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Recap / The New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh S 1 E8b Monkey See Monkey Do Better

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Christopher Robin comes wandering through the Hundred Acre Wood wearing a party hat and blowing a party-horn, calling for Pooh and the other toys to meet him. Though they come running from Pooh's house, they take so long that they end up in the bushes nearby as a dejected Christopher comments that they must not want to come to the birthday party.

Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Rabbit immediately panic; they believe they've just forgotten about Christopher's birthday, meaning they don't have any presents to give him. At Rabbit's suggestion, the quartet race off and dress themselves up in wrapping paper, hoping to offer themselves to Christopher Robin as presents. Pooh is a little skeptical of the idea, but Tigger assures him that it'll work just fine, as they're the best presents a kid could hope to get.

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As they hide in Christopher Robin's closet, though, their boy enters his bedroom with an enormous present, which he cheerfully proclaims is the best present a kid could get. This greatly upsets Tigger, and angers Rabbit, who storms out once Christopher Robin has left and opens the enormous giftbox. In a stunning light show, a huge clockwork gorilla appears from inside, performing a spectacular one-man-band routine, only to suddenly unwind in the middle of it.

A sympathetic Pooh rewinds the gorilla, who takes one look at the quartet of toys and bursts out laughing. Though Pooh is polite and introduces them all, the gorilla simply laughs uproariously at them before dismissively asking the "old timers" to direct him to the party. Rabbit angrily asks just who the gorilla is, and he replies that he is "Bruno; the Best Present a Kid Could Get". When Tigger asks who says Bruno is so great, Bruno points them to a placard on the side of his box, which claims that once a kid has played with a genuine Bruno, they'll throw their old-fashioned toys away.

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This doesn't sit well with the other toys. Rabbit angrily claims that Bruno is the one who'll get thrown away, to which the ape nonchalantly assures them it's not going to happen once Christopher Robin sees everything that Bruno can do. When Tigger protests that the four of them can do all sorts of interesting stuff, Bruno offers a deal; if he can't do everything that they can do, then he'll leave. But if he can match all of their tricks and skills, then they have to leave. Forever.

Piglet is not happy to hear this, to which Bruno simply asks them sweetly if they'd really want Christopher Robin to be stuck with a bunch of "second-rate toys".

Naturally, Tigger can't resist a challenge like this. Unfortunately for him, although he does manage to bounce higher than Bruno, he does so at the cost of punch his head clean through the roof and getting stuck.

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Rabbit takes his turn next, challenging Bruno to beat him at gardening. Bruno simply whirls his arms around, scattering seeds that sprout into enormous carrots, bigger than Rabbit himself, in the span of seconds.

Bruno next asks Piglet what he does best, to which the Shrinking Violet meekly replies "nothing". After laughing at how pathetic Piglet is, Bruno turns to Pooh. The group says that one of the things Pooh does best is finding honey, pointing to a nearby beehive and insisting that Pooh could have it down in no time flat. Bruno simply pulls out one of his cymbals and flings it like a Frisbee, cutting down the hive and devouring it in an instant before smugly noting that this proves he's the best toy.

That evening, a mournful quartet finish gathering their stuff and preparing to leave the Hundred Acre Wood. Fortunately, Christopher Robin arrives before they can depart from Pooh's house. Confused, he asks what they're doing, to which a cheerful Bruno explains they're going. Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit and Tigger explain how Bruno is better than them and how they have to leave so Christopher Robin can have the best toy.

Christopher Robin laughs at them, explaining that he loves them for who they are, not what they can do. He then adds he's not keeping Bruno, something that deeply shocks the previously-smug gorilla. Aghast, he wanders off, missing the explanation that Christopher Robin gives the other toys; Bruno is a present for one of Christopher Robin's friends, not for Christopher Robin himself.

Heading deep into the wood, his confidence shattered, Bruno sadly notes to himself that this must mean that nobody will want him. Parking himself on a log, he pulls out his key and drops it next to him, mournfully that nothing that there's nothing for him to do but "unwind"...

Fortunately for Bruno, Christopher Robin and his toys find him and rewind him, explaining the situation to him. After having taken his dose of humble pie, the gorilla happily follows them back to Christopher Robin's house, where he is repackaged for the birthday party.

Pooh, meanwhile, is interested in going to the party himself, hoping he can snag some of that tasty birthday cake.

This episode contains examples of the following tropes.

  • Always Someone Better: Bruno is this to the other toys.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than many of the other episodes. This story deals in heavy themes like insecurity, fears of replacement — certainly familiar feelings to the target audience as a result of seeing friends make new friends, or having new siblings enter the family — and even has Bruno's near-suicide at the episode's climax.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Bruno is a clockwork child's toy version of this. He can walk, talk, sing, dance, play multiple instruments simultaneously, jump high, juggle elaborate arrays of goods, create gardens of huge vegetables in seconds, cut down beehives with a cymbal as a precision-guided razor-Frisbee...
  • Driven to Suicide: After believing that he has failed to impress Christopher Robin, Bruno wanders off into the wood and pulls out his key, basically killing himself! Fortunately, the other toys find him and wind him back up, explaining what's really going on.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite almost bullying them out of their homes and relationship with Christopher Robin, the other toys show immediate concern when Bruno runs off and quickly find and revive them. Bruno himself questions why they would bother.
  • Irony: When Pooh asks in the opening if they shouldn't have gotten Christopher some "real" presents, Tigger assures him that they're the best presents a kid could get. Minutes later, they meet Bruno...
  • Marty Stu: The whole point of the episode, really, is what happens when someone like this actually shows up In-Universe. Bruno seems to effortlessly outclass the other toys at everything they could possibly think of doing, and for this attracts first the anger and envy, and then the despair, of the other toys.
  • Only Sane Man: Pooh at the episode's start, between his doubts about Rabbit's plan and his attempt to dissuade Rabbit from opening Bruno's box.
  • Parrot Expo What: When Rabbit asks how Bruno does at horticulture, the gorilla scratches his head and bemusedly responds "horsi-what?"
  • Poor Communication Kills: The whole episode is one enormous case of this. Christopher Robin isn't having a birthday party, he's going to attend another kid's party. Likewise, Bruno wasn't a present to Christopher Robin, he was a present from Christopher Robin.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Bruno is incredibly boastful and arrogant.
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