Directed by: Keith Ingham, | 50 minutes | animation, short film | Original Voice Cast: Jim Cummings, Michael Gough, Ken Sansom, Andre Stojka, Paul Winchell, Jerome Beidler, Brady Bluhm, Peter Cullen, John Fiedler, David Warner
Valentine’s Day: You can’t start early enough, Disney seems to want to say. The DVD ‘Winnie the Pooh: A Day of Love’ brings together two classic Winnie the Pooh stories: ‘Favorite Day’ (‘Winnie the Pooh Un-Valentine’s Day’, 1995) and ‘A Day of Love’ (‘Winnie the Pooh Pooh: A Valentine for You ‘, 1999). The films, each lasting about twenty minutes, are mainly aimed at preschoolers, but they are also quite worth seeing for adults. The condition is of course that you should already have a warm place in your heart for Poehbeer and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood …
On “Favorite Day”, Rabbit called a number of friends together at his home. Valentine’s Day is approaching, and given last year’s “fiasco” (Rabbit’s closet is still bulging with all the Valentine’s Day wishes sent), Rabbit thinks that nothing should be done about it this year. The animals agree, but of course things go wrong. Pooh finds a filled honey jar outside his door and is convinced Piglet has ignored Rabbit’s ban. Of course, such a declaration of love should not go unanswered and the silly old bear starts a chain reaction, in which everyone surprises someone else with a Valentine’s card – or gift. Nice movie, but it goes on for too long; if you have already figured out who is really behind it, some storylines will be plotted. However, the animation is better than some Disney sequels.
“Favorite Day” was originally one of the episodes of the TV show “The New Adventures of Winnie The Pooh”. On the DVD it is supplemented by the short film “The Three Little Piglets”, in which Pooh in his inimitable way reads the classic fairy tale of the three little pigs to his friends, but of course brings in all kinds of elements from other stories.
In “A Day of Love,” Pooh discovers Piglet is making a Valentine’s Day card. (Nice Pooh statement: “Oh, is Valentine’s Day this year on tomorrow?”). Later, the honey-loving bear and his friends see that Janneman Robinson is writing a Valentine’s card. When, as expected, this one is not for Winnie, but for Winnifred, the animals panic. Owl tells them that Winnifred is a girl. Oh dear, Janneman Robinson has been stung by a Swoon and that means he has been infected by the love virus! The animal friends search the Hundred Acre Wood to catch the firefly, so that Janneman Robinson can recover. It provides an exciting adventure when Pooh and the friends lose each other in the dark forest. This movie is well put together, with nice songs and excellent (traditional) animations. Nice while it lasts, but just like “Favorite day” no film for the repeat. These two stories show that holidays like Valentine’s Day are a great theme for the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood. After all, friendship and love are at the heart of this holiday season and who better to explain to toddlers and preschoolers what Valentine’s Day is all about than their famous teddy bear?
“Winnie the Pooh: A Day of Love” is a nice addition to the Pooh collection, but like Valentine’s Day itself, not an absolute must.