Some disappointing news out of the Licensing Expo now going on in Las Vegas. Disney has officially announced their next hand-drawn animated theatrical: a new Winnie the Pooh movie. The new Pooh feature is planned for release in spring 2011.
This is a real let down for me. I was hoping the The Princess and the Frog was the starting point for a new era of original hand drawn masterpieces. Greenlighting a new Pooh is an understandable commercial business decision, but it only seems to reinforce the stereotype of what hand drawn cartoons have become: a babysitter – and it’s a regression of the medium’s true potential.
Disney needs not only to reclaim its mastery of this art form, but to push it forward. I fail to see how Pooh will accomplish this. However, if it keeps artists employed while more ambitious projects are developed, that could be a good thing. And who’s to say a good Winnie the Pooh film can’t be created?