"Brian's a very kind, gentle and supportive man... but he's quite shocked at the way it's taken over me. I eat, sleep and drink it. It's my life. He said he's never seen me like this. It's true, I don't think anything else has ever brought me such joy. It's a complete revelation." British actress Anita Dobson has surprised her husband, rocker Brian May, with her devotion to U.K. TV dance contest Strictly Come Dancing.
At some point in the early years of the 21st century a bunch of Hollywood executives must have gotten together and decided that animated films should be made for all audiences. The goal was perhaps to make movies that are simultaneously accessible to the older and younger sets with colorful imagery that one expects from children’s films and two levels of humor: one that’s quite literal and harmless and another that’s somewhat subversive. The criteria has resulted in cross-generational hits like Wall-E and Madagascar and though it’s nice to be able to take my nephew to the movies and be as entertained by cartoon characters as he is I can’t help but wonder what happened to unabashedly innocent animated classics like A Goofy Movie and The Land Before Time?
Disney’s Winnie The Pooh is the answer to the Shrek’s and Hoodwinked!’s of the world: a short sweet simple and lighthearted tale of friendship that doesn’t need pop-culture references or snarky dialogue to put a smile on your face. Directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall found some fresh ways to deliver adorable animation while keeping the carefree spirit of A.A. Milne’s source material in tact. Their story isn’t the most original; the first part of the film finds Pooh Piglet Tigger and Owl searching for Eeyore’s tail (a common plot point in the books and past Pooh films) and hits all the predictable notes but the second half mixes things up a bit as the crew searches for a missing Christopher Robin whom they believe has been kidnapped by a forest creature known as the “Backson” (it’s really just the result of the illiterate Owl or is it?).
The beauty of hand-drawn animation all but forgotten until recently is what makes Winnie the Pooh so incredibly magnetic. There’s an inexplicable crispness to the colors and characters that CG just can’t duplicate. It’s a more personal practice for the filmmakers and should provide a refreshing experience for audiences who have become jaded with the pristine presentation of computerized imagery. The film is bookended by brief live-action shots from inside Robin’s room an interesting dynamic that plays up the simplicity of youth ties it to these beloved characters and brings you right back to memories of your own childhood.
With a just-over-an-hour run time Winnie the Pooh is short enough to hold the attention of children but won’t bore the parents who will love the film mainly for nostalgic musings. Still it’s the young’uns who will most enjoy this breezy bright and enchanting film that proves old-school characters can appeal to new moviegoers.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are just the latest in a string of celebrity couples to marry in the picturesque lakeside town of Bracciano, Italy.
Cruise, 44, and Holmes, 27, will marry on Saturday in the town's 16th century medieval Castello Odescalchi after a 19-month courtship.
CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour married former State Department spokesman James Rubin in the castle in August 1998, which was attended by the late John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette.
Italian pop heartthrob Eros Ramazzotti and new wife Michelle Hunziker also had their wedding reception in the castle.
Twenty-eight years ago, legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese made Isabella Rossellini the third Mrs. Scorsese in the town. Rossellini grew up in Rome and had fond memories of Bracciano as a child.
As far back as the 1940s, celebrities were tying the knot in the town--original Zorro star Tyrone Power wed Mexican beauty Linda Christian there in 1949.
However, Bracciano may not be a good-luck charm for Holmes and Cruise--three of the four previous famous stars to marry in the town have divorced within four to six years later.
The Nov. 18 is also the wedding anniversary of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas; Queen guitarist Brian May and actress Anita Dobson; and late author Jack Kerouacand his third wife, Stella.
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