It’s been a decade since WINNIE THE POOH: SPRINGTIME WITH ROO was first released, and having missed it the first time around (five years Pre-Rock Father), I was anxious to check it out on “Hippity Hoppity Roo Edition” Blu-ray with my girls, both of whom have developed an affection for the characters of the Hundred Acre Wood. Just-released from the infamous Disney Vault (and for the first time in HD), SPRINGTIME WITH ROO is a surprising tale – but one that was unexpectedly… familiar.
Starting off as all Winnie the Pooh stories are known to – in the bedroom of a boy named Christopher Robin, a kindly Narrator working his way through the pages of a book – we catch up with Pooh and Friends as they prep for their annual Easter celebration, presented here as a welcoming of Spring, devoid of any religious overtones. Rabbit, who’s always been the sorta uptight member of the bunch, takes center stage here (nevermind that it’s Roo’s movie), which is appropriate since Bunnies and Easter go together like those Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs and me. Quite simply, Rabbit likes to be the Easter Bunny, and after a snafu involving “Spring Cleaning Day,” he becomes incredibly angry and turns against Easter, and his friends.
How do things get put back right? By the M. Night Shyamalan “twist” of the film – that what we’re all watching is an adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, with Rabbit as Scrooge, Easter instead of Christmas, and the narrator and Tigger taking over the “Ghost” duties. That book that the narrator reads from? It’s future pages unwritten for this Pooh tale, and when Rabbit realizes he hasn’t been very nice, everything falls back into place. As Tigger himself notes, “What in the Dickens – and I do mean Dickens – is going on here?”
Speaking of which, does this song remind anyone else of “We Both Reached for the Gun” from CHICAGO?
SPRINGTIME WITH ROOH is a cute movie to enjoy for a season that doesn’t particularly have a ton of titles that immediately “spring” to mind, and it would certainly make a great addition to any Easter Basket. It’s not one of my favorite Pooh tales, but the little ones enjoyed it, and that’s what really counts.