It’s a stitched-together reissue, and Pooh purists who reject any non-Milne-created character will scoff at it, but Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie should give the junior Hundred Acre Wood lovers in your household plenty of October fun — and since it comes bundled with new extra content and a stuffed animal, you get a little extra bang for your buck, too.
Heffalump was originally released in 2005, but it’s a little more complicated than that: basically, the movie’s story forms a loose bookend around Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh, a 1996 television special that’s stuffed in the middle (and actually makes up more than half of the whole program). How does that work? Well, Heffalump revolves around a Halloween celebration that’s ruined when Pooh eats all the candy, and in order to save the holiday, everyone has to run around in the woods to find a wish-granting Gobloon. Lumpy, the Heffalump that will give Milne loyalists conniptions, is afraid to go Gobloon-hunting, so his best friend Roo relays the story of a fateful Halloween for Piglet — a flashback that plunks Boo to You right down in the middle of the movie. Make sense?
If you’ve never seen Boo to You, it won’t matter much; aside from some slightly flaky animation and some transfer artifacts, there isn’t much of a difference between that and the newer content that frames Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie, and in any case, the whole thing delivers all the sweet, modestly paced adventure we look for in our Pooh movies. My daughter (who’s almost four) and son (who’s almost two) enjoyed it, even if they weren’t held rapt by it, and I’m sure we’ll revisit Heffalump again before Halloween.
The extra content includes a variety of games, including DVD and DVD-ROM material, and a “party planner” that gives you printable bingo cards, invitations, recipes, and more for your holiday shindig. The set also includes a Winnie the Pooh stuffed doll (fittingly for the Halloween theme, he’s wearing a Tigger costume).