The Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo Day Thread Celebrates the Greatest Disney Song Ever

Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo is a 2004 direct-to-video movie. Despite what the title would lead you to believe, though, Roo is actually not the star (and how could he be? He’s fucking Roo!). Instead, that position goes to Rabbit, who isn’t even granted the dignity of being on the DVD box art, because marketing. And though the trailers didn’t promote this aspect of the film in the slightest–possibly due to VeggieTales! doing the same thing that year–it is really a parody of A Christmas Carol but with an Easter theme, and a pretty fun one once it actually gets going.

It does have some pacing issues as the first 15 minutes or so are slower than honey dripping down Pooh’s stomach, with Rabbit forcing his friends to clean up his house for him on Easter so he can ignore the holiday. This leads to everyone just kind of dicking around, with Tigger singing a song about getting rid of cobwebs and Eeyore contemplating why he’s even alive, but the story finally gets set in motion by Pooh, who gets some dust in his nose…causing him to sing a song about sneezing.

This is an important moment in the film, as Pooh’s sneeze, yes, is essential to the plot. What results is the most beautiful song ever found in any Disney movie made by anyone ever, as the silly old bear flaps his arms around, singing in anticipation about the “great big sneeze” that he knows is about to come. Worth noting is that this movie was being made during the very public feud between then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Walt’s late nephew Roy Disney, and its been reported that upon hearing the demo recording of “Sniffly Sniff” (actual name of the song) for the very first time, they both momentarily put aside their differences and embraced each other with tears in their eyes. “Everyone sneezes,” Eisner said in a moment of pure emotion. “This song could unify the world.”

He’s not the only one to have been impacted by a song about Pooh’s nostrils flaring up. When Tom Hooper was working on 2012’s Les Misérables, he called Disney directly “at least 50 times” so he could use the song in his movie. “In Springtime with Roo, the song is used in a rather whimsical manner,” Hooper said. “Which makes sense, because it’s fucking Winnie the Pooh. But I wanted for Hugh Jackman to be able to sing the song in many alternate takes, all recorded live on set, of course, and exploring potential ways to perform it. Because I think the song could become quite terrifying, if you sing it a certain way. If you think about it, a sneeze brings about a great amount of uncertainty, almost like death itself. You never know when it’s going to arrive, you just know it’s coming. So I wanted for Hugh to do that sort of thing, maybe he like sneezes when he gets out of prison because of the dirt or something, I don’t know. I think we could have used it in the Oscar campaign.” Alas, Disney never returned any of Hooper’s calls, but that didn’t stop him from trying again when he made Cats a few years later (“Have you ever seen a cat sneeze? It’s certainly a sight to behold.”).

Happy Easter, y’all!