Roo, as seen in the Disney cartoons.
|Introduction||Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree|
|Performer|| Feature films:|
Clint Howard (1966-1977)
Dick Billingsley (Day for Eeyore)
Nikita Hopkins (2000-2005)
Wyatt Dean Hall (2011)
Kim Christianson ("Welcome to Pooh Corner")
Nicholas Melody ("New Adventures")
Nikita Hopkins ("The Book of Pooh")
Max Burkholder ("My Friends")
Other (videos and games):
Jerome Beidler, Nikita Hopkins, Jimmy Bennett, Max Burkholder, and Masaya Sugimoto
Roo is a young joey who is a good friend of Winnie-the-Pooh. He's Kanga's son and Tigger's best friend. He lives with Kanga in a house near the Sandy Pit in the northwestern part of the Hundred Acre Wood. Tigger later comes to live with them.
In the Pooh Storybooks
Roo constantly gets in trouble but he always learns his lesson. He is cheerful and enthusiastic, taking great joy in discovering the small wonders in life. He is also curious, fun, and loving; he looks at the world in a loving and sympathetic way. When speaking, Roo tends to use exclamations and frequently repeats himself in his excitement, like many small children. Roo is too young to know how to read or write, as evidenced by the fact that he signs the "rissolution" for Christopher Robin with a SMUDGE instead of any attempt at letters.
Roo is the youngest of the characters in the original Winnie-the-Pooh storybooks. Because of his young age, Roo is a very small animal, the smallest in the stories (other than Rabbit's friends and relations, and Alexander Beetle), although he must be very close in size to Piglet since Kanga is unable to tell the difference when Piglet jumps into her pouch instead of Roo. (In Ernest H. Shepard's illustrations, Roo appears to be very slightly smaller than Piglet.) He is also apparently small enough to fall down mouse holes while practicing jumps, and too small to reach the first rail of the Poohsticks bridge.
Like most of the characters in Winnie-the Pooh, Roo was based on one of Christopher Robin Milne's stuffed toys. The illustrations show Roo with brown fur and an upturned tail.
Roo and his mother, Kanga, come to the Forest "in the usual way" in Chapter VII of Winnie-the-Pooh. He also appears in Chapter VIII, is mentioned in Chapter IX, and appears again in Chapter X of that book. In The House at Pooh Corner, Roo appears in chapters II, IV, VI, VII, IX, and X, and is mentioned in a few others. Some of the adventures that Roo experiences include being "kidnapped" by Rabbit, accompanying the Expotition to the North Pole (and getting an impromptu swimming lesson), attending Christopher Robin's party for Pooh, getting stuck in a tree with Tigger, and playing Poohsticks.
Unlike many of the other characters in the Pooh books, Roo does not have a known favorite food, although his mother makes him watercress sandwiches on occasion. He dislikes the extract of malt that his mother gives him as "strengthening medicine" after meals, though he will reluctantly take it after some convincing from his mother.
In the Disney Pooh Productions
Roo retains his position as the youngest member of the Wood. He is a friend to everyone in the Wood, but he greatly looks up to Tigger, as he admires Tigger's bouncing ability. Roo has been heavily featured in a number of recent Pooh films. In Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo, Roo was upset when Rabbit canceled Easter and declared a new holiday called "Spring Cleaning Day." In Pooh's Heffalump Movie, Roo gained a best friend of approximately his own age in the form of Lumpy the heffalump. Since then, the two have been seen together at play in Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie and in many stories from My Friends Tigger & Pooh. Roo is very fond of his Mom, Kanga, who always tries her best to take good care of him. In the book I Love You, Mama!, Roo wanted to give Kanga a special surprise for Mother's Day. A similar premise was used in the My Friends Tigger & Pooh story "How to Say I Love Roo," except this time the holiday was called I Love You Day.
A popular story from The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh titled "The Old Switcheroo" (based on a sequence from one of the classic Pooh storybooks) featured Roo enlisting the help of Tigger to avoid taking a bath. Roo was sure that he wouldn't like it, so Tigger came up with a plan to switch out Roo for Piglet. It seemed to work at first, but eventually both Tigger and Roo ended up in the bath and both were forced to admit that it wasn't as bad as they thought. Roo even found it quite fun. These events were later featured in the film Piglet's Big Movie, forming the basis for the song "Mother's Intuition."
Roo was also featured in some stories of The Book of Pooh. The story "Roo Sticks" related the time that he and Kanga first moved to the Wood. In "Do the Roo," Roo created a dance craze known as the "Roo" that also inspired a song named "Do the Roo." In "The Littlest Dinosore," Roo was bothered by his short stature but learned that even the smallest of us can do big things.
Because of the characters' very young age, Disney has generally preferred to have Roo voiced by an actual child. As such, Roo has had more voice actors than any other character in the series, including Louis Jean Norman, Clint Howard, Dori Whitaker, Dick Billingsley, Nicholas Melody, Jerome Beidler, Nikita Hopkins, Thomas Delauney, Jimmy Bennett and his current voice, Max Burkholder. Roo is also featured in the Pooh sections of the Kingdom Hearts series of games. He was not heard speaking in the original Kingdom Hearts, but Jimmy Bennett was featured as his voice in Kingdom Hearts II.
Roo at the Internet Movie Database