The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh
Release Date: March 11th, 1977
Inspiration: “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne
Domestic Gross: N/A
Worldwide Gross: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%
IMDB Score: 7.6/10
Storyline (per IMDB): Pooh, a bear of very little brain, and all his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood sing their way through adventures that encompass honey, bees, bouncing, balloons, Eeyore’s birthday, floods, and Pooh sticks
Pre-Watching Thoughts: We continue on with our first film of 1977 and the first package film since the 1940s, and the interesting note is that these three short films were released individually over the last decade before being grouped together in this film. The stories of that silly old bear named Winnie-the-Pooh are popular and putting them together was a wise idea, and this is another film that I used to like though I was more a fan of The New Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh TV show so we will see if this film still holds up well.
Voice Cast: Given that this film is basically three short films in one big film, you didn’t have to deal with hiring a lot of actors as they could work the same role aside from one role which changed with each short film due to when that film was released. In addition, this film is pretty much all returning actors and we start at the top with Sterling Holloway who voices Winnie-the-Pooh in perhaps his most memorable role as he was nearing the end of his career. We then have Bruce Reitherman who voices Christopher Robin in the Honey Tree segment as he was also nearing the end of his run, and then we have John Felder who voices Piglet as unlike the other two he was in the prime of his career. We then have Clint Howard who voices Roo in the first two segments as this would be his last appearance in an animated film for quite a long time, and then we have Barbara Ruddy who voices Kanga in what would be her final appearance before her death two years later. We then have Paul Winchell who voices Tigger in what would be his most memorable role, and then we have Junius Matthews who voices Rabbit in what was ultimately his final film role as he would pass away a year later. We then have Hal Smith who voices Owl in a bigger role than when we last saw him back in the Jungle Book, and finally we have Sebastian Cabot who provides the voice of the Narrator for all three films as this was his final film appearance before his death shortly after the film’s release. As mentioned, we did have a few debuting actors in this film as we have Jon Walmsley who voices Christopher Robin in the Blustery Day segment in what would be one of his only appearances in a film, and then we have Timothy Turner who voices Christopher Robin in the final segment along with the epilogue in what would be his only film appearance. We then have Ralph Wright who mainly served as a writer for Disney and he makes his only film appearance here as Eeyore, and then we have Doris Whitaker who voices Roo in the final segment in her only film appearance. Finally, we have Howard Morris who voices Gopher in what would be his only appearance in a Disney film as he would work in other films and TV shows. As mentioned, we were reaching the end for a lot of the crew that carried these films for the last few years and now we would look to a new crop of actors to carry the upcoming films.
Other Characters: Unlike the previous package films where there were different characters in each segment, this one is different as we have three short films in one and they feature the same characters for each other. To start, we have the main character of Winnie-the-Pooh who is a kind-hearted bear of very little brain as he is obsessed with honey, but he does what he can to help Christopher Robin as well as his friends with their problems. We then have Christopher Robin who serves as a father figure to Winnie-the-Pooh and the other inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood, and we see him go off to school at the end though he vows to remain by his friends’ side forever. We then have Pooh’s best friend Piglet, who is very timid but tries to be brave and is always there to help his friends, and then we have Rabbit who tends to get very annoyed by Pooh and Tigger as he opts to tend to his garden, but he does care for them and helps them when they are in need. We then have Eeyore the Donkey who is miserable and viewed as a pessimistic, but he also helps a friend in need as he goes to the trouble of finding Owl a new home after his is destroyed in the Blustery Day segment. Speaking of Owl, he is the smartest of the group though in his own mind and the gang come to him for advice, and then we have Kanga and her son Roo as Roo is keen to going on adventures and Kanga lets him despite her reservations. We then have Tigger the tiger who loves to bounce much to his friends’ frustration, specifically Rabbit who at one point tries to hold Tigger to a promise to never bounce again, and then we have Gopher who mainly goes about his business though he does try to assist in getting Pooh freed from Rabbit’s hole. Finally, we have the narrator of the film who helps segue between the segments though he also occasionally breaks the fourth wall by talking to the characters at certain times. Even though the title of the film is about Pooh’s many adventures, the film does a good job in balancing the other characters so that they feel just as important to the film as Pooh does.
Songs: If I am correct in my assumption, the most songs a film has had prior to this was seven and now this film surpasses it as it features an amazing ten songs which mainly take place during the first two segments. We first have the title song “Winnie-the-Pooh” which is a quick and easy tune to get things rolling, and then we have a few songs that Pooh sings including “Up, Down, Touch the Ground”, “Rumbly in my Tumbly”, and “Little Black Rain Cloud” which again are fairly short and sweet. We then have “Mind Over Matter” which the gang sing when they help Pooh out of Rabbit’s hole only for him to sail into the honey tree, and then we have Pooh singing “A Very Blustery Day” to help intro the next segment. We then have perhaps the three most memorable songs from this film aside from the title song with the first being “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers” that Tigger sings not only in this segment, but the next one as well. We then have the iconic “Heffalumps and Woozles” that plays during Pooh’s dream and it is easily the best song from the whole film, and then we have another fun song in “The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down” which is sung during the flood. Finally, we have the song “Hip-Hip-Pooh-Ray” which the gang sing at the end of the second segment to celebrate Pooh and Piglet as heroes. It is interesting that the third segment doesn’t have its own songs to go along with the other two, but considering the other two managed to squeeze five songs into their short time is more than enough to fill up the film.
Plot: Unlike the previous films where there has been one plot that threads throughout the film, this one is different as each short film has its own separate plot within the grand scheme of the film as each one is treated as a different story much like its source material. In the first short, Pooh runs out of honey and first tries to steal some from a honey tree to no success, and then he visits Rabbit and eats all of his honey though he stuck in Rabbit’s entrance hole. After some unsuccessful attempts, Christopher Robin and his friends finally pull him out only for him to get stuck in the honey tree, but Pooh obviously doesn’t mind as he has all the honey to his heart’s delight. In the second segment, a blustery day causes Owl’s tree to fall over and Eeyore vows to find him a new home, and Pooh is introduced to Tigger who tells him about honey stealers called “heffalumps and woozles”. Eventually, a flood causes the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood to take shelter at Christopher Robin’s house and due to a bit of dumb luck, Pooh rescues Piglet from the flood and Eeyore finds a new house for Owl which turns out to be Piglet’s home and Piglet willingly gives it up to Eeyore as Pooh takes Piglet in. In the third segment, Tigger becomes a bother to everyone in particular Rabbit and he takes Roo on a bouncing adventure, but they become stuck in a tree and Roo comes down with no trouble though Tigger is reluctant to come down. He promises to never bounce again to Rabbit’s delight and the narrator himself helps Tigger back to the ground, and he becomes depressed by never being able to bounce again though everyone convinces Rabbit to let him bounce again and everyone bounces away. In the epilogue of the film, Christopher Robin prepares to leave for school as his friends learn about what school is, and Christopher Robin and Pooh reflect on their friendship as they vow to be by each other’s side forever. Unlike other films which have an adapted screenplay from their source material, this was a case of just matching the pictures to the words as you could easily see these animations in the pages of the books.
Random Watching Thoughts: Unlike previous films that had the storybook beginning, we take it a step further here by having a child’s bedroom with stuff animals of all our favorite characters; Christopher Robin’s parents need to have a talk with him about keeping his room tidy; It’s funny that the book is titled “Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree” because this features 3 different stories; So instead of having the compass be north, south, east, and west, it is simply “P,O,O,H” for Pooh; He’s not helping Eeyore’s confidence if he names his home “Eeyore’s Gloomy Place”; That is the oddest design of Piglet ever since we never see him look like that at all in the film; Who is this Mr. Sanders?; Of course Pooh would have a cuckoo clock with a likeness of himself as the bird; So he exercises so he can get hungry; Considering that Pooh is such a honey fanatic, you wouldn’t expect him to have any other food in his house like condensed milk or a chocolate bar; All those honey pots in the house and he goes for the one in the cabinet yet that one is empty too; That bee should be at fault for in essence tempting Pooh to come to the tree and get their honey; It must’ve been weird watching this and having the film go back and forth with being a storybook and turning pages; That was quite a nasty fall Pooh took hitting all those branches and yet he came out unscathed, but I guess being full of fluff makes him a good cushion; It is also funny seeing some of the dialogue in the book and it ultimately never gets said in the film; Poor Eeyore is so gloomy that he is certain he will lose his tail again; Only Pooh would think that rolling around in mud would pass him off as a rain cloud; That balloon is either filled with a lot of helium or Pooh is just extremely light that he was able to float up that easily; How did Pooh not realize that the handful of honey he grabbed was covered in bees?; Pooh didn’t think his disguise through enough since most of it had fallen off of him by this point; Where did Christopher Robin suddenly get an umbrella?; How many bees were in that tree?; Again, there must have been a lot of helium in that balloon for it to last as long as it did before completely running out; Christopher Robin’s parents must’ve been so upset when he came home so muddy; Rabbit had quite the spread out for himself there; To be fair, Pooh did ask for a small helping and Rabbit gave him exactly what he asked for; What was Rabbit doing with all that honey anyway, and why would he ask Pooh if he wanted any more if there wasn’t any?; The door was big enough for Pooh when he came in, so clearly it was because he ate too much; What exactly is this book that Gopher keeps referencing?; That’s some interesting math Gopher was doing to figure out his price; Honestly, given how big the other door to Rabbit’s house is, they probably could’ve pushed Pooh back in and he could’ve went out the other door with no problems; Funny how Pooh shook and messed up the smile that Rabbit was doing and when we see him, he has that exact same crooked smile on his face; Pooh figured out what the flowers were and immediately thought he could eat them; That was a nice display Rabbit made, too bad Pooh ruined it with one sneeze; Of all the things Gopher can have, he has to have a pot of honey as part of his lunch; Rabbit is really confident that it was the day Pooh would be freed just based on the fact that he nudged a tiny bit; I love how they are making such a spectacle out of getting Pooh freed from Rabbit’s door; They saved him from flying out of the book simply by turning the page; Pooh will never be freed now given all that honey he is going to eat; The wind is blowing so hard that it is blowing the letters right off the page; “Pooh’s Thotful Spot”; It would be ironic if the day was actually Wednesday given that they were calling this day “Winds-Day”; What kind of a name is Trespassers Will?; Either the wind is blowing very hard or Piglet is just very light that he is blown up into the air that easily; Piglet is in legit danger and yet Roo wants to fly him like he is a kite; Eeyore said that his house could withstand anything, but he didn’t plan on Pooh crashing through it like that; Owl asks if it is a blustery day outside and yet he doesn’t notice that the tree is rocking back and forth to the point that it may fall over; That teacup was filled with coffee at one point yet it is completely empty when it falls on top of Piglet; Even though that tree looked very old, the wind really need to be bad if it just tipped over like that; Good on Eeyore to volunteer to find Owl a new house; Interesting fact, if you pay close attention the pages have the same words on them when the narrator mentions how long Owl was talking; If Pooh had never heard that growling before, why would he assume that it was either Piglet, Eeyore, or Christopher Robin?; A running joke we’ve established is that they don’t recognize their own reflection in the mirror; Tigger says he loves honey, takes a few bites, then decides that he doesn’t like it; Pooh maybe a bear of very little brain, but he is a lot smarter than he lets on since he knows Tigger meant to say elephants and weasels; The heffalumps and woozles scene looks like it was done by someone who was on an acid trip, this segment was made in the 60s after all; That was quite a downpour if it was able to wash away all those words; The choir says that Pooh rescued 10 honeypots, but if you count he actually had 11 with him not counting the one he was diving his head into; The flood waters are able to engulf everyone else’s houses, yet it stops right before it gets to Christopher Robin’s house; Eeyore was committed to finding a house for Owl; Where did that whirlpool come from and where did that waterfall come from?; Pooh was so oblivious to being told that he saved Piglet until Christopher Robin called him a hero and wanted to give him a party; You would think Eeyore would know that is Piglet’s house only to say it is Owl’s because of the letters on the sign, but yet he thinks the “I” is actually an “O” and he thinks “Owl” is spelled “Wol”; That was mighty big of Piglet to let Owl take his house even if it meant he had no place to live; Pooh was so upset that the next chapter was mostly about Tigger until he was told that he was in it; They at least had the foresight to add “Also Piglet” to Pooh’s mailbox; That was a quite a mess that Tigger made knocking Rabbit and his vegetables over; Rabbit calls for a protest meeting yet only Pooh and Piglet show up, and Pooh looks like he would rather be anywhere else but there; Rabbit is so confident that Tigger will lose is bounce if he is lost in the woods not realizing that Tigger could always find his way out eventually; No matter what way they go, they always end up at the same sand pit; Piglet had the look on his face like his head was hurting trying to understand what Pooh was saying; Leave it to Pooh following his stomach that he and Piglet would find their way out of the mist; Even Disney can take a simple scene like this and make it appear scary; So they say what season it is simply by saying the next chapter includes a snowfall; That was a fairly nice figure 8 that Rabbit made in the ice especially without skates; Tigger goes through the snow while Rabbit is less fortunate as he crashes through his house; That was a really high tree that they jumped out of the book; I love how Roo just assumed he could use Tigger’s tail as a swing; Pooh follows his own tracks thinking they belong to someone else and then he thinks Piglet’s tracks belong to someone else; Can’t say I ever heard of a “jagular” before; Everyone is so worried about Tigger being up in the tree yet Rabbit is content with him staying there; Christopher Robin is wearing a jacket, sweater, and boots in the snow, yet he is also wearing shorts and shows no sign of freezing; Tigger wants the narrator to narrate him down so all the narrator does is turn the book sideways so Tigger can get on the words and the narrator has him slide down; Rabbit was so happy that Tigger couldn’t bounce anymore until everyone else they miss the old Tigger and in essence guilt him into agreeing with them; Rabbit is so hesitant to bounce yet he hops around; I love how Tigger basically did an impression of Tony the Tiger from the Frosted Flakes cereal commercial; Pooh doesn’t want things to end so he just asks the narrator to go back to the first page; So Christopher Robin is basically like any other kid who prefers doing nothing instead of doing something; When Christopher Robin is 100, Pooh will be 99?; Now the cover of the book simply says “Winnie-the-Pooh”.
Overall Thoughts: Overall, this was a solid film that was easily the best of the package films that have been released, though it was a slight step down especially since these shorts were released previously separately so this just felt like a cash grab. Considering we have another film coming out this year, I wonder if that film had fallen behind and they needed to release something so they just threw this together to put out there since Winnie-the-Pooh was a pretty popular character. This was an interesting time for Disney as a new wave of animators were starting to make their mark in the company and were looking to take the company to the next decade, and we will see how that plays out when we get the second film released this year. As for this film, it is a pretty solid film though nothing too spectacular and it was a fine outing for Disney.
Final Grade: 6.5/10