Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too is an animated Christmas television special based on the Winnie the Pooh cartoons produced by The Walt Disney Company (primarily the animated series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh). It was originally broadcast on ABC on December 14, 1991.
Two days before Christmas, Christopher Robin and his Hundred Acre Wood friends have gathered by a weather vane where he's writing a letter to Santa Claus. Christopher Robin asks his friends what they want for Christmas, and they each have an answer: Rabbit wants a new fly swatter to use against the bugs who constantly invade his garden, Eeyore wants an umbrella to prevent snow from falling on his house, Tigger wants a snowshoe so he can bounce in the snow, and Piglet, who doesn't really know what he wants, says he'll be fine with whatever Santa brings him. During this, Winnie the Pooh keeps suggesting that Santa also bring them a pot of honey "in case certain guests drop by". After Christopher Robin tells Pooh that he himself wants a sled "big enough for me and maybe a friend or two," he sends it off into the wind.
The next day, Pooh has just finished putting up his Christmas tree (that is to say, he has painted a drawing of a Christmas tree on his wall) when Piglet comes in, informing him that, when they were writing their letter to Santa yesterday, he didn't actually ask for anything himself. The two go out to find the letter, which luckily for them hasn't gotten very far. Afterwards, they meet up with Tigger and Eeyore, saying they need a pencil, and they then go to Rabbit's house just as he's finished fending off another attack by the bugs, who have just eaten his Christmas tree.
After they explain that Pooh forgot to ask for something in the latter, Rabbit lends them a pencil so they can rewrite the letter. Pooh actually has trouble deciding what he wants to wish for, though, so Rabbit tells Piglet to add a pot of honey, then tells him to make it two pots of honey after Pooh thanks him for the suggestion. The group then take turns suggesting better gifts for each other to put on the letter - resulting in the list requesting a bug sprayer for Rabbit, spring-powered snowshoes for Tigger, a condominium for Eeyore, and 11 pots of honey for Pooh - before they realize that it's noon on Christmas Eve. Following this, Tigger, Eeyore, and Rabbit go off to get a tree big enough for all the stuff they just wished for, with help from a reluctant Gopher (he's supposed to be hibernating).
In the meantime, Pooh and Piglet go back to the weather vane where Christopher Robin sent the letter and cast it off into the wind again. But as soon as they leave, the wind shifts southward, and the letter follows Pooh all the way to his house. Knowing that the rest of the gang won't get their presents as a result of this, Pooh takes it into his (and Piglet's) hands to make sure the gifts are delivered. Disguised as Santa, Pooh visits Tigger, Rabbit, and Eeyore and gives them a super-bouncer barrel, a bug sprayer made from a tea pot, and a mobile home made from a suitcase, respectively - which then break apart upon use.
Demanding to know what's going on, the three of them approach "Santa" as he and Piglet (who's disguised as a reindeer) are trying to bring the sled to Christopher Robin. Although Pooh insists that he is Santa, Rabbit requests that he make his "reindeer" fly, and when he attempts to do so, Piglet slips and they both fall downhill, causing Pooh's fake beard to fall off. Pooh explains to the others that the wind changed when he and Piglet last tried to send the letter, and unfortunately, the wind has now died down, so they cannot try that again. Pooh decides that he's going to try and bring the letter to Santa by himself, tearfully leaving the rest of the gang behind to wait up for him. But Pooh does not get very far in his journey before the wind suddenly picks up again and takes the letter, so he gives up and heads back home.
Back at the sight of the big tree they got earlier, Tigger, Rabbit, and Eeyore are anxiously awaiting their presents from Santa. Piglet, however, is sad that this is the first Christmas they're spending without Pooh, and confides to the others that he'd give up his present just to have his best friend back. Upon hearing that sentiment, the other three admit that they agree with Piglet. Just then, Pooh returns, admitting to the others that he failed to deliver the letter to the North Pole, but Piglet tells him that now that he's back, they don't really care about the presents. Christopher Robin then arrives on his new sled, bringing with him their gifts from Santa that they had each originally asked for. Pooh tells Christopher Robin all about how they tried to rewrite the letter but couldn't get it to Santa on time, and says he's learned that "being with friends is nicer."
The special's original ABC broadcast was prefaced with an introductory segment by the Walt Disney Company's then-current CEO Michael Eisner, accompanied by the walk-around costumed characters of Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, and Eeyore, who bring in a palm tree to use as a Christmas tree. To fill out the hour the special was scheduled for, it was followed up by the Donald Duck cartoons The Hockey Champ and Bearly Asleep, and ended with a sneak peek at Disney's most recent animated movie at the time, Beauty and the Beast. The first airing of the special ranked 53rd out of 92 shows that week, averaging a 10.8/20 rating/share and tying for first place in its timeslot.
The original format of the special, with the addition of the Donald Duck cartoons, was repeated the following year, this time with a behind-the-scenes look at The Muppet Christmas Carol at the end. The 1993 broadcast included a documentary on the making of the previous Disney animated feature, Aladdin. The special was later aired on CBS in 1995, this time accompanied by The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Magic Earmuffs" and a documentary about the making of Toy Story in place of the Donald Duck cartoons. The special subsequently returned to ABC following Disney's acquisition of that network and continued to be shown there, along with "Magic Earmuffs", from 1996 to 1999, now without Michael Eisner's introductory segment.
The special was brought back to ABC in 2007, and was then aired as part of the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family from 2008 to 2013. Infamously, the 2007-2013 broadcasts abruptly cut out two scenes - specifically, the scene with Tigger telling Eeyore that Santa's probably reading their letter right now when suddenly Pooh and Piglet show up with the letter, and the scene where Pooh says goodbye to Piglet, Rabbit, and Tigger as he heads off to deliver the letter to Santa.
The special was released on VHS on November 13, 1994, with "Magic Earmuffs" included as a bonus episode. Early copies of the tape also included a bonus Spot the Dog cartoon, "Spot's Winter Sport", which was dropped in later reissues. The special and "Magic Earmuffs" were also featured on a double-feature Laserdisc release titled Winnie the Pooh: Special Holiday Edition, which also included The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episodes "The Monster Frankenpooh", "Things That Go Piglet in the Night", and "Pooh Moon".
Currently, the special itself has not been released on DVD or Blu-ray in its original format, but it is integrated as a flashback in the 2002 direct-to-video film A Very Merry Pooh Year. However, it is slightly edited to better match the new animation made for the rest of the film - Christopher Robin's lines were redubbed by William Green, and Rabbit's animation was recolored to his usual yellow-furred appearance (as opposed to the oddly light-green hue his fur had in the special and the New Adventures series).
|Jim Cummings||Winnie the Pooh|
|Edan Gross||Christopher Robin|
- ↑ http://americanradiohistory.com/Archive-BC/BC-1991/BC-1991-12-23.pdf
- ↑ The Wonderful World of Disney Television, by Bill Kotter. 1997, Hyperion.
- Disney Wiki: Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too
- Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too at the Internet Movie Database
- Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too at the Big Cartoon DataBase