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Steve Suter

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Steve Suter's Blog

Born and raised in New Orleans, I went to school at St. Edwards in Metairie, Rummel High and on to LSU. I have been living "On The Air" in New Orleans for 20 years.

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Oh Bother, I love Winnie The Pooh.

Call me a wimp but Pooh bear has always been special to me since I was a kid. So I find it very refreshing ion the movie world with the Hangover 2, Friends With benefits, Transformers, and  Harry Potter,  I would skip me all to go see Disney’s new “Winnie the Pooh”Movie.  Yes, really, will anybody else be in the Movie with me. Just the commercial is great I saw on TV last night. The commercial begins with all the characters you’ve known your entire life happily marching along, a floating red balloon drifting up into the air over a bed of British pop band Keane’s heartbreaking piano-ballad “Somewhere Only We Know.”  Then Pooh announces, “We have a very important thing to do.” Clearly, that important thing involves disarming adults and rendering them powerless to the charms of a cartoon character they might have forgotten they loved. I do wonder how the old-fashioned “Winnie the Pooh” could survive this toilet tongue world we live in. I know you won’t hear a fart like in the too-grown-up-too-fast tone of the “Shrek” franchise. More than any other series aimed at the family audience in the past 10 years, “Shrek” and its endless imitators have helped turn children’s cinema into a litter box of visually frenzied animation and bad attitude starring digital chipmunks, a smart-aleck Russell Brand-voiced Easter Bunny, penguins that defecate all over Jim Carrey, guinea pigs who are also international spies and another bear named Yogi who found himself updated via digital 3-D, inserted into a live-action setting and forced to dance to “Baby Got Back.” Thanks for letting me vent. So not a person alive should call me wimpy for loving soft-spoken Pooh and his friends. And NO it’s not in 3-D. And don’t think that the new “Winnie the Pooh” is just for 4-year-old kids obviously, the young kids will love it but it’s the household decision makers who are being courted and wooed here. Disney wants to reach out to the child inside the grown-ups who must drive the kids to the theater, hoping that those grown-ups will transfer their lifelong affection for The Hundred Acre Wood to a new generation. That’s why that Music is also important in the movie. The Keane song is so prominently placed, its lyric “Oh simple thing where have you gone?” given prime space in the trailer. It’s meant to beckon 40-year-olds to give 70 minutes to the memory of a time when mortgages and health insurance weren’t even looming on the need-to-know vocabulary list. In this relaunched “Winnie the Pooh,” the biggest concern is finding Eeyore’s lost tail. And it’s not just me. On YouTube, where the movie’s full-length trailer has more than a million hits, the usual inflammatory and profane comments section has turned into a confessional, with “WHY AM I WEEPING OVER THIS THING? I’M AN ADULT!” dominating the discussion.” This scenario also gives Disney a chance to retro-brand their product after years of dilution and ill-considered attempts. (Biggest mistake: Tigger re-enacting the famous Marilyn Monroe up-blown skirt moment in 2000’s “The Tigger Movie.”) The manic energy of everything else around — including recent Disney efforts like “Tangled” — just isn’t a good fit for the animals in the Hundred Acre Wood, and the hand-drawn, 2-D style is a welcome signal that vintage Pooh is back. Purists can breathe a little more easily. The film is opening on the same day as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” hoping to siphon off parents of the very young for whom the Potter saga is too adult and intense. It’s fitting, in a way, for a project that seems determined not to participate in modernity on any level besides employing the services of a weepy Britpop hit. It’s classic counter-programming, on the weekend when the J.K. Rowling earthquake rolls across the entire country, for there to be another option, one that’s sweet, quiet and kind instead of epic, violent and loud. Little kids will enjoy it all, while parents, when not checking their cell phones, will be thankful for the thoughtfully brief running time. Oh Botha.

07/20/2011 1:40PM
Oh Bother, I love Winnie The Pooh.
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