My friends today I start something which I will hope will carry on for a long time. Using the style of my episode reviews for sitcoms, I want to start discussing cartoons.Â Today I am going to discuss an episode I have wanted to discuss for a very long time.Â It’s from a Saturday morning cartoon that I fell in love with…even though I was a bit grown up when I did. For years Winnie The Pooh never did much for me. I was only familiar with a few stories (and the god awful “Welcome to Pooh Corner”). I literally used to wonder if there were more than the two or three I saw over and over! Then I discovered :
And while the episodes were cute and silly fun, one really stood out! Which one?
First aired September 24,1988.
What makes it so special? Let’s take a closer look.
Plot Synopsis:So on a cold wintry night Rabbit is trying to save a carrot when he suddenly hears a call for help. Turns out it’s a small bird caught in the wind. Rabbit, Pooh, and Tigger save the bird and Rabbit decides to take her home.
Time passes and Rabbit struggles with caring for the bird. At times he is fed up with Kessie, as she’s named, but deep down is caring for her more and more. When one day she figures out how to fly, Rabbit refuses to allow her to do it.
Kessie is unable to resist the urge of nature however, and keeps practicing with the help of Pooh and Tigger. When it is clear that Kessie is grown up now and is going to leave, Rabbit is hurt. But he does come to accept it and manages to say one last goodbye to her before she leaves.
Best Line:”You know, Piglet, sometimes people care too much. I think it’s called “love”…..Pooh is very much a minor character in this one but sums it up very nicely in the end
Nitpick of the Episode:One thing that bugs me is the time frame. The episode takes place over the course of a year, more or less. Ok, did anything else happen during that time? Are there other episode that take place in between scenes of this one? Hey and speaking of that, where the hell is Christopher Robin during all this? The characters of Pooh and his friends are all stuffed animals Christopher Robin had, so where does Kessie fit in???Â Am I over thinking again?
Standout Character:Rabbit, it’s his episode plain and simple. Rabbit is an easy character to hate but here you can see he has a huge heart which he just doesn’t show very often.
Syndication Edit:I should probably remove this category to be honest. When I watch the un-cut episode I always remember where the commercial break was when it aired on TV. Don’t ask me why.
Episode Fun Fact:This was the third episode! Wow, talk about getting to the good stuff fast! Oh and I find conflicting info on that some say 3rd episode, some say 4th…point is that it was early in the run.
Final Thoughts:Let’s be honest, Winnie The Pooh doesn’t require real strong writing. It’s a simple concept and pretty much every episode is the gang getting into trouble and then having to get out of it. Or they do “Muppet Babies” style episodes where the whole thing is just in the gang’s imagination. Don’t get me wrong, I love those episodes and of course the characters are great. In fact they are why the show remained in re-runs for ages. But this episode truly stands out, in fact it is so well written it almost doesn’t feel in step with the rest of the series! I guess if cartoons did “very special episodes”, this would be a prime example of one.
It starts out as a regular episode, Kessie is introduced and we see Rabbit, well, being Rabbit. He has no patience for the baby bird and even has a freak out after Pooh’s attempt to help doesn’t quite work. That is until Kessie cries, and then Rabbit comes rushing by her side. We then see that he reads to her and she even has her own special chair in his place. Awww. She helps in the garden and plays with Tigger where she puts herself in danger accidentally (it’s Winnie the Pooh, there has to be some jeopardy somewhere).
As Kessie grows up Rabbit insists that she not fly. He says it’s for her safety, but it’s clear that it’s due to the fact that he has grown fond of her and doesn’t want to lose her. I love the scene where Rabbit says that if she were meant to fly, she’d have wings. Kessie looks at her wings like “Uh, HELLO???”. She tries to honor his wishes, but Kessie starts becoming unhappy. She practices flying with Pooh and Piglet and after she successfully learns to fly she is fully prepared to leave for the winter, whether Rabbit can accept it or not. Rabbit starts to realize she’s grown up and he’s gotta let her go..even if it breaks his heart. There is a scene the night before she is to leave where he is clearly hurt that she is leaving and isn’t nice to Kessie. Well, she starts to cry and with the violin and all…watch it and not tear up! I DARE YOU!!
I am leaving a lot of little things moments out, you really need to watch the episode to get the whole experience. But in the end, with Owl’s help, Kessie learns to fly and is ready to leave. She says goodbye to the others and there is some suspense about whether Rabbit will accept that she is grown and say goodbye to her before she does leave. Of course, he does and the episode ends with him keeping vigil waiting for her to return.
The moral here is one any parent will recognize. Our children can’t stay babies forever and eventually you have to let them go. It’s a beautiful story, and you know the writers were proud of this one. There was a follow up episode where Kessie came back, but it was awful! So awful that when this episode was included in the “Seasons of Giving” DVD that follow up was retconned out of continuity, as Rabbit clearly says that after Kessie left at the end it was the last he had seen her since her until “Seasons of Giving”. We also learn why Roo and Kanga never appear, they hadn’t moved there yet. And I love Seasons of Giving so much I won’t even ask why Kessie comes back at Christmas…you know, in the winter!!
Final Grade-A, Amazingly well written for a silly Saturday morning cartoon. And while the material is a bit heavy for little kids the characters are all, well, in character so there is plenty for them too. In the end itÂ make for a very memorable episode in an otherwise unremarkable series. Kessie of course became a popular character after this and was featured prominently in “The Book of Pooh”. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like her too. Sadly she seems to have faded away but Disney has brought old characters back before, so who knows?
Well my friends I hope you liked this, and I can do more of these cartoon reviews. For now, be good to yourselves.