Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Zooey Deschanelegend Frolics Through the Hundred Acre Wood

by ALEX NAGORSKI


Remember when Tom Cruise jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch about how much he loved Joey Potter (er ... sorry, Katie Holmes)? Well, had that not been a meticulously crafted PR stunt, it would have actually been really endearing. Endearing in that so-elated-that-of-course-you’ll-act-like-a-baboon-on-Oprah’s-furniture kind of way.

Well, imagine Williamsburg on the day that it was announced that Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward were collaborating again – this time for the soundtrack to Disney’s new film adaptation of Winnie The Pooh. So many ecstatic hipsters. So much broken eco-friendly thrift store furniture.

Zooey is to hipsters as Jesus is to Catholics or as Christina Aguilera is to herself. Disney’s decision to select her as the vocal muse for arguably their most nostalgic film to date (I dare you to tell me you didn’t tear up during that trailer) was brilliant. Not only because of her revered status among the adults who have so many childhood memories associated with the Winnie The Pooh franchise, but also because of her new-wave vintage sound.

In this new Pooh film, Disney has gone the opposite route than it has with its recent releases. Instead of creating an entirely CGI world like in Tangled, Winnie The Pooh is a return to classic Disney: 2D animation and music that doesn’t sound like a failed American Idol winner’s debut ballad. Who better than to provide the sound for this reverting to old-school agenda than Zooey, the reincarnation of 60’s female pop?

Upon first hearing Zooey’s take on the classic Pooh theme, I was overtaken by that warm, fuzzy feeling that you get when you’re in a play-pit with multiple puppies or when you realize you’re next to Michael Fassbender at a urinal and can take a sneak peek. To hear Zooey’s gentle alto voice singing “tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff” is like a spoonful of honey in itself. Crack-infused, smooth, delicious honey.

For the majority of the tracks, Zooey merely provides rich background vocals. Her little doo-wops and scooby-doo-bops create a near flawless harmony with the film’s bouncy and sunshine-tinged score.
Zooey and M. Ward also contribute an original song, “So Long.” Interestingly enough, the duo don’t cite the song under their band’s name (She & Him), but rather credit themselves eponymously.

“So Long” has all the essential ingredients of a typical She & Him song; a blend of indie surf rock with lo-fi ‘60s pop. Throw in the sugarcoated, cutesy and kid-friendly lyrics (“Well I could be the blossom / And you could be the bee / And then I could call you honey”), and you have the perfect new theme for the film.

Now, I’m not saying that I made sure I was up at midnight on Tuesday when the soundtrack came out on iTunes so I could buy it as soon as it was released. I’m also not saying that I listened to it while cuddling with a stuffed Eeyore in my bed before falling asleep. I’m also definitely not saying that I teared up. But HYPOTHETICALLY, if any of these things were true, it would mean that Zooey hit a home-run with her contributions to this movie.

Moral of the story: Zooey is the poo(h). So take a whiff. And don’t forget to bring your ski masks to the theaters this weekend when you go see Winnie The Pooh. This way nobody will see you ugly-cry.

Originally published on MuuMuse

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