It is novel in this day and age of computer animation to see a film which still uses hand drawn animation; it's sad, but it was hard not to be critical of it. The animation in this film is not as high quality as other Pooh movies, but the story is interesting with a surprisingly good message. Its message is not to demonize the "other"; the film tries to show kids that the "other" is probably very much like you or me. This is a pretty political message for a Pooh movie. The director, Frank Nissen (the only movie he directed was in 1973 and was titled "Man: The Polluter", which makes it less surprising that he has infused Pooh with such a heavy message.), has even chosen to make Lumpy (the Heffalump) speak with a British accent to make him even more obviously different, even more the "other". Of course, I am sure that the young kids that this film is aimed at are not going to analyze the movie so deeply. Kids will probably just take away the idea that friendship should know no boundaries because of differences between people. The film is primarily a fun adventure-type film for children and it is short enough (just over one hour) to ensure that they do not become bored and restless. A strong plus of this film is the innocence and childlike qualities it possesses. It makes you want to be a kid again. Another strong point is the music (done by Carly Simon) which is perfect for this type of movie.
Everything is going fine in the Hundred Acre Wood until the stranger comes…..one morning a strange sound echoes through the trees. The animals all run to Rabbit to discuss the noise. Roo finds a footprint. The animals realize that only a Heffalump (like an elephant) could have a footprint that big. Roo suggests they capture a Heffalump. Rabbit tells Roo that Heffalumps live in Heffalump Hollow and that one has never been captured. The animals agree that they have to try and capture one. Rabbit tells Roo that he is too young to come on the expedition. This makes Roo sad and he wants to grow up fast so he can go with everyone else to look for the Heffalumps.
The next morning Roo decides to go off on his own to try and find a Heffalump. The other animals, loaded down with tools, set off on their own Heffalump expedition. They are afraid of Heffalumps. Little does Roo know but he is being followed by a Heffalump. He discovers a large abandoned house. The young Heffalump, named Lumpy, appears and wants to play with Roo. Roo does not believe that he is Heffalump because he does not have a spiky tail or the other things he was told about Heffalumps. Roo is finally convinced and he captures the Heffalump. Roo convinces Lumpy to come meet his friends even though Lumpy's mom is calling him. Lumpy is afraid to go into the Hundred Acre Wood because he has been told that the animals who live there are scary. Roo convinces him that this is not true. Roo brings Lumpy to Pooh's, but no one is there. Lumpy and Roo play in Rabbit's garden and they, over the course of the day, become good friends. Roo tells Lumpy that he is no longer captured.
The other animals, who have run home because they think that Eeyore is a Heffalump, think that the Heffalumps have invaded the Hundred Acre Wood; so they set up traps to try and catch them. Lumpy hears his mother calling him and tries to find her but cannot. He is now sad, tired and sad. Roo's mother is also looking for him. Lumpy gets caught in one of the traps. Roo has to try and convince the other animals that Lumpy is not dangerous, but he in doing so he gets himself into some danger.
Special DVD Features:
-Music Time: Disney Song Selection: All the songs from the movie.
-Game Time: Hide n' Seek: Find Roo and Lumpy. The game can be played over and
-Backstage Disney: Welcome to the family Lumpy: Explains what a Heffalump is. Interviews with Disney people and children.
-Printable ROM Features: Printable colouring pages and a Rumpledoodle recipe. (DVD-ROM)
-Sneak Peeks: Princess Sing Along Songs, Princess Stories Vol. 3, Winnie the Pooh: Shapes and Sizes, Winnie the Pooh: The Wonderful World of Words, Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, Tarzan II, and JoJo's Circus (television program on Disney channel)