HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year
HTS Overall Score:53.5
Ahhh, good old Winnie the Pooh. If you were a Disney child, like myself, than you most certainly have watched our loveable, yet dimwitted, stuffed animal stuff his little cheeks with Honey and learn life lessons along the way. Pooh has become such a staple that even 40 + years after its inception the line is still going strong with remakes and Tigger spinoff movies. While “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” is a true classic this iteration of Pooh is rather something more childish and less for the whole family, but rather a child’s diversion (but a very sweet and admirable childs diversion at that)
There’s really two stories at play here. “Winnie the Pooh and the Christmas Too” (a 1991 tv special) and “Happy Pooh Year”, which was a 2002 DTV holiday special. In “Winnie the Pooh and the Christmas Too”, Roo is being regaled with a tale of Christmas past where Pooh and the gang are struggling to get their Christmas gift list to Santa that Year. Pooh has been entrusted with the task and can’t seem to accomplish it so he takes it upon himself to try and give the gang the Christmas they deserve. As you can guess things don’t go as planned the gifts turn out to be a nightmare. All in all they find out that Christmas is really special with the people you care about, not whether you get everything you desire for Christmas.
“Happy Pooh Year” takes places as the story to Roo ends with Winnie the Pooh forgetting Piglet’s Christmas gift and searching for it until New Years. At that time Christopher Robin decides that a New Years party is called for and has Pooh go get everything up at a location where they can all meet. Pooh, in his typical space cadet manner, goes to Rabbit’s house with the intention of asking for Rabbit’s permission to host the party and ends up causing natural disaster type results in Rabbit’s home. Rabbit, incensed with the destruction and thoughtlessness decides to leave indefinitely causing the gang to make New Years resolutions of changing themselves so they can be more likeable to Rabbit. With such drastic changes craziness is bound to happen. None of the characters are acting like themselves and the strain is causing them to crack mentally. As with all stories it has a happy ending with Rabbit seeing the great amount of love that his friends have for him, enough to even try and change their very core beings in order to please him and decides that he can’t leave the 100 acre woods after all.
Simple and sweet the story is meant for children with some heavy handed lessons. This isn’t a horrible thing though, since it still carries much of the charm and witticisms that kids love about our fat little stuffed animals. Pooh is as kind and well-meaning as ever with Tigger being the real joy here. No one can resist the hyper active animal and even adults can get a kick out of his antics.
Rated G for Everyone
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=13476[/img]Now this is rather a dicey rating right here. The film luckily has been spared from the overzealous “restoration” work that “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” went through, but it suffers from the same fate as many of the other direct to video movies have suffered from, and that is a poor budget with very little real upgrade from its DVD counterpart. The film is littered with all sorts of digital anomalies from aliasing and haloing all the way up to over compression in the master. Now this isn’t really a fault of the encode, but rather the problems stemming from a low budget DTV film. While it’s still pretty faithful to the master it just isn’t pretty to look at. Colors are dull and lifeless, the art suffers from a lack of detail common in these dtv films and it’s just “serviceable” at best. Honestly it’s got very little upgrade to the DVD and that’s really the whole crux of the situation here.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=13477[/img]Now the audio is a teensy bit of an upgrade, but not by much. Disney has given us another lossy 2.0 stero track and it suffers from same issue that its predecessor had. That being it’s a rather dull and lifeless track without much to bring to the table. Vocals are nice and solid, but that’s about it, there’s very little else to the front soundstage besides the vocals and there isn’t much effort made to make it much more engrossing, but then again this IS a DTV Christmas movie so it’s rather expected. Serviceable and solid for what it is, the main issue is again the lack of lossless audio in a disc that’s just brimming over with excess space to be used.
• Disney Intermission
• Disney's Song Selection
• Enchanted Environment
Now “A Very Merry Pooh Year” isn’t the best Pooh stories in the world, and really isn’t something I’d consider canon for the series, but it IS an enjoyable little romp and will entertain the kids with the sweet and loveable pooh. The real savior for the movie is the overabundance of energy that the ever Popular Tigger brings to the table. Even though it’s a bit rough around the edges in the audio and video department I don’t think much better can be had considering the source. So if you’re a Disney fan, it’s really a no brainer, if you can find it for a decent price I would pick it up for the kids, if not then I’d suggest a rental since we aren’t talking Canon Disney right there.
Starring: Jim Cummings, Peter Cullen, Michael Gough, William Green
Directed by: Gary Katona, Ed Wexler
Written by: Brian Hohlfeld, Ted Henning
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 AVC
Audio: English, Spanish, French DD 2.0
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
Blu-Ray Release Date: Nov 5th, 2013
Buy Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Rent It
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