pooh that it's too dangerous a journey for a little guy like him. Lumpy ignores his mother's call to come home because he wants to continue playing with Roo. Both "boys" are "punished" for their misdeeds by ending up in perilous situations.

Conclusion

A.A. Milne created heffalumps as unseen icons representing the things we're afraid of but can't always put our finger on. Now, for the first time, Pooh and his pals see these "menacing" creatures. And fear is laid to rest by a healthy infusion of facts—and an adorable heffalump so inviting kids won't be the only ones who'll want a plush version to curl up with on the couch.

"There’s a great message to be learned that taking the time to get to know someone can help erase fears," says David Stainton, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation. "What was, in their minds, a horrible creature for Pooh and the gang takes on a completely different persona in the form of this tangible, touchable, breathing heffalump.”

It's an important lesson for night-light loving children of all ages. And it's delivered in a package that deviates not a whisker from where Pooh has so happily gone before.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

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We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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