THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH SERIES REVIEW

NEW THEME SONG!!!!!!!!!!!!! written by Bruce Healey and owned by Walt Disney Records

After 100 episodes of the Mouse House on Manic Expression alone (may vary with the move to the new site) I feel that it is time to change the Mouse House up a little bit. Only little changes here and there and very late in the year depending on how good, fast and big my new computer will be I might post video reviews (no film clips edited in, but just me talking), but the videos are a stretch and a long way off. Anyway I feel to begin this slightly new yet not so new era of the series by reviewing something Pooh related! For those that haven’t followed me since the beginning the very first review I wrote EVER was a review of Winnie the Pooh (2011) so for this new era it will be a review of the Pooh I grew up with and a show that I don’t watch all the time, but for the most part I love. That show is the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh!

THEME SONG TO NEW ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH

https://youtu.be/6Tzras9XRMk

 

PREMISE

The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a very odd animal and hard to analyze and describe. There is no real premise or any real consistency. The show is basically Pooh and friends sometimes having Christopher Robin present sometimes not and they have misadventures. They contain innocent and fun adventures and experiences. Some of them are for the sake of adventures while others are very nostalgic and profound scenarios that have excellent coverage and understanding of virtually universal childhood experiences. The show flirts with many styles and tones, but never really marries one. Some episodes are down to earth and sweet classic Pooh storytelling while others are really funny and cartoony slapstick and pun based humor covering genres and are adventure type stories with the Pooh characters. This inconsistency can be seen as a big weakness, but I think it is also the greatest strength of the show. No episode is too similar to another and every one of them to some extent is so creative and intelligently and unobtrusively bending and breaking the rules of its own reality. Pooh and friends will use their imaginations and play make believe and they create a fantasy when they’re already a fantasy in Christopher Robin’s imagination. It often plays with Fantasy within Fantasy and the power of imagination as a tool of the child’s mind to help them grow up or to give memorable and fun experiences that only the childhood mindset can bring. It’s very similar to how the Nostalgia Critic described the movie of Where the Wild Things Are all the points the Critic made were right and all of them apply to the 100 Acre Wood and this show. While the presentation may seem unorthodox for Pooh the themes and childhood experiences are classic Pooh!

To give you a more concrete example of what I’m talking about is an episode

https://youtu.be/O28hiGxOtXg

where Christopher Robin’s mother tells him to clean up his room and comments on how unsanitary and lazy he is in cleaning up his room. Christopher cuts corners and shoves things under the bed and every child can at least somewhat identify with this scenario. For my cynical readers shut up and swallow your pride don’t pretend like you didn’t do that when you were Christopher Robin’s age. However the child uses his imagination to figure things out and as a tool for growing up and trying to rationalize the grown up concept of cleanliness and order. And the fantasy of the adventure that takes place in an entire world under the bed begins. Christopher, Pooh and the gang get trapped in this world under the bed that is filled with dirt and long lost items that Christopher shoved under the bed. They come across a totalitarian society where the items under the bed are ruled by the evil dirt and muck monster fittingly called Crud! Christopher and friends dispose of the monster and cleans up his room and in his own way learns the virtues of cleanliness. The world under the bed is well imagined has a good message and also it succeeded in doing something I didn’t think was possible it made CRAYONS SCARY!!!!!!!!!!! Do you know how hard it is to make crayons scary?! It’s a great episode and a lot of episodes are like that!

https://youtu.be/6Ft5MfeVA38

Paw and Order

The Western episodes are a lot of fun and one of them follows a similar road as the more theme based episodes. Another episode that I think is very nice and really funny at the same time is

https://youtu.be/TFmwKrVROqQ

Grown, But Not Forgotten.

The story is basically Christopher Robin has been invited to a fancy party where he has to dress nice and is obligated to dance with girls and take a pretty big milestone in his life and learn the basics of being an adult. Pooh and friends, mostly Rabbit and Tigger, are very disturbed by this because they are afraid and concerned that Christopher has already grown up and will never be friends with them again. So they decide that in order to be with Christopher in his grown up years that they will become adults as well and commission Gofur to build a grown up house and host a grown up party. It’s a very sweet episode that also shows and discusses the inevitable, but that doesn’t mean Christopher’s friendship with Pooh and friends is completely gone or meaningless. The episode has plenty of really funny jokes and some are downright hilarious and they can be found in the fantasy and role playing that Pooh and friends take part in when Tigger is explaining the horror that is adulthood and suburbia. One of the funniest things is that during this fantasy and role play Tigger plays Christopher Robin’s wife! How funny is that? That is awesome and hilarious! It’s so bizarre you can’t help, but laugh and Tigger is hilarious in how he exaggerates the role. The character they got to play Tigger and Christopher Robin’s baby I will not give away, but that has me on the floor every time I see it, it is that hilarious! In the episode The Piglet Who Would be King  Piglet becomes king of a place called the

https://youtu.be/nIG8QGMaeq8

Land of Milk and Honey which is so delightfully weird and creative. Also it is one of Paul Winchell’s last performances as Tigger. But my favorite episode would have to be

https://youtu.be/wEflLpC-_Sw

Sorry, Wrong Slusher!

Oh wow this episode is great! It’s hilarious it has themes of classic Pooh and updates the scenarios of childhood experiences. The thing is the childhood experience has changed drastically. Children are being raised for better or for worse very different from you or me and our parents and grandparents. The childhood experience has changed drastically since when the original book was written and the movie came out. So the great thing about the show is basically what I described above it took conventions of modern day childhood experiences and covered them. This episode covers the concept of the child sneaking out of bed going down to the living room and watching a horror movie without the parents noticing and Christopher Robin does just that with Pooh and friends in tow. The episode then proceeds to bend reality and go into a fairly obvious dream where the Pooh and Christopher Robin and company have a nightmare about the Slasher (they mislabel the film term and call it Slusher) film they saw and that causes a lot of hijinks. The scenario is something all of us from the TV and home video generations can relate to as well as some really funny scenarios, but I will not dare give away the ending! The ending scenes are some of the most hilarious stuff from Disney television. The images of the ending are just so goofy and hilarious! And then they kind of do an M. Night Shyamalan thing where they have a sort of twist ending that makes you wonder when did the dream begin?

FINAL THOUGHTS

This show is great! There are a lot more great episodes that I didn’t mention as well as a few dumb ones like the Valentines Day episode that Moviefan mentioned, but those are very few and far between. It introduced Pooh to a whole new generation and told stories that were relevant to the children growing up at the time and while it may not have been orthodox ways of telling Pooh stories they were still charming, funny, sweet and had an understanding of the importance of childhood! Join me next time where I take a look at another animated feature Pocahontas!

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