Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; due to those dimensions, the image has not been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. The quality of the different episodes varied, but overall, I found the package to offer a moderately unattractive presentation.
The newest of the three episodes, “Thanksgiving”, definitely looked the best. It presented fairly good clarity and accuracy. Some jagged edges popped up, but source flaws remained absent, and colors seemed excellent. The episode presented vivid and vibrant tones along with rich blacks and clean shadows.
Unfortunately, the other two episodes were much weaker. “Groundpiglet” was the worst of the bunch, though both it and “Keep Her” were mostly similar. They often appeared somewhat soft and fuzzy, and it never presented very well defined visuals. The image remained indistinct and iffy much of the time. Noticeable jagged edges showed up, and the colors were flat and listless. These episodes showed the green Rabbit and generally appeared erratic.
Blacks seemed acceptably deep but still somewhat dull, and low-light shots were murky and hazy. “Keep Her” appeared mostly free from source flaws, but “Groundpiglet” displayed lots of defects. The program showed some grain as well as quite a lot of specks and spots, and the images appeared somewhat jittery at times. Ultimately, the reasonably positive quality of the “Thanksgiving” and the interstitials managed to get Seasons up to “C”-level, but it remained an erratic and often problematic image.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio of Seasons of Giving didn’t fare any better, as it remained lackluster. Actually, most of the material offered monaural audio. The songs for the interstitials and “Thanksgiving” presented the only stereo music and effects. The sound broadened mildly during that program, but otherwise, the audio seemed to stay anchored to the center.
Audio quality appeared bland. Dialogue sounded acceptably distinct and accurate, and it demonstrated no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility. Music seemed reasonably clear but lifeless, as the score generally presented little dynamic range. Effects stayed thin and mediocre. The audio of Seasons of Giving seemed acceptable for the material, but it never rose above that level.
Seasons of Giving tosses in a very small compilation of supplements. Decorate Your Own Christmas Tree presents a series of trifold options. You can choose from three different trees and then go to three successive screens with three selections of their own. It’s not exactly a deep activity, but little kids might enjoy it.
A similar audience might go for Coloring Fun with Piglet. This provides three pictures from which to choose. You then need to select the correct color for each highlighted area of the drawing. Unfortunately, this allows for no creativity; the program forces you to pick the right hue and won’t allow any alteration.
As the DVD starts, we encounter a mix of ads. We find trailers for Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo, The Magical World of Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year, and Disney Sing-Along Songs. These also show up in the Sneak Peeks domain.
A lackluster piece of work, Winnie the Pooh: Seasons of Giving provides something moderately enjoyable but nothing more. The program gives us gentle fun that seems watchable. It just never becomes anything memorable and distinctive. The DVD offers erratic picture with mediocre audio and a weak package of extras. Even with a list price of less than $20, Seasons doesn’t provide much entertainment for the money.