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Featured DVD Review - Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine For You - Special Edition

January 4th, 2010

Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine For You - Special Edition - Buy from Amazon

Isn't it a little early for Valentine's Day? Regardless of how you answer that, I think we can all agree that it's always a good time for Winnie the Pooh, as the lovable honey-obsessed teddy bear has been a favorite of kids for the past 80 some years. It was in 1926 when A. A. Milne created the character, and all of his friends, and it is still going strong today. This DVD itself spans the decades: The TV Special that headlines it was made in 1999, but it's not the only short on the DVD, so let's jump right in.

A Valentine For You

It's Valentine's Day in the 100 Acre Wood and Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and the others are excited to notice a change in Christopher Robin. He hasn't been around much lately, and when he mentions he has a new friend - a female friend named Winifred (Winifred, from Angel? Probably not) - the gang doesn't know what to make of it. Well, most of them. Owl explains that Christopher Robin has been smitten by a girl. Bitten by the love bug, as it were. So the gang decides they must find this love bug and get it to unbite their friend so he will return to normal. But there's dangers ahead, as finding a love bug is not an easy quest. And it gets worse when the gang gets separated. And if they do find one, are they really willing to "cure" Christopher Robin of his first crush?

I'm of two minds on this 22-minute short. On the one hand, the story is sweet and full of heart, but on the other hand, the music is not very memorable. I think for a Valentine's Day special, there was more adventure than I was expecting, but overall I can recommend watching it. However, it is not among the best the franchise has to offer.

Un-Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day and Rabbit is determined not to let the disaster that happened last year happen again this year. Apparently, every time Pooh receives a Valentine's Card, he returns the favor three times over. And that made people feel guilty, so they gave him two more. ... So he responded with six more Valentines. ... Which meant they had to give him four more. ... You can see where this is going. So this year, Rabbit bans the giving of all Valentine's Day gifts. It's a perfect plan; however, when someone gives Pooh a pot of honey, he decides he must return the favor, but he must do so in a way that will be a secret. One secret gift leads to another... and another... and another. But will they be able to keep control this year, unlike last year. And who sent that first gift?

An episode from the The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which ran from 1988 to 1991. I really wish they would start releasing this show on full season sets. Or, since season one was longer than the other three seasons combined (26 episodes to 25) release them in two volumes. Or split season one into three volumes. Whatever. Just release them all already. It's an excellent show, and this is a great episode and it makes a perfect compliment to the TV special above.

Three Little Piglets

This six-minute short is tacked onto the end of Un-Valentine's Day, which was common for the show. It's a re-telling of the classic children's tale, The Three Little Pigs, only with Piglet in the starring role. The setup has Winnie the Pooh reading the story to the rest of the gang, but since none of them can read, they make it up as they go along and get confused ... a lot.

A very fun short that mashes together a lot of fairytales into the Winnie the Pooh world. Not much of a plot, but it doesn't overstay its welcome. I wish you could watch it separately, however.

My Hero

A bonus episode from The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh that is the only thing new on this version of the DVD. This one has Piglet saving the life of Tigger, which means Tigger must be his humble servant. This is a disaster for Piglet, as Tigger is way too enthusiastic to be of any use. So he sets about trying to get Tigger to save his life so they will be even, but this is easier said than done.

A half-length episode that has nothing to do with the theme, but fun nonetheless. It takes a similar theme from the series - a relatively simple task that gets completely out of hand - but does it in a fun way.

The only extra on the DVD is a game called Catch the Love Bug, which is simple to play but should entertain the target audience.

The Verdict

Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine For You - Special Edition is typical of Disney DVD releases. There's an hour of animated shorts, plus a simple game, but the price is the same for a feature-length movie. If you have the previous DVD release, then it's not worth the upgrade, but if your kids are fans of the characters, then it's worth checking out, perhaps picking up. The price-per-minute is a little high to be enthusiastic about the recommendation, though.

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