First Look: The Big-Screen Return of ‘Winnie the Pooh’

Amidst other new projects, Disney is prepping the a new theatrical Winnie the Pooh film, and the first two stills have been released. They’re quite nice, and more than other recent films featuring characters created by A.A. Milne, they echo the lovely hand-drawn qualities of the classic Pooh films from Disney.

Stephen J. Anderson (Meet the Robinsons, Journey Beneath the Sea) and Don Hall co-direct Winnie the Pooh, with Disney veteran Burny Mattinson, who was an animator on 1974′s Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!, serving as senior story artist. Five of A.A.  Milne’s stories were drawn upon as inspiration for the script.

Jim Cummings (Pooh and Tigger), Craig Ferguson (Owl), Tom Kenny (Rabbit), Travis Oates, and Bud Luckey are among the voice cast, and Zooey Deschanel sings a new version of the Pooh theme.

Disney offers this synopsis/marketing blurb. It calls this the first big-screen Pooh story in 35 years, which would seem to conveniently forget a couple projects from the past decade:

Walt Disney Animation Studios returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with “Winnie the Pooh,” the first big-screen Pooh adventure from Disney animation in more than 35 years. With the charm, wit and whimsy of the original featurettes, this all-new movie reunites audiences with the philosophical “bear of very little brain” and friends Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga, Roo—and last, but certainly not least, Eeyore, who has lost his tail. “Well a tail is either there or it isn’t there,” said Pooh. “And yours isn’t… there.” Owl sends the whole gang on a wild quest to save Christopher Robin from an imaginary culprit. It turns out to be a very busy day for a bear who simply set out to find some hunny. Inspired by five stories from A.A. Milne’s books in Disney’s classic, hand-drawn art style, “Winnie the Pooh” hits theaters July 15, 2011.

Click each image to enlarge.

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