The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a 1977 American animated musical film produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution. It is the 22nd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and first released on March 11, 1977.
Its characters have spawned an industry of sequels, television programs, clothing, books, and toys, and also inspired an attraction of the same name at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Hong Kong Disneyland. A much more elaborate attraction, also based on the film, opened in Tokyo Disneyland as "Pooh's Hunny Hunt".
Plot[edit | edit source]
The film is actually composed of material from four previously released animated featurettes based upon the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968), Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974), and Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore (1983). The film differs from the four ndividual shorts by having newly created linking material, and an ending to give closure to the stories (based on the final chapter from The House at Pooh Corner).
A fourth and final featurette based on the original books, Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, was produced in 1983 and sometimes included as a another featurette on home video releases.
The story opens with Winnie the Pooh going through his morning exercises. He goes to his pantry for some breakfast, only to discover he is out of honey. He hears a bee fly by and decides to climb a nearby honey tree, but as he reaches the beehive, a branch he is sitting on breaks. Needing help, Pooh decides to go to Christopher Robin’s house to get a balloon from him. His plan is to cover himself in mud to disguise himself as a rain cloud and use the balloon to float up to the hive. As Pooh gets at the honey, and as his muddy disguise is compromised, the bees fight back against him, and the scuffle ends with the balloon losing its string, sending Pooh flying through the air until it runs out of air.
Pooh heads to Rabbit’s house in hopes of getting some. The reluctant Rabbit invites Pooh in, and Pooh proceeds to eat him out of all his honey. Pooh ends up becoming very rotund, and as he tries to exit Rabbit’s house, he finds himself stuck and unable to fit through his front door. Owl flies by and examines Pooh’s predicament. The two are met by Gopher, who suggests that he blast Pooh out with dynamite for pay. Rabbit returns with Christopher Robin, and they unsuccessfully try to pull Pooh out. Christopher Robin decides that Pooh will just have to wait until he gets thin again.
Some time later, Rabbit wakes up and discovers that Pooh’s fat bottom has slightly shrunken, meaning it is now possible to get him out. He gets Christopher Robin, who gathers Kanga, Eeyore, Owl, Roo, and Gopher, and they all pull on Pooh from outside the house while Rabbit pushes him from inside. Finally, Rabbit charges into Pooh, which sends him flying out of the front door, through the sky, and into the honey tree, which scares away the bees inside. The gang arrives at the scene, and Christopher Robin promises Pooh that they will help him get out again. However, Pooh tells them to take their time, for now he has an ample supply of honey to eat.
Later, as Pooh sits thinking, Gopher pops out of the ground and advises Pooh to leave the spot because of it being “Winds-day”. Piglet is nearly blown away by the strong wind, but Pooh quickly hangs on to him by his scarf, like a kite on a string. The blustery wind finally blows Pooh and Piglet over to Owl’s treehouse, where he invites them in. While Owl begins telling Pooh and Piglet stories of adventures his relatives had, the strong wind rocks his house back and forth causing it to sway and eventually the tree and house both collapse.
The wind is still blowing and Pooh is kept awake by growling and scratching noises and he opens his door for the visitor outside. An orange bouncing tiger named Tigger emerges from outside, rolling over Pooh and sitting on him. He then decides to try some of Pooh’s honey but after some tastes he gets disgusted and decides that “Tiggers "hate" like honey”. Before leaving Pooh’s house, Tigger tells him that there are Heffalumps and Woozles in the forest that steal honey. Pooh, frightened by Tigger’s tale, stays up to guard his honey, but eventually falls fast asleep.
As he is sleeping, he has a nightmare about Heffalumps and Woozles stealing his honey and chasing him around until he wakes up during a flood-inducing rainfall.
Later, Piglet is washed away from his home. He writes a bottle-note for help just before the waters carry him off, sitting on a chair. Pooh manages to reach higher ground with only ten honey pots. However, as he is eating some of the honey the rising waters carry him away. Pooh switches places with Piglet as they take the plunge, and luckily for them the waterfall washes them right into Christopher Robin’s yard. Thinking that Pooh had rescued Piglet, Christopher Robin decides to throw a party celebrating Pooh’s heroic deed. During the party, Eeyore announces that he has found a new home for Owl. He leads everyone over to his discovery, which, known to everyone except for Owl and Eeyore, is Piglet’s beech tree. Owl is very impressed with the house, but before anyone can tell him who the home belongs to, Piglet decides that Owl should have the house.
Sometime later, Tigger has been bouncing on anyone he comes across for fun, especially Rabbit when he is gardening, which angers Rabbit, so he formulates a plan to prevent Tigger from bouncing: abandon Tigger in the woods, and find him the next day so hopefully Tigger will stop bouncing on his friends unexpectedly. Initially the plan seems to work, but when Rabbit, Pooh, and Piglet would not find their way home, Pooh makes a suggestion about following a sandpit in order to find their way out of the forest. In an attempt to prove Pooh wrong, Rabbit wanders away. Pooh and Piglet find their way out of the forest, but are immediately bounced by Tigger. Piglet, realizing that the plan failed, mentions Rabbit’s plan, and Tigger goes into the forest to find him. Rabbit tries to run away in a panic, only to be tackled by Tigger. Rabbit is humiliated that his plan to lose Tigger had failed. Tigger explains to him that “Tiggers never get lost”, and takes Rabbit home.
Later, wintertime comes and Roo wants to go play. Kanga could not be with him so she calls on Tigger to look after Roo as long as he comes back in time for Roo’s nap. Tigger gladly accepts. Along the way through the woods, Tigger and Roo see Rabbit skating on the ice. Tigger tries to teach Roo how to ice skate by doing it himself, but unfortunately, he loses his balance and collides with Rabbit while trying to regain it. Tigger then decides that he hates ice skating. Later on, while bouncing around the woods with Roo on his back, Tigger accidentally jumps to the top of a very tall tree and is afraid to climb back down. Meanwhile, Pooh and Piglet are investigating strange animal tracks that are actually Tigger and Roo’s. After seeing that it is actually Tigger and Roo in the tree, he and Piglet come to the rescue. Shortly afterward, Christopher Robin, Eeyore, Rabbit, and Kanga arrive and the gang uses Christopher’s coat as a net and Roo successfully jumps down, but Tigger, who is still too frightened to move, makes up several excuses to not come down. Tigger promises never to bounce again if he ever is released from his predicament.
At that moment, the narrator chimes in for help. Tigger begs him to “narrate” him down from the tree, and he tilts the book sideways, allowing Tigger to step onto the text of the page. Happy, Tigger attempts to bounce but Rabbit stops him reminding Tigger of the promise he made. Devastated, Tigger realizes he will not bounce again and slowly walks away in tears and Rabbit feels better that there will be peace, but everyone else did not and felt sad to see Tigger depressed and remind Rabbit of the joy Tigger brought when he was bouncing. Then Rabbit shows sympathy for Tigger and takes back the promise they had agreed on; he is then given a friendly tackle by an overly-excited Tigger. Tigger invites everyone to bounce with him and even teaches Rabbit how to do it.
Not long afterward, Pooh takes a walk to a wooden bridge over a river where he likes to do nothing in particular. On this particular day, though, he finds a fir cone and ends up dropping it in the river. Noticing that, due to the flow of the river, the cone went under the bridge, Pooh decides to make a game out of it, calling it Poohsticks.
Sometime later, while Pooh, Piglet, Roo, and Rabbit are playing Poohsticks, they see Eeyore floating in the river below. After a somewhat successful attempt to get him to shore, he tells them that he fell in due to being bounced from behind. Tigger shows up suddenly, and Rabbit fingers Tigger for bouncing Eeyore into the river. Despite Eeyore's postivie assumption that Tigger bounced him, Tigger denies it, claiming that he actually coughed. Mr. Narrator, however, steps in and, by turning back to an earlier page in the story, confirms that Tigger did bounce Eeyore after all. Disgusted, Tigger leaves, but Eeyore returns to where he had been sitting, feeling more gloomy than usual.
Pooh follows him and asks what's wrong. Eeyore answers that he's tearful because it's his birthday, and there's nobody around to celebrate it with him. Offering to help, Pooh hurries back home and tells Piglet that they have to find presents to give to Eeyore. Piglet runs back to his house to get a big red balloon, while Pooh picks out a jar of honey from his cabinet. But Pooh isn't getting far before he has a hunger attack and ends up eating the honey. Upon realizing this, he decides to ask Owl for help. Owl writes a birthday greeting on the pot and then flies off to tell Christopher Robin.
Meanwhile, Piglet accidentally trips while carrying the balloon, causing it to pop. He is upset that his gift for Eeyore is no longer good, but he presents it to the donkey anyway. Eeyore won't mind, though, since he likes it this way, and later, Pooh brings the empty pot, which Eeyore uses as a storage device for the balloon. Later that day, Christoper Robin throws a birthday party for Eeyore, which Tigger crashes. Soon afterwards, they all play a game of Poohsticks, which Eeyore (who had never played before) ends up winning more times than all the others (especially Tigger, who did not win at all, and declares that "Tiggers "hate" Poohsticks!") After everyone goes home, Eeyore shares his secret for winning at Poohsticks with Tigger (when you drop the stick, drop it in a twitchy sort of way), and gets bounced again. Meanwhile, Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet have all decided that "Tigger's all right, really".
Christopher Robin and Pooh discuss what they liked doing together and the boy asks his bear to promise to remember him and to keep some of the memories of their time together alive. Pooh agrees to do so.
Production[edit | edit source]
The Many Adventure of Winnie the Pooh the last film in the Disney canon in which Walt Disney had personal involvement, since one of the shorts (Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree) was released during his lifetime, and he was involved in the production of Blustery Day. It was always Walt Disney's intention to create a feature film, but he decided to make shorts instead — after production had begun — to familiarize US audiences with the characters. All four shorts as well as future feature films boast classic songs by the Sherman Brothers including "Winnie the Pooh" and "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers".
For the character Piglet, hand gestures and other movements were used by the animators to create expressiveness, since he (and Pooh) had the appearance of dolls or stuffed animals with relatively simple button eyes. The scene where Rabbit deals with Pooh's being part of the "decor of his home" wasn't in the original book, and it still is reportedly contemplated by Disney when he first read the book.
Characters[edit | edit source]
- Narrator, voice Sebastian Cabot
- Winnie the Pooh, a bear, voice: Sterling Holloway
- Christopher Robin, a human boy, voice Bruce Reitherman
- Piglet, a pig, voice: John Fiedler
- Tigger, a tiger, voice Paul Winchell
- Eeyore, a donkey, voice Ralph Wright
- Kanga, a kangaroo, voice Barbara Luddy
- Roo, a kangaroo joey, voice Clint Howard
- Rabbit, a rabbit, voice Junius Matthews
- Owl, an owl, voice Hal Smith
- Gopher, a gopher, voice Howard Morris
Release[edit | edit source]
Reception[edit | edit source]
Film critic Leonard Maltin called the original Pooh featurettes "gems"; he also noted that the artwork resembles the book illustrations, Dumbo, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Cats Don't Dance, and that the particular length of these featurettes meant that the filmmakers weren't have to "compress or protract their script." The film holds a 91% "fresh" rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ruth Hill Viguers, however, when writing in A Critical History of Children’s Literature during the 1960s, increasing Lady and the Tramp, mentioned Disney’s Winnie the Pooh along with several other Disney Song of the South adaptations as having “destroyed the integrity of the original books”.
Home video[edit | edit source]
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was first released on VHS, Betamax, CED videorecord, and laserdisc in the early 1980s. In 1996, it was re-released on VHS as part of the Masterpiece Collection and included video footage of the making which was shown before the movie starts. It was released on DVD for the first time in 2002 as a 25th Anniversary Edition, with digitally restored picture and sound. The individual shorts had also been released on their own on VHS in the 1990s.
The 25th anniversary edition DVD includes, among other bonus features, "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Story Behind the Masterpiece", which documents the history of the books and their initial film adaptations. It also features interviews with animators Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, and Burny Mattinson, as well as the Sherman brothers, Paul Winchell, and others. Digital Media FX reviewer Shannon Muir stated that the audio and video quality of the film on this DVD was very high.
The "Friendship Edition" DVD was re-released on June 19, 2007. All of the special features from the previous "25th Anniversary Edition" DVD were recycled; the only new addition being an episode of Playhouse Disney's computer-animated series The Book of Pooh. The DVD re-release coincides with the 30th anniversary of the release of the film. 
Songs[edit | edit source]
- "Winnie the Pooh"
- "Up, Down and Touch the Ground"
- "Rumbly in My Tumbly"
- "Little Black Rain Cloud"
- "Mind Over Matter"
- "A Rather Blustery Day"
- "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers"
- "Heffalumps and Woozles"
- "When the Rain Rain Rain Came Down"
- "Hip Hip Pooh-Ray!"
Sequel[edit | edit source]
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is the third Walt Disney Animation Studios to have a sequel produced by the studio, after Winnie the Pooh was released on April 15, 2011 in the United Kingdom, and on July 15, 2011 in the United States by Walt Disney Pictures.
References[edit | edit source]
- Thomas, Frank; Ollie Johnston (1981). Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life. Abbeville Press, 448. ISBN 0-89659-232-4.
- Davidson, Bill; Kathy Merlock Jackson (2006). Walt Disney: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi, 128. ISBN 1-57806-712-X.
- Maltin, Leonard (1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New American Library, 76. ISBN 0-452-25993-2.
- Viguers, Ruth Hill; Cornelia Meigs (ed.) (1969). A Critical History of Children's Literature. Macmillan Publishing co., 412. ISBN 0-02-583900-4.
- AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
- Muir, Shannon. DVD Review of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - 25th Anniversary Edition. Digital Media FX. Retrieved on 2009-06-03.
- The Tigger Movie insert
[edit | edit source]
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at the Internet Movie Database
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