I have yet to see a Winnie the Pooh TV or direct-to-video special that is anything other than dire, though this one might be the least dire of the bunch. The problem, as with any of these cheap Pooh specials, is that the A.A. Milne brand of whimsy is so perilously difficult to nail. The Walt Disney Animation Studio Winnie the Pooh features (1977 and 2011) are either directly inspired by Milne or sufficiently well-drawn as a facsimile to correctly capture the spirit, but it’s not easy.
The premise here is that the crew is baffled by Christopher Robin’s valentine, Winifred. I would have loved the a more apocalyptic reading of Christopher Robin’s pubescence, where the imaginary friends feared their own oblivion of Christopher Robin grew out of them, Winifred replacing Winnie. But this is not nearly that daring.
The voice acting is solid, as is typically the case for these Winnie the Pooh specials, but the animation is run-of-the-mill. What really gives this one just a hair more charm than some of the other Pooh specials is the characters’ utter bewilderment at the notion of gender roles (as if they don’t hang around Kanga every day). If it were just a hair more clever it might play as a deconstruction of romance vis a vis gender in media.
Not Very Good (3/8)
Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.