This gentle, low-key production is a welcome relief from the sometimes frantic, high-speed animation that kids seems to dial up this time of year. It’s not really a full-length feature, but actually an edited combination of the 1991 TV special, Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too.
It was a by-product of the Emmy award-winning series, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Paul Winchell is the voice of Tigger in this portion, which was animated in Taiwan.
From Walt Disney Animation France come Happy Pooh Year and A Very Merry Pooh Year. The overall quality of the production is so consistently high that it’s difficult to tell the segments apart except that there is an episodic feel to the story – but that’s generally the case with any extended Pooh feature.
The talented songwriters Michael and Patty Silversher, who wrote a good many memorable tunes for Disney cartoon series and Disney records, contribute original songs. Carly Simon makes her Pooh debut with her wonderfully warm rendition of the classic Sherman Winnie the Pooh theme.
Some of the animation is pretty much what you might expect of the high-end TV variety, but other moments have downright theatrical quality.
One example is the scene in which Christopher Robin reads his Santa letter to his friends. It’s not only flowing, it’s all in character.
And there’s even a tangible connection to all the “bother” in the story about letters to “Santy” Included with the package are two glossy wish cards with a little Pooh pen for kids to fill out and mail with the envelopes and stickers provided. A nice touch.
Other Extras (on both the DVD and Blu-ray):
• Disney’s Song Selection
• Sing Along with the Movie
• Enchanted Environment (This is a cozy Christmas living room with a fireplace that you can leave on as you enjoy the holidays, much like those video logs)
Directed by Gary Katona and Ed Wexler
Written by Brian Hahfield, Ted Henning and Karl Geurs and Mark Zaslove
Music Score by Mark Watters, Steve Nelson and Thom Sharp
Voices: Jim Cummings (Pooh, Tigger); Paul Winchell (Tigger); Michael York (Narrator); John Fiedler (Piglet); Peter Cullen (Eeyore), Michael Gough (Gopher); William Green (Christopher Robin); Nikita Hopkins (Roo); Ken Sansom (Rabbit); Kath Soucie (Kanga); Jeff Bennett (singing voices of Piglet and Christopher Robin).
Songs: “Winnie the Pooh” by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, Sung by Carly Simon; “Auld Lang Syne,” additional lyrics by Carly Simon; “Snow Snows,” “Happy Pooh Year,” “Hunny, No Not for Me” by Patty & Michael Silversher; “Jingle Bells.”