Disney’s 10th Anniversary Edition release of “Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving” is marketed as a feature length film, but is actually part compilation of a few episodes from “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” and the TV movie, “A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving”. The older episodes and the newer addition work well together to make a cohesive story focusing on the seasons and some of the holidays celebrated throughout.
When the friends of the Hundred Acre Wood lose track of the seasons, they go see Rabbit since he has a calendar. Rabbit tells them it’s Groundhog day and that only the groundhog will let them know if Winter is officially over. Since there’s no groundhog, Piglet takes the role and sees no shadow. Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit and Piglet prematurely start planning for Spring, thinking Winter is long behind them. When it starts to snow, Rabbit’s temper gets the better of him and blames poor, innocent Piglet. Guilt ridden, Piglet goes in search for a real groundhog. While on his search, Rabbit discovers that his calendar had pages missing and it’s not Groundhog day after all. In fact, it’s still November.
From here, the pages turn and the story takes us to Thanksgiving. Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Owl, Eeyore, Gopher and Rabbit gather together for a meal and to give thanks. Before they can dig into their usual collection of items, Rabbit proclaims that these items will not do and that their meal is not what Thanksgiving is about. Rabbit goes on to tell everyone that Thanksgiving is about tradition, including the foods that go with it such as pumpkin pie, cranberry dressing, and turkey and without those things “Thanksgiving is nothing”. Of course, the group set off to find these items and after some mishaps discover that Thanksgiving isn’t about those items at all, but is about being with your friends and being thankful.
After Thanksgiving, the story transitions to Winter, and a story of how Rabbit once rescued a little blue bird named Kessie in winter is offered. Rabbit has some trying moments taking care of the baby bird, but cares for her deeply. When she starts to show interest in flying, Rabbit makes her promise that she won’t fly because it scares Rabbit very much and because he cares so much about her. Still, as time goes on, Kessie is drawn to flight as she watches other birds flying outside and she tells Rabbit that it means everything to her to learn to fly. Rabbit refuses to understand, that is until he’s stuck in a position where only Kessie’s flight can help him. Kessie sets off for the South for Winter, and she and Rabbit almost miss their chance to say goodbye. This is certainly a lovely story, with a moving ending.
Winnie the Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood are such beloved characters that it’s always nice to sit down and watch their stories unfold. With charming tales and such memorable, loveable characters “Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving” is a delight and should appeal to fans, young and old.
VIDEO: "Winnie the Pooh's Season of Giving" is presented by Disney in 1.33:1 full-frame. The presentation offered perfectly fine image quality, with only a few minor faults. The animation generally appeared crisp and detailed, with only a couple of shots looking slightly softer than the rest. No pixelation was spotted during the show, but a little bit of edge enhancement was occasionally present. As one might expect with a relatively new release, the print looked crisp and clear, with no faults. Colors appeared bright and vivid, with nice saturation and no concerns.
SOUND: Clear, crisp stereo soundtrack.
There’s an activity on this DVD where you decorate your own Christmas tree. With three choices of trees to decorate, you then pick from different decorations to complete the look. Younger kids should enjoy decorating the tree and making the choices. Another activity included is “Coloring with Piglet”. You’re briefly shown the picture with color and then the color is taken away and you’re left to color in pieces of the picture from memory. It’s a nice game to test the memory, to work with colors, and to help with following direction.
Also included are two Bonus Shorts from “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”. First is “Magic Earmuffs” where the group from the Hundred Acre Wood go ice skating, only Piglet is too scared. Christopher Robin gives Piglet his earmuffs and tells him that he can skate with them on because they’re magic. Second is “The Wishing Bear”, where Christopher Robin tells Winnie the Pooh a special wishing spell. Christopher Robin gives Pooh some honey after he wishes for it, but tells him not to use up too many wishes all at once. Later, Pooh tells his friends about the wishing star and all of them want to make a wish. Only, Pooh can’t remember how to make the wish so Pigglet, Tigger and Rabbit try and help him remember. The DVD also comes with a collectible miniature stocking featuring Pooh, Tigger and Pigglet.
Final Thoughts: With wonderful storytelling and such memorable, loveable characters “Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving” is a delight and should appeal to fans, young and old.