Soundtrack Review: WINNIE THE POOH

Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
July 15th, 2011

The classic world of WINNIE THE POOH is brought to life not only by the animation and distinct voices (and personalities) of the characters that populate the Hundred Acre Woods, but also through the film’s music. For this adventure, composer Henry Jackman’s score adds a underlying layer of magic to the story along with songs to engage the audience directly such as “It’s Gonna Be Great” and “The Backson Song.” There has always been a distinct sound to WINNIE THE POOH and that sound has been retained here, along with the addition of some new tracks to keep things fresh and fun.

From the opening lines of “Winnie The Pooh,” you are not only transported into this world, you are also introduced to (or reacquainted with) its characters, the most important of whom is the man himself, Winnie The Pooh (that “willy nilly silly ol’ bear”). For this newest film, Zooey Deschanel sings the classic song and her voice is the perfect accompaniment to the catchy ditty many of us know or may be hearing for the first time. Deschanel also lends her voice to a couple of the new songs featured in the film, “A Very Important Thing To Do” and “So Long,” which are not only enjoyable on their own, they also help add to the message and intent of the story. Much like a musical, WINNIE THE POOH will have a character reach a certain plot point and then follow it up with a song that helps guide that idea along. These songs are never created to speak down to children, but instead work to engage younger viewers while still appealing to older audience members as well.

The songs in WINNIE THE POOH are as much a part of the film as the story itself with the cast joining in to sing (and learn) about the Backson (“The Backson Song”), what the prize will be for finding Eeyore’s tail (“Eeyore Needs His Tail / Winner Song”), or why Pooh loves his honey (“Everything Is Honey”). The songs flow perfectly within the narrative to keep things entertaining and moving along, but also work to involve the audience (both within and outside of the film) as the lyrics are designed so one can start to sing-a-long with the characters.

Along with the songs, Jackman has created a score that keeps pace with the tone of the film as we follow the group through their various adventures and ranging emotions from being silly to anxious to unabashedly madcap. “Picnic And Beehive Chase” utilizes the strings and percussion to create that fun “we’re on an adventure!” feel while “Hundred Acre Spy Game” fleshes out the orchestration as we reach the climax of the film. Composer Robert Lopez provides us with “Pooh’s Finale",which works to combine both the orchestral elements with the lyrics from the song that directly precedes it (“Everything Is Honey”).

The WINNIE THE POOH soundtrack creates a good mix of score and songs throughout the film, using the score to highlight the action on screen and bringing in a song when a moment called for it. The one song people may notice missing from the collection is the Keane track, “Somewhere Only We Know", which was featured in the film’s trailer. However, the song gave the trailer a tone that was not on par with the film itself so its absence here is not entirely surprising.

The music is sweet and innocent, but it is never dumbed down or overly simple. Jackman’s score is childlike, but still full bodied while the songs are appropriate for children while still being fully realized with meaningful lyrics and cheerful arrangements. Those who are not fans of the WINNIE THE POOH world may not find the collection as enjoyable, but for both new and old fans, it is a wonderful addition to the film and the world that is Pooh, Tigger, and friends.

Grade: B+

This soundtrack is available through Walt Disney Records.

1. "Winnie The Pooh" - Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward
2. "The Tummy Song" - Jim Cummings
3. "A Very Important Thing To Do" - Zooey Deschanel
4. "The Backson Song" - Cast - Winnie The Pooh
5. "It's Gonna Be Great" - Jim Cummings
6. "Everything Is Honey" - Jim Cummings
7. "Pooh's Finale" - Robert Lopez
8. "So Long" - Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward
9. "Main Title Sequence / Winne The Pooh" - Zooey Dechanel & M. Ward
10. "Pooh Greets The Day" - Henry Jackman
11. "Get You Tiggerized!" - Henry Jackman
12. "Woods And Words / Backson Tracks" - Henry Jackman
13. "Eeyore Needs His Tail / Winner Song" - Cast - Winnie The Pooh
14. "Picnic And Beehive Chase" - Henry Jackman
15. "Hundred Acre Spy Game" - Henry Jackman
16. "Stuck In The Pit / Balloon Chase" - Henry Jackman
17. "A Honey Happy Ending" - Henry Jackman
18. "Winnie The Pooh Suite" - Henry Jackman

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