Call this one a total 180 from #25, Winnie the Pooh is as safe as it gets. The gluttonous stuffed bear has been delighting children for decades along with his buddies in the Hundred Acre Woods (where Christopher Robin plays…) in the most tamest of ways. Winnie the Pooh just manages to be charming enough to not be boring, though if your kid likes to marathon Winnie the Pooh cartoons you may beg to differ.
Winnie the Pooh originated in book form by A.A. Milne (actually, Winnie originated in Canada as a real bear) but American audiences are likely more familiar with the Walt Disney version of the character. That Winnie the Pooh was brought to life on the big screen as a sort-of collection of shorts eventually packaged into one main feature referred to as The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. In 1988, Pooh was brought to television in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, a mostly forgettable 80’s cartoon series that, like many cartoons of that era, is probably most fondly recalled for its catchy opening theme.
The New Adventures did reintroduce the character to a new audience, and the same cast was utilized on several direct to video films and specials, such as Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too. In this special, Christopher Robin writes a letter to Santa for everyone, but Pooh forgets to ask something for himself. When he and Piglet retrieve the letter, he and his friends re-write it to include more stuff as the gang all experience some momentary greed. When Pooh and Piglet attempt to resend in the letter (in a very low tech kind of way) it gets lost. Not wanting their friends to have a crummy Christmas, Pooh dresses up as Santa and attempts to deliver presents to all of his friends himself.
If you go back and watch the old Pooh cartoons from the 70’s, you may pick up on the fact that Pooh is a glutton, through and through. To the point where it’s almost not cute as he really cares about his stomach above all else. The modern Pooh isn’t quite so bad, which is why this special ends in the way it does with Pooh not too concerned about getting anything for Christmas when he has his friends already and everybody learning a lesson (but also getting presents too, so it’s not like they were made to suffer). It’s cute and it’s safe, but not offensively so. If you’re looking to check it out for yourself, Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too is sold in both DVD and Blu Ray form as A Very Merry Pooh Year and includes a New Year’s special as well. And if you’re not picky, you can probably find it for pretty cheap on the second-hand market. Otherwise, I’m not sure if it will air on television this holiday season, but you can always check this site to see if it pops up.