The Velvet Café

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A world record in text credits?

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen as extensive text credits in any movie as those in Winnie the Pooh.

It’s always fascinating to watch the names roll by, thinking of how many people it takes to make a movie, not at least an animated movie. It boggles my mind how you can make all those people work towards a common goal and vision. How do you organize for instance the animators? Do you break down the movie into 5 minute bits, assigning each five minutes to a different team? Or is there one team that is drawing Winnie, another one for Piglet and yet another one for Eyeore? I get a headache even thinking about it.

However the recent Winnie the Pooh movie brought the amount of details in the text credits to an entire new level. It wasn’t just the animation crew down to the latest trainee who were named. They list all the supporting staff as well. The department for human resources, the people who work with finances and PR, even the guy who was responsible for the coffee machine. Everyone. Almost at least. I can’t recall noticing who was on cleaning assignment, but if I had looked closely enough I bet it would have been there. I swear that I don’t exaggerate if I tell you there were hundreds of names.

If you’re evil spirited you might think that the ridiculously long credits were intended to prolong the running time of the film a little bit. The film is very short, even for being a movie intended for children, only just a little over an hour long. To prevent people from regarding it as a very long short rather than a full length feature film, worth the same ticket price as other movies, they probably wanted to draw it out a little.

But I choose to think that they’re just nice and fair to the staff. It doesn’t cost much to let people feel proud as they see their own names on the final product. So why not give it to them?

Extra scene
I usually don’t stick around for the entire text credit unless I have a good reason to do so. One can be that it was such a fantastic movie that I want to digest what I’ve just been through for a little while before I’m ready to leave the theatre. Another reason is that I’ve heard that there are some extras during or after the texts, something I shouldn’t miss out.

In this case I stayed because I was hypnotized by the amount of names and the titles they came with. So much people! Besides I was charmed by the animated figures from the movie who reappeared every now and then, walking around, doing little motions and tricks among the lines, similar to how the entire movie is sprinkled with playful interaction with letters and book pages. I couldn’t take my eyes of them.

Actually it also turned out that there WAS an essential little extra scene after all the text credits were over. I guess there’s a rumor about it out over the webs, but speaking for myself I hadn’t heard of it and I suspect I’m not alone. I just wonder how many families missed out this extra since they had left the theatre five minutes ago as the text credits started to roll.

Apart from the text credits I haven’t all that much to say about the movie. While I thought the musical numbers were a little bit too frequent for my taste, I was charmed by the playful references to that it comes from a printed book. It also felt refreshing to see an animated movie in classic style. No 3d glasses. No creepy animated characters that bring us to the uncanny valley problem. No motion caption. And I didn’t miss it for a second.

All I missed was a child to watch it with. Watching something as sweet and childish as Winnie the Pooh can feel a little bit strange if you’re an adult.

My family gave me some weird looks and teasing remarks as they passed by.  But I shrugged it away, thinking about a Pooh quote:

“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.”

And with the fluff in my ear I enjoyed the rest of the movie.

Winnie the Pooh (Stephen J. Anderson & Don Hall, US, 2011)  My rating: 4/5

Written by Jessica

March 5, 2012 at 1:00 am