Winnie-the-Pooh : Blood and Honey

Winnie-the-Pooh : Blood and Honey
Original title:Winnie-the-Pooh : Blood and Honey
Director:Rhys Frake-Waterfield
Running time:84 minutes
Release date:15 february 2023
Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet have grown into deeply savage creatures since Jean-Christophe abandoned them to go to university. They've developed a hatred for humans and murder anyone who ventures into the Forest of Blue Dreams.

Mulder's Review

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey ventures into the uncharted territory of public domain adaptations with a bold attempt to reimagine A.A. Milne's beloved characters in a radically different light. With the expiration of the copyright on Milne's classic 1926 book, the film seizes the opportunity to take Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends on an unexpected and unsettling journey, transforming them into homicidal maniacs. However, what could have been an intriguing exploration of the characters' darker sides and a thought-provoking commentary on Milne's legacy turns out to be a missed opportunity and a dishonest exploitation of the source material.

The film opens with an animated prologue that traces the bond between Christopher Robin and his anthropomorphic friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. The abandonment of these creatures as Christopher grows up becomes the catalyst for a disturbing turn of events, as they become savage and murderous. This premise sets the stage for a retrograde slasher-type tale, in which Pooh and Piggy threaten and horrifically dispatch unsuspecting visitors to the forest.

Despite the film's catchy title, Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey, which hints at a potential engagement with deeper themes, the film fails to deliver any meaningful commentary or insight. Instead, director Rhys Frake-Waterfield seems more interested in shock value and gratuitous violence than in exploring the complex, layered story of Milne's creation.

The attempt to shock audiences with violent twists seems formulaic and lacks substance. Pooh and Piggy, armed and manipulating machines, become mere caricatures of horror movie villains rather than nuanced reinterpretations of familiar characters. The film misses the opportunity to delve into the rich history of Milne and his creation, ignoring potential sources of horror and dark origins that could have added depth to the story.

While the film's bold premise may initially attract attention, it ultimately fails to deliver a satisfying experience. The exploitation of violence, coupled with a lack of genuine engagement with the source material, leaves audiences with a sense of disappointment. Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey becomes more of a cautionary tale than a successful adaptation, underlining the importance of balancing innovation with a genuine understanding and appreciation of the original work.

As the public domain continues to expand and more characters and stories become available for adaptation, future filmmakers should take note. Creativity and respect for the source material are paramount, and care must be taken to ensure that catchy titles don't take precedence over substance. Rhys Frake-Waterfield's film is a stark reminder of the pitfalls that can arise when attempting to reinvent beloved classics without a thoughtful, respectful approach.

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey
Written and directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield
Based on Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, E. H. Shepard
Produced by Scott Jeffrey, Rhys Frake-Waterfield
Starring Craig David Dowsett, Chris Cordell, Amber Doig-Thorne, Nikolai Leon, Maria Taylor, Natasha Rose Mills, Danielle Ronald
Narrated by Toby Wynn-Davies
Cinematography : Vince Knight
Edited by Rhys Frake-Waterfield
Music by Andrew Scott Bell
Production companies : Jagged Edge Productions,ITN Studios
Distributed by Altitude Film Distribution
Release dates : 26 January 2023 (Mexico), 10 March 2023 (United Kingdom)
Running time : 84 minutes

Viewed February 19, 2024 (Prime Video)

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