A combination of three animated short films previously released by Disney Animation, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was released in the United States 37 years ago today. It is based on various stories contained in the Winnie the Pooh books by A.A. Milne. In order to connect the three shorts, a few connecting segments and the ending—based on the last chapter of The House at Pooh Corner—were created.
The first segment of the film, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (originally released in 1966), follows Pooh as he tries to satiate his neverending quest for delectable honey (or “hunny”, as he writes it). He tries to trick bees into thinking he’s a rain cloud, then consumes all of Rabbit’s honey and gets stuck in the entrance to Rabbit’s burrow-like home. Even though Pooh has a mostly-one-track mind, he and Rabbit are still friends at the end.
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (originally released in 1968) is the one I remember the best from my childhood. I remember reading the Golden Book version, and I remember watching this segment multiple times. Perhaps part of the reason I remember it so well is the same reason it won the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. If someone is unsure if they will like Pooh, show them this one first. It’s my favorite of the bunch.
The final segment in the film is Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (originally released in 1974), which has Tigger driving crazy the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood due to all his Tigger bouncing. In order to put a stop to it, Rabbit proposes losing Tigger in the woods so he will feel remorseful and stop his bouncing. Of course, it doesn’t work out as intended, and Rabbit finds himself lost in the woods. Bouncy fun all the way through.
According to the 2001 documentary The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Story Behind the Masterpiece, the American public was largely unaware of the various Pooh books by Milne prior to the first two shorts being released. Afterward, however, Pooh came to be a classic set of stories familiar to almost everyone. Watching The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a charming and fun way to get into the stories, after which I recommend reading the original stories.
Release Date: March 11, 1977 (USA)
MPAA Rating: G
Alcohol/Drugs: 0 (except hunny addiction)
Violence: 0 (unless you count Tigger bounces and other non-real peril)