Making the Grades
Wherever I am, there's always Pooh,
There's always Pooh and Me.
Whatever I do, he wants to do.
"Where are you going today?" says Pooh:
"Well, that's very odd 0x2018cos I was too.
Let's go together," says Pooh, says he.
"Let's go together," says Pooh.
From "Us Two," by A.A. Milne. Used with permission.
The characters of Christopher Robin's imagination have never let him down. Whenever Pooh gets in a sticky situation, he calls for Christopher Robin who always comes to the rescue. That's the secret behind A.A. Milne's Pooh. He has developed a character that fulfills one of the greatest yearnings of childhood: The need to be needed. Children want to parent. They require someone or something -- a pet, stuffed toy, or imaginary friend -- that they have a responsibility to. Someone with whom they can practice the skills they see modeled by their own parents.
All the previous Disney Classic Pooh films (unlike the Saturday morning cartoons) have been based closely on Milne's original stories. But this time the Disney folks felt they knew better, and took the Pooh characters into the lonely 1990's. A time where children know the daycare leader better than mom or dad. And that's what Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search For Christopher Robin is trying to address. It's a coming of age flic for the preschool group.
In the film, Christopher Robin tries to explain to Pooh that he needs to go to school. But Pooh is forever distracted during the conversation, and ends up searching for his friend for the rest of the movie. The main theme is that all our fears in life are usually caused from within. Yet as I watched the film, I became aware that instead of giving children a sense of security and belonging, this Pooh is a quick dose of tonic that tries to relieve the separation anxiety felt by so many children today. I suggest giving the old Pooh a rerun or better yet head to the bookstore and search for the real Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne.