A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the age of innocence is alive and well in the Hundred Acres Forest. There are some mildly perilous moments -- falling from heights, mostly -- that end safely. The notion that everyone celebrates Christmas is a given, so parents who do not celebrate it might point out that Christmas is not actually a national holiday. Little girls might also feel a little left out, since the only females are Roo and Christopher Robin's moms, who play peripheral parts, and a little bird named Kessie (who is featured in one segment.) The main action belongs to the boy characters.
What's the story?
A compilation of Pooh stories, this darling movie explores the holiday festivities during Fall and Winter. Since Tigger, Pooh, and Piglet do not know the day of the year, they ask Rabbit, who consults his calendar. Meanwhile, his calendar has been blown out of order, and he announces that winter will not come at all this year. You can imagine what happens: big surprises all around when the snow comes. In another segment, Christmastime has arrived, and the friends decorate the tree, recounting a story of a young bird that Rabbit had saved. He loved her to the point of keeping her from flying South. Encouraged by her friends, Kessie does fly South, disappointing Rabbit. But her return and her correspondence cheer him tremendously. Ice skating, searching for turkeys, baking pies, making wishes and warm-water bottles -- not to mention the eating of honey -- are all highlights of this movie. Ah, childhood!
Is it any good?
Classic, in every sense of the word. The characters of these stories literally leap from the pages of A.A. Milne's books, successfully creating a bridge between two media. The lovely thing about the movie medium is that we can hear Pooh's thoughtful voice, and Piglet saying, "Oh, d-d-d-ear." Tigger (voiced by Paul Winchell) is bouncy and lovingly animated, while Gopher's distinct whistle makes us smile.
This collection will get viewers in the holiday mood -- and in the mood for bed -- since it does maintain the story-time feeling. What a good opportunity for parents to bring books to children's attention, while perhaps peppering the tale-telling with voices that the characters inspire.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about winter. Does it snow where you live? Did it used to snow more than it does now? How do we change the way we live according to the seasons? How do Pooh and his friends change their lives accordingly?
Rabbit is sometimes grumpy with his friends, bossing them around and chastising them. What other choices could he make when dealing with his friends? When is it okay to be bossy? When is it not okay?
Piglet is very afraid to try new things. Why do you think he is so scared? Does that make him a coward? When is he brave?
- On DVD or streaming: September 29, 2009
- Cast: John Fiedler, Paul Winchell, Peter Cullen
- Director: Harry Arunds
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book characters, Friendship, Holidays, Wild animals
- Run time: 64 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- MPAA explanation: General Audiences
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.