A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this magic-of-Christmas tale where Pooh and friends save the day doesn't have universal appeal like the classic Pooh 'toons. It's like a long episode of the preschool-focused show My Friends Tigger & Pooh. You'll find lots of lessons in perseverance and helping others as well as plenty of hype around getting Christmas presents and asking Santa for presents; everyone gets what they asked for in the end. In one scene, some characters fall through ice into a hole, despair, and need to be rescued.
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What's the story?
The Pooh crew knows that Santa's in trouble when they rescue a tiny reindeer named Holly caught in tree branches, and she tells them Santa's magic toy sack is missing and Christmas is about to be cancelled. Lucky for Holly, Lumpy and Roo saw the toy sack in the snow. Since Holly is still too young to fly, they must walk back to the North Pole and hope they arrive in time, donning their Super Sleuth masks for the crucial mission ahead. Lessons great for preschoolers are learned on the walk north (though no one talks about how far away the North Pole really is). At one point the friends despair and think of turning back, but persevere and are rewarded with a ride on Santa's sleigh. Thrown into the mix are some original songs, which are rather unremarkable. At least snowmen in top hats dance through one of them. When the dialogue focuses on lessons, the story slows down. But don't despair -- Pooh and Pals do get to Santa's sleigh eventually and the magic of Christmas wins out in the end.
Is it any good?
Parents who grew up with the classic Winnie the Pooh shorts based on the A.A. Milne stories will be disappointed when they sit down with their preschoolers to watch this movie. The animation is computerized, there's no Christopher Robin (it's Darby now), the voices are a little off, and there's some gimmick involving Pooh and friends as private I's. But kids who enjoy the show it's based on, My Friends Tigger & Pooh, really won't mind. In fact, they'll love Darby and the sleuthing bit, and will love watching their pals save Christmas.