The Book of Pooh: The Wishing Tree (2001)

Here's another random show that my kid likes. The Book of Pooh was a Disney Channel show telling new Pooh stories with puppets and CG backgrounds. Looking back at it today it's a bit dated at times, but at other times it resembles pop-up illustrations or watercolors in an interesting way. Like many kids shows, it features music and mildly educational content.

In this special Christmas episode, Roo can't sleep on the night before Christmas Eve, so Kanga sings him a song-story about a magic wish-granting tree that appears if there's snow on Christmas Eve.

Side note: Kanga and Roo weren't in the first season of this show, so I hadn't seen much of their house before this episode. Roo's bedroom has a boomerang displayed on the wall and a prominent toy koala. I think that's a cute touch.

Kanga doesn't completely finish the story before Roo gets distracted and then falls asleep, so Roo assumes the tree grants any wish for anyone (which is not what she said). In the morning, Roo recruits Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet to go look for the wishing tree. As they are leaving, a few different characters remind them to be back in time for a party that night.

Eeyore, Owl, and Kessie help Rabbit decorate for said party, and Rabbit, being Rabbit, stresses about having a perfect-looking party.

On the tree-hunt, Tigger sings a song about "wishing big," i.e., choosing big, extravagant wishes. The song uses bits of carols and lots of quick patter; it's very cute.

This is followed by a sledding sequence that highlights how dated the effects look. They arrive at a tree that looks like it could be a wishing tree. They each imagine their wishes but nothing happens, and they wonder if they need to try a different tree.

Roo remembers that Kanga said your heart needs to be in the right place for your wish to come true. Tigger, Pooh, and Piglet take this literally and argue about whose heart has moved.

At this point, my daughter wondered whether the wishing tree was maybe in a different Hundred Acre Wood, since the characters didn't seem to be getting anywhere.

They don't get their wishes, instead they realize they don't know the way home from where they are. 

Meanwhile, back at Rabbit's house, he knocks over his tree trying to make it perfect. Kanga reassures him that togetherness is what matters, not what the party looks like. The characters at the party realize Pooh, Roo, and the others are late and they set out to look for them.

Cold and worried, Roo realizes that all he really wishes for is to have friends and family around. Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Roo sing a song about how they still have Christmas, even if they're lost in the woods because they have each other.

The song leads their friends to them, and everyone decides to decorate the big tree and celebrate right there. (I'm not sure how they reached the top, it's a convenient CG transition)

In this season of the show, each episode ends with a tag in which the narrator and a puppet character briefly explain the reading comprehension lesson you were supposed to learn. It's not quite as obnoxious as that sounds. The tag in this one is that Roo learned that sometimes stories mean something different than what you thought at first. If he'd really listened and thought about the story Kanga was telling, he wouldn't have gone chasing after the wishing tree. 

This is a cute enough little holiday confection, although this is a double-length story for this show (most episodes are two stories in a half-hour), and it does feel a bit padded.