With a cheeky, down-to-earth charm that appeals to both children and adults, the series – beginning with 'Vinnie-Pukh (1969)' – has since developed something of a cult following, and are considered by many to decisively surpass their Disney counterparts, however uneasily they may fit into the official canon. The animation itself is somewhat coarse and minimalistic, but this all adds to the charm of it all, with the story and characters coming to life as though they have just stepped out of a picture-book.
|Release Date||:||January 1, 1969|
|Writers||:||A. A. Milne, Boris Zakhoder, Fyodor Khitruk|
|Casts||:||Evgeni Leonov, Iya Savvina, Vladimir Osenev|
|Plot Keywords||:||balloon, based on children's book, cartoon pig, cartoon bear|
Having just read Amid on Cartoon Brew about this Russian animated version of Winnie the Pooh, I just had to click on the YouTube link to see if Woolie Reitherman was right about this one being better than his for Disney. It certainly is! While I was often charmed by Sterling Holloway's voice in the Disney version, hearing the lines spoken from the former Soviet Republic and listening to the original songs from the old country brings such an otherworld feeling that I can't help thinking how livelier the Russian version was compared to the conventional American take of an English author's tale. Only Pooh and Piglet are in this story of the bear flying in a balloon with Piglet trying to get him down with his pop rifle while bees surround the stuck-in-the-air bear! No Christopher Robin which makes the story better! And great abstract-like drawings gives this short more individual personality than the more faithful-to-original-drawings one from Disney (though the Disney shorts have their own charm). Well worth seeing for international animation buffs.