Two more wonderful episodes to a consistently great show
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. Both "Prize Piglet" and "Fast Friends" are wonderful episodes, the latter is funnier, the former more layered.
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.
"Fast Friends" has a hugely entertaining story, revolving around desperate measures to get Pooh to be on time after Rabbit showing frustration at his lateness. It starts off really well, with a lovely idyllic opening shot, initially it looks like a tense situation but turns out to be a very funny play-acting one with the distinct personalities of Gopher, Tigger and Piglet on full display. Pooh as ever is adorable, and even accidentally solves his dilemma.
"Prize Piglet", for me one of the cutest episodes of the entire show, is a joy for Piglet fans. He may be timid, but he is also very loving and sweet and "Prize Piglet" show these traits perfectly. I love how whimsical and innocent the story is too. Of the voice acting, Paul Winchell for very good reason has been raved about by me continually, but it is John Fiedler's episode here. He always is wonderful, but here the cuteness and vulnerability of Piglet really comes through. "Prize Piglet" is no exception to having great writing, it ranges from touching to hilarious and is always endearing, my favourites being "I can't stop now little piglet, I got to catch up with you", Owl's commentary when everyone starts the race and the exchange "Owl!/Yes?/ We have only one thing to say./Yes?/ HELP!".
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.
Overall, two more wonderful episodes to a show that is consistently great. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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