© Buena Vista International (Germany) GmbH

Heffalump - Ein neuer Freund für Winnie Puuh (Pooh's Heffalump Movie)
U.S.A. 2005

Opening 31 Mar 2005

Directed by: Frank Nissan
Writing credits: Brian Hohlfeld, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Principal actors: Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, Nikita Hopkins, Kath Soucie, Ken Sansom

Directed by Frank Nissen, Pooh’s Heffalump is a welcome surprise animation which contains no sex, violence or heavy moral issues and is appropriate for small children. Like Laura’s Stern, this animation seems to be swimming against a stream of current dismal kids films geared towards the teenies. The story begins deep in the forest next to the Hundred Acre Wood. Winnie the Pooh’s gang hears a strange rumbling sound and investigate it. Soon the expedition takes form and the crew hunts for the dangerous Heffalump creature which in essence is a funny purple elephant-like creature. The excitement slowly builds while Pooh, Tiger, Piglet and Eeyore explain step by step to Roo, what is needed. Everyone is caught up in the excitement or organizing the expedition, especially little Roo. But in the end his friends tell him that he is too small and that it is too dangerous to go. Naturally Roo disagrees and decides to muster up his courage to go out on his own. The others spend hours looking for the Heffalump, while Roo finds Lumpy, the Heffalump, very quickly and, through a bit of rough play, realizes what a nice friend Lumpy makes. While enjoying their time together Lumpy forgets to be close to his mother and soon realizes that she is lost. At that point, he is then captured by Pooh’s gang. The story, of course, ends on a sweet note; the length is short and definitely works well for small kids. The film has nice up-beat music from Carly Simon which the kids also seem to enjoy. The only major flaw is that this film should be called Roo’s Heffalump not Pooh’s Heffalump since Lumpy is Roo’s friend and not Pooh’s. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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