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DISNEY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Elliot M. Bour, Saul Andrew Blinkoff
Cast:
Jimmy Bennett
Writing Credits:
Tom Rogers

Synopsis:
Disney's classic tradition of great storytelling continues with the all-new, full-length feature, Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo. This delightful tale stars all your friends, including Winnie the Pooh and his little pal, Roo.

Every year Rabbit plays Easter bunny ... but not this year. No bunny means no "hunny" for Pooh, no Eastery egg hunt for Tigger, no basket for piglet, no fluffy bunny ears for Eeyore - and no fun for Roo. Rabbit expects them all to spring into action: scrubbing, dusting, sweeping and mopping instead! But Roo's love and wisdom show Rabbit that special days are to be shared in special ways.

Blooming with beloved characters, memorable songs, spirit and hope, Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo will delight and inspire one and all every day of the year!

MPAA:
Rated G

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Widescreen 1.78:1/16x9
Audio:
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned

Runtime: 65 min.
Price: $29.99
Release Date: 3/9/2004

Bonus:
• “Sounds of Spring”
• “Decorating Rabbit’s House”
• “Disney’s Art Project”
• “First Look”
• Sneak Peeks


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Winnie The Pooh: Springtime With Roo (2004)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 7, 2004)

It seems like Disney prefer to trot out new Winnie the Pooh product whenever we approach a holiday. As such, the fat little bear comes around again to mark Easter via a new DVD entitled Winnie the Pooh: Springtime for Roo.

Roo (voiced by Jimmy Bennett) can’t wait for Easter and Rabbit’s (Ken Sansom) Easter egg hunt. He plans to work the activity with Tigger (Jim Cummings) and gather all the eggs. Everyone else looks forward to Easter as well.

Inevitably, Rabbit has other ideas. He designates it “Spring Cleaning Day” and assigns work to all his buddies. Along the way, they discover all Rabbit’s old Easter decorations and decide to surprise him with a big celebration. However, he reacts negatively to their thoughts for the holiday, which makes them wonder why the bunny seems so anti-Easter.

Roo feels upset about this and talks to Tigger. They decide to figure out the problem and solve it. The rest of the show follows their attempts to resuscitate Rabbit’s Easter spirit.

It often becomes difficult to write a critique of a product like Springtime for Roo simply because it seems so relentlessly mediocre. There’s nothing about it that seems aggressively bad or flawed, but it also lacks any spark or life. The story seems decidedly thin and ordinary. It seems like every Pooh plot revolves around misguided actions that upset one inhabitant of the 100 Acre Wood or another, and the rest of the tale follows the others’ attempts to fix things. Lessons are learned and there you go.

That’s fine, and the Pooh stories convey their morals in a fairly subtle manner. Nonetheless, the various pieces don’t spring to life well, and Roo follows in that vein. It comes across as gently cute and that’s about it.

At times like these I wish I found more to dislike about the project, but unfortunately, I can’t conjure any emotion toward Springtime for Roo. The movie seems predictable and vaguely watchable but that’s about it. The little ones may find some enjoyment in this bland release, but it won’t challenge anyone or stand out as a solid piece of entertainment.


The DVD Grades: Picture A/ Audio C+/ Bonus D+

Winnie the Pooh: Springtime for Roo appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. It fared very well and offered a consistently excellent picture.

Sharpness appeared immaculate. At all time, the movie looked distinct and crisp. If any instances of softness occurred, I didn’t notice them in this detailed and well-defined offering. Neither jagged edges nor moiré effects marred the presentation, and I noticed no signs of edge enhancement. As for print flaws, the movie remained clean and fresh.

Roo enjoyed a suitably lively palette for springtime, and the DVD replicated those tones well. The colors always came across as tight and vibrant, as they virtually leapt off the screen at times. The hues never displayed any bleeding, noise, or other concerns, and they consistently appeared stellar. Black levels also seemed deep and rich, while shadow detail looked appropriately dense but never became too thick or opaque. In the end, Springtime for Roo provided a very strong picture.

While not up to the level of the visuals, the soundtrack of Springtime for Roo seemed satisfying for this sort of piece. The speakers demonstrated a strong bias toward the front spectrum. Music showed nice stereo separation, and some environmental and other specific effects cropped up from the sides. The soundfield showed a light level of activity. Surround usage was relatively minor; some voices popped up in the rear during the Easter egg hunt, but not much else occurred. For the most part, the rear speakers simply reinforced the front ones.

Audio quality appeared solid. Speech came across as natural and concise, and I noticed no issues related to edginess or intelligibility. Music sounded fairly tight and brisk, with good dynamic range evident. Effects also seemed clean and accurate. Low-end was lackluster, as not much bass appeared throughout the flick. Still, the audio seemed acceptable given the modest scope of the production.

Springtime for Roo tosses in a very small compilation of supplements. Sounds of the Season has you click on different 100 Acre Wood items and hear their noises. What’s the point? I have no idea.

Decorating Rabbit’s House forces you to do exactly what the title implies. You pick items and place them around Rabbit’s house and his yard to set up for a party. It’s also fairly pointless, but it still beats “Sounds”.

Disney’s Art Project teaches kids how to make toys from items found around the house. It teaches how to construct a butterfly. This feature seems to present some minor potential for fun among the kiddie set.

As the DVD starts, we encounter a mix of ads. We find trailers for Home on the Range, Winnie the Pooh: ABCs, Winnie the Pooh: 123s, The Magical World of Winnie the Pooh, Brother Bear, and Disney Sing-Along Songs. These also show up in the Sneak Peeks domain along with an ad for JoJo’s Circus: Under the Big Tent. First Look gives us a trailer for Pooh’s Heffalump Movie and a full-length show from The Magical World of Winnie the Pooh called “Honey for a Bunny”.

A lackluster piece of work, Winnie the Pooh: Springtime for Roo provides something slightly enjoyable but nothing more. The program gives us gentle fun that seems watchable. It just never becomes anything memorable and distinctive. The DVD offers excellent picture with average audio and a small package of extras. With a list price of almost $30, Springtime seems awfully expensive for the slight entertainment it offers.

Viewer Film Ratings: 5 Stars Number of Votes: 8
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