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Case Number 17170: Small Claims Court

Buy Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie: Limited Edition at Amazon

Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie: Limited Edition

Disney // 2005 // 66 Minutes // Rated G
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker (Retired) // September 2nd, 2009

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All Rise...

Appellate Judge Tom Becker thinks heffalump is better than no lump at all.

The Charge

Celebrate Lumpy's first Halloween!

The Case

Lumpy the Heffalump is looking forward to his first Halloween, and his friend Roo is excited about showing him the ropes of trick or treating. Rabbit has gathered up all the candy in the Hundred Acre Wood so that everyone will be ready to distribute it on the big day.

Unfortunately, Winnie the Pooh's tummy can't wait for the big day, and sampling one piece leads to another, and before he knows it…the candy is gone. So Roo and Lumpy set out to find a Gobloon, a frightening creature that will grant you wishes if you catch it—and turn you into a a "jaggedy lantern" if it catches you! While hiding in an old log and waiting for the Gobloon to appear, Roo calms Lumpy by telling the story of another Halloween, and how Piglet overcame his fear of the scariest day of the year.

But when Roo thinks a Gobloon has gotten its hands on Lumpy, the whole gang is in for a scary time.

Since first being animated by Disney in the classic Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966), A.A. Milne's lovable creations have turned up in dozens of theatrical shorts, TV shows, and direct-to-home video releases. Honey Tree and its follow-up, the Oscar-winning Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, are charming creations, rare examples of "all ages entertainment" that are actually entertaining for all ages. Naturally, that level of quality hasn't sustained over more than 40 years, but for the most part, the Pooh productions have retained the gentle spirit and handsome animation.

Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie follows this tradition. It's a sweet-natured story and contains bits of word play so endearing in the Pooh world. It even features one of the final voice appearances by the great character actor John Fielding, the original Piglet. While Lumpy the Heffalump was not a Milne character, he fits in well with the other polite and offbeat characters, and he makes a good friend for Roo. The story offers simple lessons, low-key humor, and a couple of whimsical plot twists. Young kids should really enjoy it, and it's not a strain for adults.

Unfortunately, Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie is also something of a cheat. More than half the film is a flashback—to another Pooh adventure, Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh. The entire Piglet story is just that film inserted into this one. Boo to You was aired as a television special in 1996, and apparently doesn't have a DVD release (though Amazon still has some VHS copies available). It, too, is a nice looking piece of work, and it's too bad Disney didn't just release it on its own instead of creating this new story to bumper it and gussying it up as a new film.

The disc itself is fine, delivering the quality you'd expect from a Disney direct-to-DVD product. The picture looks terrific, the audio is very good, and there are English subtitles. The on-disc extras consist of games for the kids (including a somewhat tricky "gather the candy" adventure, as well as a narrator telling you how to play "pass the pumpkin" and "bingo"). There are DVD-Rom options for printing out invitations and decorations for you own Halloween party. In addition, the disc comes in a package with a plush toy—Pooh dressed up like Tigger, or Tigger's body with Pooh's face. It's cute, though a little too Dr. Moreau for my tastes.

Putting aside the whole clip-show onus of recycling an old cartoon into this story to lengthen it to "movie" proportions, Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie is a pleasant and entertaining addition to Disney's Pooh canon.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 84

Perp Profile

Studio: Disney
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
• English (SDH)
• Ancient Sumerian
Running Time: 66 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated G
• All Ages
• Animation
• Disney

Distinguishing Marks

• Games
• Plush Toy


• IMDb

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