3. Winnie the Pooh
It may seem odd to have Winnie the Pooh so high on my list, but this is honestly one of the most purely delightful films I saw in 2011. This romp is so charming because of the care and attention the filmmakers give these beloved characters, allowing each of them a chance to shine. The story is patently slight, like most of Pooh bear’s outings, but it’s smartly plotted, leaving neither a single frame nor bit of clever dialogue to waste. The film is also genuinely hilarious. It has a modern sense of humor right down to absurdity and comic timing, and it remains self-referential without ever being cynical. The musical sunshine of Zooey Deschanel’s voice is a welcomed addition to the Hundred Acre Woods, and Henry Jackman’s score is pitch perfect and gorgeously orchestrated. I should also mention that the hand drawn animation is downright pristine. Winnie the Pooh is a compact and infectiously joyous return to a huggable and honey-sweet land and reminds us why we’ve adored these characters since our childhood.