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STUDIO: Disney

MSRP: $26.99

RATED: TV Y

RUNNING TIME: 45 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • Discovery Mode Level 1 and 2
  • Bonus Episode






The Pitch

Computer animated series follows the adventures of Winnie the Pooh and friends as they play detective and solve mysteries using songs and engaging viewers in active participation.



The Humans

Chloe Moretz, Jim Cummings, Oliver Dillon, Peter Cullen, Dee Bradley Baker, Ken Sansom, Travis Oates, Brenda Blethyn


Previously… on LOST



The Nutshell

While chasing fireflies one evening in the Hundred Acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh and friends see a giant meteor crash in the distance. The next morning, Rabbit discovers all of the vegetables in his garden have grown gigantic. He calls upon the Super Duper Sleuths to investigate. Pooh is joined by Tigger, new friend Darby (Moretz), and her dog Buster. After eating the vegetables (remember kids: eat your veggies, especially if they’ve been struck by a meteor and have mutated), the Super Duper Sleuths gain super powers, but it’s still up to them to save the day when Lumpy and Roo get stranded on an island.



The Lowdown

Noticeably absent from the bunch are Christopher Robin (further investigation informs me that he randomly shows up in these specials, but it’s not know if he’s related to Darby or if they’re just friends), Owl, and Gopher. New additions include Woodpecker, Beaver, Small (a bug), and Lumpy the Heffalump. I’m not sure if the creators found Owl and Gopher to be boring, but Woodpecker is a grating, hyper character that seems like he could use some Adderall. Rabbit is his same old neurotic self, complete with a rabbit-shaped friend made of vegetables, which makes him seem borderline schizophrenic.

Like Blue’s Clues and the more recent Dora the Explorer, the My Friends series engages young viewers in participation by breaking the fourth wall and asking questions. And just like when I watched Blue’s Clues with my sister when she was younger, I responded with sarcastic answers. Darby asks, “If you could have any super power, what would it be?” I say, “The power to destroy Glenn Beck with my mind.” Darby says, “That sounds cool!” Yes it does, Darby. Yes it does.


The Blob makes a special guest appearance in the Hundred Acre Wood


Truth be told, these interactive programs are great for kids and get them to use their logic and critical thinking skills (otherwise known as “common sense”) to “help” their friends piece together clues and solve mysteries. And there’s nothing more comical and disturbing than watching a small child yell at the television.

The computer animation is what you’d expect, the songs are repetitive and catchy (ie: kids will love them, you will not after three hours of your kids singing them non-stop), and the story is cute. What more could you ask for from Disney and Pooh?

That’s my problem. As an adult, I’m more familiar with the A.A. Milne stories and the hand-drawn animated Winnie the Pooh adventures of the past (and the bizarre live-action adaptations for NBC, ABC, and Disney). Those old animated films were a treasure in my household, passed on from generation to generation. I even enjoyed watching them as a teenager. The stories are classic: Who could forget Pooh getting stuck, or “I’m just a little black rain cloud”? This new series – also a series of books, games, and toys – seeks to introduce Pooh to a new generation, but why? Why can’t we just show kids the old animated films and read them the old books? Will they not connect with them because they’re not shiny and new? I doubt it. Old Disney and other family films seem to resonate with kids more than their pickier teenage counterparts who refuse to watch anything that’s black and white or more than five year old. Kids don’t differentiate much between old and new (unless it’s with toys, that is). Their imaginations operate on a much grander scale, opening them up to a host of possibilities.


I think this is supposed to teach kids about internet piracy… or nature… or something


My Friends Tigger & Pooh isn’t an abomination, by any means, but it will make you long for the classics with its unnecessary modern take on Pooh.



The Package

Game Time: Discovery Mode Level 1 and 2 takes the interaction a step further by letting you use your remote or having the DVD select the answer for you after a set amount of time. Once again, you watch the film, but this time you can select answers or clues on the screen. In the 24 minute double bonus episodes called “Darby Gets Lemons, Makes Lemonade” and “Dancing With Darby”, we watch Darby make lemonade, dance, and sing. I hope her mom isn’t one of those overweight, overbearing pageant mothers.


The weight of that carrot represents the weight of Eeyore’s emotions on a level we’ll never understand


5.0 out of 10