The film begins in an abandoned river boat in Devil's Bayou, where orphan Penny drops a message in a bottle containing a plea for help into the river. The bottle is carried out to sea and washes up in New York, where it is recovered by the Rescue Aid Society. Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit, the Vultures, Jiminy Cricket, Ttark, Woody Woodpecker, and the Hungarian representative, Miss Bianca, volunteers to accept the case and chooses the janitor Bernard as her co-agent. The 15 visit Morningside Orphanage, where Penny lived, and meet an old cat named Rufus. He tells them about a wicked woman named Madame Medusa who once tried to lure Penny into her car and may have abducted Penny this time.
The mice and our heroes travel to Medusa's pawn shop, where they discover that she and her partner Mr. Snoops are on a quest to find the world's largest diamond, the Devil's Eye and they plan to give the diamond to Bowser Koopa. With the help of an albatross named Orville, and a dragonfly named Evinrude, the mice and our heroes follow Medusa and Mr. Snoops to the bayou. There, they learn that Penny was captured to enter a hole that leads down into the pirates' cave where the Devil's Eye is located.
Thanks to Miss Bianca's perfume, the mice and Pooh and the others attract the attention of Medusa's pet alligators, Brutus and Nero. Pooh, the others, Bernard and Miss Bianca escape, and find Penny. The following morning, Medusa and Mr Snoops send Penny down into the cave to find the gem, unaware that Miss Bianca, Bernard, and the others are hiding in her skirt pocket. The 15 soon find the stone within a pirate skull; as Penny pries the mouth open with a sword, the mice push it out from within, but soon the oceanic tide rises and floods the cave. Miss Bianca, Penny, and Bernard barely manage to retrieve the diamond and escape.
The greedy Medusa steals the diamond for herself and hides it in Penny's teddy bear. When she trips over a cable, Medusa loses the bear to Penny, who runs away with it. Medusa retaliates with gunfire, causing the mice and Pooh and the others to flee until they are met by Brutus and Nero, her alligators. Bernard and Miss Bianca trick them into entering a cage-like elevator, trapping them.
Two of the gang set off Snoops' fireworks, making the boat sink. Penny and the gang use Medusa's "swampmobile". Medusa is left clinged to the boat's smoke stacks with Brutus and Nero attacking below.
Back in New York, the Rescue Aid Society watch TV to hear that the Devil's Eye is given to the Smithsonian Institution and Penny is adopted by a new father and mother. Pooh, the others, Bernard and Miss Bianca remain partners in the Rescue Aid Society's missions and soon after depart on Orville, accompanied by Evinrude, to a new rescue mission.
The ending credits featured music from An American Tail composed by James Horner.
This film revealed that Jiminy Cricket was once a member of the Rescue Aid Society during his travels.
This film featured a special version of the Vultures' song, That's What Friends Are For, where Pooh and the gang (along with Jiminy Cricket, Ttark, and Woody Woodpecker) sing along with the Vultures. This scene was requested by RatiganRules.
This is a PAL film with PAL bits from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search For Christopher, Piglet's Big Movie, Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie, The Jungle Book,Pinocchio, and Fun and Fancy Free and NTSC bits from Winnie the Pooh and A Day For Eeyore, The Tigger Movie, Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year, Pooh's Heffalump Movie, and Mickey's Christmas Carol.
In one scene of the movie, Madame Medusa mentions Bowser Koopa's name when she talks about the Devil's Eye diamond.
Both The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Rescuers were released in 1977.
The TV show The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was on ABC Saturday Mornings at the time when The Rescuers was re-released in theaters in 1989.
The Winnie the Pooh films, The Jungle Book 1 and 2, Pinocchio and The Rescuers were made by Disney.