Judge Clark Douglas can't wait for the Season of Taking to begin.
Keep the magic of the holiday season alive and sparkling the whole year long!
While it does seem a bit laughable that the straight-to-DVD compilation Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving is getting a special "10th Anniversary Edition," I suppose it's to be expected. The folks at Disney are masters of recycling and repackaging previously released material. The original DVD included the 22-minute television special A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving and two segments of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, "Groundpiglet Day" and "Find Her, Keep Her." These adventures are bridged by original songs courtesy of The Sherman Brothers, clearly not putting as much effort into this outing as they did into their memorable efforts of yesteryear.
The 63-minute extravaganza is divided up unevenly into three different segments, each one offering a seasonally appropriate story. Honestly, this DVD probably should have been called Rabbit Causes Problems for Everybody Because He's a Self-Absorbed Idiot, because that's pretty much what happens in each of these stories. In the first story, Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet go to visit Rabbit because they want to know whether or not winter has started. Rabbit takes a look at his less-than-reliable calendar and discovers that it's Groundhog Day, which means winter is actually coming to a close. In order to find out whether spring has actually started, Rabbit dresses Piglet up as a groundhog and demands to know whether Piglet can see his shadow. Piglet can't (because his costume is obstructing his view), so everyone starts preparing for spring despite the fact that it's actually still winter. Much chaos ensues.
The next segment is the Thanksgiving-themed special. All of the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood are preparing for a Thanksgiving celebration. The meal will include such items as chocolate ice cream, acorns and honey. Rabbit sees the fixings and sternly expresses his disapproval. After all, Thanksgiving is about turkey and cranberry sauce! He demands that Pooh and Piglet go find a turkey; a proposal that bothers Piglet very much indeed. After all, why would a little pig want to hunt and kill a turkey? When the two fail in their mission, they become convinced that their Thanksgiving is also a failure. Until they learn The True Meaning of Thanksgiving, that is.
In the "Find Her, Keep Her" segment, Rabbit rescues a little bird from a horrendous snowstorm and decides to give her a home. Meanwhile, he attempts to keep her free of the unfortunate influences of the likes of Tigger and other less responsible residents of the Hundred Acre Wood. In order to "protect" her, Rabbit insists that the little bird should never attempt to fly again. After all, flying could lead her to into dangerous situations. Alas, the little bird yearns to fly again, and Rabbit must learn to give up his control freak-ish tendencies and let her go.
Though not as charming as the original shorts, both the Thanksgiving special and the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh material are perfectly respectable imitations that still rank as stellar, sweet-natured children's entertainment. Kids should enjoy this stuff and adults should feel comfortable leaving their young ones in the care of this of this good-hearted programming for an hour.
The transfer is somewhat disappointing, containing plenty of scratches and flecks and particularly lacking in terms of detail. There's some color bleeding at times, too. This stuff most assuredly looks as old as it actually is. The stereo sound is adequate, nothing more. Extras include two bonus episodes of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, "The Magic Earmuffs" and "The Wishing Bear." In addition, there are a couple of interactive games for kids, "Decorate Your Own Christmas Tree" and "Coloring Fun with Piglet." A miniature Christmas stocking featuring an image of all the popular Pooh characters is also included, which is a nice little bonus for the kids.
Though the transfer is a letdown, this disc would make a nice stocking stuffer for your 2 to 7-year-old.
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