Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Walt Disney Animation Studios 22nd feature film.

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My opinion right after watching movie

My opinion right after watching the movie is that it is overly relaxed, soothing, and entertaining, without being over the top. While I do wish Christopher Robin had more importance to the package films, the characters are nice, and the shorts are well paced.

Production

Technically, this is the final film to have Walt Disney’s input before his death, because the first short was released in 1966. He wanted the 3 shorts of Winnie the Pooh to be released separately then as a feature length film, because they would garner A LOT more money, and the money that they desperately needed   the studio wanted America to be familiar with the characters.

Story

We are introduced to Christopher Robin’s room, and a narrator explains to us about his adventures with his imaginary friends.

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.

So we are introduced to Winnie the Pooh (Sterling Holloway in his final role), and we hear the nice tune of the same name. Winnie the Pooh does his half assed exercise, and then is trying to remember something. He goes to get honey, but he realizes that he is out, and needs more. He hears a bee, which causes him to follow it and climb it. This attempt fails. He then decides to go to Christopher Robin (Bruce Reitherman, Jon Walmsley, and Timothy Turner)’s home and asks for a balloon so he can fly up to the bee hole.

This attempt causes the bees to be mad at him, and they chase Pooh off. His glutton makes him go to Rabbit (Junius Matthews) and after Rabbit lets him have some of his honey, but of course Pooh eats it all. When he is done, he tries to leave, but gets stuck in a hole Rabbit’s front door because his stomach got bigger. The others try to get him out, but he is stuck. Pooh has to stay there for weeks until he gets thinner, and he finally gets pushed out, where he finally lands in the honey hole in the tree. I really like this short. It shows how greedy and glutton Pooh is, and the narrative flows perfectly. It sets off the relaxed tone of the film well. This short was released on 1966, and is the last short Walt Disney saw before his death.

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day

So this short starts with Winnie going to his thinking spot, which always takes some time (according to our narrator). The Gopher (Howard Mooris) tells Pooh to leave because it is going to be windy today. Pooh’s dumb self think this means that it is a holiday, so he goes across the Hundred Acre Woods to with happy Wind day to Kanga (Barbara Luddy in her final role), Roo (Clint Howard and Dori Whitaker), Eeyore (Ralph Wright), and Rabbit. He goes over to Owl (Hal Smith)’s house and wishes him the same. I forgot to mention that Pooh is with Piglet (John Fiedler) the entire time.

The focus shifts to Owl’s house being blown over, and that is the focus of the short for a good while. Owl explains something about his family from Page 41 to 61 (the narrator is reading the book as the action with the characters in the book takes place, and this is an interesting twist). So now it is about Pooh in bed, and a tiger called Tigger (Paul Winchell) who goes on and on about him being the only tigger. He freaks out about the mirror when he sees himself, and then talk about the elephants Heffalumps and Woozles, and then eats some of Pooh’s honey, which he ends up hating.

After Tigger leaves, Pooh has a dream/song about Heffalumps and Woozles. The dream is about them stealing his honey. He wakes up in the middle of a flood, and him and Piglet tries to get out of falling from a waterfall, but they end up doing so. They are fine, and then the focus shifts again to Owl finding a house. Eeyore shows him a house he finds, which is Piglet’s home. Piglet is sad, and Winnie the Pooh tells him he can live with him. For some reason, Christopher Robin declares the two a hero. This short shifts focus a lot, and it is jarring. It could have had a lot more focus and stick to one thing. It is still enjoyable. This is the last short Walt Disney produced before his death, as this one was released in 1968.

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too

So this short starts with Tigger bouncing around recklessly and carelessly, causing him to destroy Rabbit’s garden. Rabbit decides to hold a meeting with Pooh and Pigglet about Tiger’s hopping, and they create a plan to ditch him in the forest and fetch for him the next day, and somehow he will stop hopping randomly on his friends. This plan does not make much sense. They go through with it, but they get themselves lost, and Tigger manages to escape. They wander in circles, trying to get out, when they finally realize that they are lost. Rabbit decides that he is going to go on his own to prove that they are not lost.

Pooh and Piglet wait days and days, until Pooh gets hungry and leave. They get home easily. They tell Tigger about Rabbit, and he is soon found. It seems like there is another short (but it is in the same one), as they are in winter now. Tigger is told to take Roo out to play by Kanga (who is too busy). So they play around, and somehow Tigger ends up jumping so high, that he ends up stuck in a tree, with Roo ending up getting stuck.

Pooh and Pigglet follows him there to see them stuck in a tree, and gets the entire crew down. Roo comes down easily, but Tigger is too afraid. They tell him that he has to come down, which he eventually does. He starts bounding, but Rabbit reminds him of what he promised (no more hopping), which makes him sad, but he does it. Soon enough, Rabbit misses his jumping, and everything is back to how it was before.

This is a good package film. This is a light, mellow film, and all of the package films are likable. While some of the logic and the storytelling is off in the last 2 (specifically the second), it is easy to invest in the characters and Hundred Acres Woods. I wish Christopher Robin had a bigger part in the movie. The ending is really nice.

Characters

Since this is a package film and the review is in that formula, there will be no pictures uploaded for this section. Overall, the characters are very likable and down to earth. Pooh is a flawed character. He is too greedy over honey, and is a very dumb bear, but his intentions are always in the right place, and he is a very good friend. Tigger is definitely a bit too full of himself, but he is fun, considerate, and caring. Pigglet is definitely the one who is always confused about something and goes with the flow. Owl is the elder who knows it all, Rabbit (who is my favourite character) is the grumpy, kind of stuck up perfectionist, but caring man. He just entertains me, and is so realistic. Eeyore is just constantly depressed, and barely does anything in the film. I cannot say anything about Kanga and Roo but they are the typical mother and son. Christopher Robin is definitely the typical child, and is naïve and curious, but I wish he had a bigger role in the film.

Animation

This is Xerography at it’s best. You barely notice the pencil marks from the rough drafts, it has great colorings, and the detail in the backgrounds are amazing. There are a lot of warm, settled colors that give off the relaxed theme of the movie. There is a lot of reused animation here though. This is the final film before colored Xerography was used for the first time in The Rescuers and until The Little Mermaid.

Music

The music and score in this film is very mellow. There is a choir, and for once, it is not outright jazz. The songs like Winnie the Pooh, Heffalumps and Woozles, and The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers are very catchy, and stick in your head, though they are somewhat foolish. This is the last soundtrack and film that the Sherman Brothers had a part of, ending their 14-year work with the studio.

Reception at Release

All I could find out about its March 11, 1977 release was that the critics LOVED it, and it was a success. Walt Disney was posthumously given an award for Best Short for Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, and the third short Winnie the pooh and Tigger Too was nominated for the same award. This got them out of that mediocrity stage they were in with the last 2 installments in the canon.

Reception Today

Well, since there has been MANY sequels (one from WDAS that is released in 2011), and a bunch of other Disneytoons sequels. There is also the fact that there is the merchandise that is probably more successful than the Disney Princesses. It is a lot more remembered than it`s source material, and many think this was Disney`s original concept. It will forever be remembered and loved.

Final Score

Story: 8/10

Characters: 7/10

Animation: 7.5/10

Music: 8/10 =

30.5/40=76 %

Next Time…

Review: May 19th, 2014
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7 thoughts on “Walt Disney Animation Studios Review: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

  1. The ending is the best…it is such a heartfelt scene, which catapults the movie from being a nice movie to a really memorable and heartfelt one.

    My favourite short was always the second one.

    1. Yeah, I agree that the ending made the movie stand out a lot more. The second short just seemed a bit too all over the placd for me. My favourite is the first one.

  2. My favorite character was always Tigger. He’s so lively and expressive!
    This film is one that I owned as a kid, and I still have the VHS copy now. It’s one that always stuck with me.

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