The New Year’s Eve Night Thread Tries to Solve Gopher’s Murder

Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year is a 2002 direct-to-video movie. Well, it’s only sort of a movie, since more than twenty minutes of it is taken up by the previously released holiday special Winnie the Pooh and Christmas, Too! Anyway, when the film isn’t using recycled footage, it’s telling the tale of how Pooh and his friends depressed themselves by trying to make new year’s resolutions and immediately failing at them.

But we’re not here to really talk about that so much as we’re here to talk about what makes the movie notable among Pooh fans: it’s the very last time that Gopher appeared in a Pooh film. In fact, it’s one of the very last times Gopher showed up anywhere, with his last confirmed sighting being the children’s educational video Winnie the Pooh: 123’s.

So this begs the obvious question: who killed Gopher?

Yes, yes, I know what you Pooh nerds are thinking. Characters in the 100 Acre Wood come and go all the time. Owl, for instance, was nowhere to be seen in the TV series My Friends Tigger and Pooh but then showed up again in the feature film Winnie the Pooh. Lumpy the Heffalump was introduced in Pooh’s Heffalump Movie before vanishing after a while. But Gopher….Gopher is fucking missing. He was someone who made regular appearances in the original shorts, the classic Saturday morning cartoon show The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and multiple primetime specials. And now he’s gone with no explanation.

Of course, this means there’s been a massive cover up. Disney wouldn’t want you to think that murder could actually happen in Winnie the Pooh Land, so they behave as though nothing happened. But I know someone had it in for Gopher. The suspect anyone would jump to at first, of course, would be Rabbit, as Gopher had a bad habit of blowing up his beloved garden. Maybe Eeyore sat on him just to make himself feel something. Or maybe sweet, innocent Piglet isn’t actually what he seems to be.

In any case, Gopher is dead. Will they ever find his body? Will anyone care to look? We may never know. But I miss Gopher. He was funny and made me laugh. And now he’s gone. And he will never be avenged.

Happy New Year. And RIP Gopher.

(BTW, not really related to Gopher being dead, but a major pet peeve I have with Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year is how they butcher the Christmas special in it. They redub over Christopher Robin’s original voice with the then-current one. They change Rabbit’s color from green to yellow–a choice that was made to match the color scheme of the TV series–because Rabbit was yellow during the new year’s portion of the movie, and it just ends up making Rabbit look way too bright and even sickly)