One has to love the scene-stealing antics of the pack-rats and the crows
As a fan of Winnie the Pooh, 'The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' was always one of my favourite shows as a child. Not all childhood favourites have held up, but 'The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' is one of the strongest examples of those that have.
While the original three 60s-70s short films ('Honey Tree', 'Blustery Day' and 'Tigger Too') and the 1977 'The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' are just a little better, 'The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' is one of the Winnie the Pooh franchise's high points. 'The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' is, as said a few times already, a rare example of a show with not a bad episode for the whole four seasons it ran, and has something for kids and adults alike. "Oh Bottle" and "Owl in the Family" start off Season 3 brilliantly, and see the gang on top form as well as scene-stealing supporting characters.
The animation in both episodes is very bright, well drawn and colourful, everything looking lush, detailed and smooth. In addition to that, the music is playfully jaunty and beautifully orchestrated, enhancing sadder moments with poignant and particularly lush and emotional scoring, whimsical parts with an energy but also pathos and the more playful moments with a jaunty touch. The theme tune is very rousing and one of the catchiest theme songs of any animated show of the late 80s.
Writing has a perfect mix of whimsy, drollness, wit, charm and childhood innocence, shining in both episodes. "Owl in the Family" is incredibly funny and also very innocent and sweet, although Pooh does make a mistake he does mean well in trying to make Owl happy. Rabbit's exasperation, Pooh's good but sometimes misguided will and Owl's rambling dialogue about family are highlights for the characters, while the crows are positively scene-stealing and provide so much fun.
"Oh Bottle" is also exceptionally well-written. The beginning shows a great bond between best friends Pooh and Christopher Robin, and the whole episode epitomises childhood innocence. The pack-rats are also scene stealers, like the crows were in "Owl in the Family", they are cute and hilariously mischievous but also resourceful. Particularly great in regard to the writing was the hysterical exchange, especially Tigger's lines, when trying to figure what the map in the bottle is trying to say.
Love all the characters, especially Tigger as well as their friendship, family-like bond and loyalty regardless of arguments and character flaws. The voice acting is uniformly excellent.
In conclusion, wonderful episodes with scene-stealing support, charming stories and terrific writing. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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