So today we finally saw the much-hyped return of Christopher
Jericho Robin on WWE RAW the new-ish Pooh series on USA Network the Disney Channel. If you don’t watch the Disney Channel like we watch the Disney Channel, you may not know that an all-new, all-CGI Pooh series premiered this past spring. I’m all for using the available technology to update our favorites, since they’re going to do it anyway whether I like it or not, but people of our age may be surprised to discover that Christopher Robin is virtually absent from the Hundred Acre Wood. Assuming the mantle of Sole Human is a precocious little girl named Darby who herds the titular critters, solving mysteries by charging around on a scooter and wearing a ballcap. [This costume detail leads her to exclaim "Slap My Cap!" at least once every segment, a pretty desperate attempt to create a catchphrase for a target market that doesn't really need anything else to repeat.] And for a girl who only Now Is Six, she seems to know an awful lot about the Hundred Acres. When, in one episode, she said “I know where the highest point in the wood is…” I waited for her to turn to the viewer and whisper “…because I assumed all of Christopher Robin’s knowledge when I ATE HIS BRAINS.”
Anyway, Christopher Robin finally, gleefully slapped his cap today, announcing he’d “always wanted to go on a super-sleuth adventure.” [What was stopping him? They're his stuffed animals, aren't they?] It pretty much amounted to him tagging along while Darby taunted the woozles, but it’s something, I guess.
Disney Channel execs say the series needed some new blood, but I feel like Darby is more of an F-you to the A.A. Milne estate, who unsuccessfully sued Disney a few years ago over more money. [Christopher Robin in the Milne books is based on Milne's son.] I can’t help but wonder if this and the other episode he’s scheduled for were an afterthought, a bone thrown to people like this outspoken netizen. For whatever reason, Owl is gone too. [Too old? Rabbit is still around, and he's a cranky old sonofabitch.] But a few weeks ago I was at my mom’s house watching one of the original Disney Winnie movies, with Sebastian Cabot as the narrator and the action literally taking place on pages of a book. Granted, I am the market least likely to personally enjoy the tie-in ballcaps, scooters, and Aqua Dots, but when my kidlet gets a little older we’re going to watch them both and hopefully the slower pace, drier humor, and less girl-powery human won’t bore the next [last?] generation with a chance to watch it.
If this post follows the path usually followed by posts about kids’ TV by random bloggers [hits google, winds up high in the ranks, gets many annoyed comments], let me get a few things out of the way.
- This website is intended for ages 18 and over.
- I have watched this show just as much as you have. I agree that it is largely inoffensive and I, like you, appreciate that Disney Channel doesn’t interrupt its programming for small folks with Buy My Cereal ads. You cannot convince me that Darby is great.
- You forfeited your right to tell me to get a life when you googled for a preschoolers’ TV show and clicked on a blog title with a terrible pun. You should have adjusted your expectations accordingly.