Winnie the Pooh:
Frankenpooh and Spookable Pooh (1999)

Review by HTQ4

Written by Bruce Reid Schaefer & Stephen Sustaric
Starring the Voices of Jim Cummings, Laurie Main, and Andre Stojka

Anamorphic: No, it appears in its original 1.33:1 format
My Advice: Own it if you have young children

In "Spookable Pooh", Pooh and friends are at home on a rainy day, and are looking for something to do. They decide to go and explore the attic where they discover an old chess set with pieces missing. They search around for a little while to find the missing pieces, but they decide that the only way they can play chess is to actually be the missing pieces themselves. This leads their imaginations to run wild and they enter a magical land of kings and queens. In "Frankenpooh," Tigger is telling Piglet a story about Dr. Von Tigger who is busy turning Pooh into something that looks like Frankenstein's Monster. Once transformed, Pooh goes on the search for honey all over the Hundred Acre Wood.

From there, we move on to "Things that Go Piglet in the Night." Everyone is enjoying a nice fall afternoon on the swing, but the time comes for everyone to go home and go to bed. Tigger tells Piglet to be on the lookout for "spookables," which does nothing but scare him half to death. Piglet gets so scared that he runs out of his house covered in a sheet and then everybody else mistakes him for a ghost.

You'd better not watch these if you are expecting cinematic genius. Indeed, since they're pulled together from the Saturday morning cartoon show The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, you see what you have in store. For anyone other than little kiddos, these stories are really not that entertaining. However, they are good clean fun and seem to be easy enough to follow so as not to lose any of the young ones that will be watching them. In other words, they seem to hit the target demographic they were aiming for. They also spell out their morals and lessons so that the little kids won't have any troubles picking up the message. For true Pooh afficianadoes (older ones, you know), these stories will probably upset rather than entertain. They are too focused around a specific holiday to be good stories; spending most of their time creating and playing with an atmosphere than telling any kind of story.

The best feature of this DVD are the Child-Friendly Menus. They are designed to use only the enter button on the remote control with someone narrating what will happen if they press the button at the right time. I think this is a great idea. With this feature, the kids can begin to learn how to use the remote control for themselves. The Sing Along features only one song, and it goes by so quickly that anyone would have trouble following along, let along little kids.

The Piglet's Hallowasn't game is really quite good. It takes the little ones on an adventure through the Hundred Acre Wood and asks them to use the remote control to help Piglet through his adventure. It's pretty simple, but that's a good thing.

So, if you've got young kids, this is a really nice little package that will keep them entertained for hours. If you're looking for Pooh goodness that transcends age, though, you're probably better off picking up the DVD of Pooh's Many Adventures feature instead.

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