I grew up loving Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Eeyore has always been a childhood favorite for some reason. I looked forward to reviewing Winnie The Pooh: Springtime With Roo, which was recently released for the first time on Blu-ray™ and digital hi-def from Disney. I hoped it might be a nice birthday gift for my daughter. Unfortunately I was incredibly disappointed in what is usually a happy Winnie the Pooh adventure with simple childhood stories.
I’m not sure what Disney was thinking, but I imagine the title “Rabbit Ruins Easter” wouldn’t sell as well so they rebranded it with the ever-appealing little Roo as the main character and the non-religious affiliation of springtime instead of Easter. This movie has very little to do with either. Instead they take you through a twisted variation of “A Christmas Carol” with Rabbit standing in for Scrooge. In the film synopsis they leave much of the storyline out and minimize the pure evil that they’ve transformed poor Rabbit into.
Each year, Rabbit plays Easter Bunny, but this year, he’s decided it’s “Spring Cleaning Day,” and he orders everyone to hop to it: scrubbing, dusting, and mopping. All his pals are disappointed – especially little Roo – until Rabbit learns that putting others first and showing friends how much you care turns every day into a precious gift. Sparkling with unforgettable songs and a never-before-seen bonus treat, this delightful “egg-stravaganza” shows why love, hope and friendship are always in full bloom in the Hundred Acre Wood!
Instead of a discontent Rabbit we see a downright angry character who uses harsh words with his friends. The “ghosts of Christmas Past/Present/Future” take him through the error in his ways throughout the film. Imagine the final scene of a Christmas Carol where Scrooge pretends as if he’s not changed and treats the family poorly. They use this same sarcastic negativity with Rabbit and little Roo and I can’t imagine any child I know ever understanding the fact that he’s pretending to be mean. He instead just looks cruel.
It’s not until the final minutes of the film that Rabbit is redeemed and the otherwise lovable characters are able to celebrate Easter. Of course this is a non-religious affiliation of Easter filled with the only “meaning” being tied to candy and hiding eggs, with Rabbit as the Easter bunny of course.
I couldn’t have been more disappointed in this film and it makes me sad to see some of my favorite characters with a distorted depiction of the meaning of Easter mixed with another otherwise classic tale. Little ones shouldn’t have to see such anger throughout a film. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone and my daughter won’t be seeing it.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this movie for the purpose of review however all opinions are my own.