The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a 1977 American animated musical anthology film produced by Walt Disney Productions and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution. It is the 22nd Disney animated feature film and was first released on a double bill with The Littlest Horse Thieves on March 11, 1977.
|The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh|
Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||John Lounsbery|
|Produced by||Wolfgang Reitherman[a]|
|Story by||Larry Clemmons|
by A. A. Milne
|Narrated by||Sebastian Cabot|
|Music by||Richard M. Sherman|
Robert B. Sherman (songs)
Buddy Baker (score)
|Edited by||Tom Acosta|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
Its characters have spawned a franchise of various sequels and television programs, clothing, books, toys, and an attraction of the same name at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Hong Kong Disneyland in addition to Pooh's Hunny Hunt in Tokyo Disneyland.
The film's content is derived from three previously released animated featurettes Disney produced 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), and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974). Extra material was used to link the three featurettes together to allow the stories to merge into each other.
A fourth, shorter scene was added to bring the film to a close, originally made during production of Blustery Day (based on the presence of Jon Walmsley as Christopher Robin). The sequence was based on the final chapter of The House at Pooh Corner, where Christopher Robin must leave the Hundred Acre Wood behind as he is starting school. In it, 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, and the film closes with The Narrator saying that wherever Christopher Robin goes, Pooh will always be waiting for him whenever he returns.
Six years after the release of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Disney commissioned a fourth featurette based on the stories. Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore premiered in theaters on March 11, 1983, but was not originally connected to the preceding films in any manner. It has since been added to home video releases of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
- Winnie the Pooh, voiced by Sterling Holloway
- Christopher Robin, voiced by Bruce Reitherman, Jon Walmsley and Timothy Turner
- Piglet, voiced by John Fiedler
- Eeyore, voiced by Ralph Wright
- Roo, voiced by Clint Howard and Dori Whitaker
- Kanga, voiced by Barbara Luddy
- Tigger, voiced by Paul Winchell
- Rabbit, voiced by Junius Matthews
- Owl, voiced by Hal Smith
- Gopher, voiced by Howard Morris
- Narrated by Sebastian Cabot
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was 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 U.S. audiences with the characters. All three shorts, as well as future feature films, boast classic songs by the Sherman Brothers including "Winnie the Pooh" and "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers".
The character Gopher, which does not appear in the Milne stories, was created because Disney wanted an all-American character that could appeal to the children, and also add an element of comedy.
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 rump being part of the "decor of his home" was not in the original book, but was reportedly contemplated by Disney when he first read the book.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh holds a unanimous critic approval rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 13 reviews, with a weighted average of 8.4/10. The website's critical consensus reads "Perhaps the most faithful of Disney's literary adaptations, this cute, charming collection of episodes captures the spirit of A.A. Milne's classic stories." Film critic Leonard Maltin called the original Pooh featurettes "gems"; he also noted that the artwork resembles the book illustrations, and that the particular length of these featurettes meant that the filmmakers didn't have to "compress or protract their script."
Ruth Hill Viguers, however, when writing in A Critical History of Children’s Literature during the 1960s, mentioned Disney's Winnie the Pooh along with several other Disney adaptations as having "destroyed the integrity of the original books".
The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:
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 (as did the first UK VHS release in 1997). 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 My Friends Tigger & Pooh. The DVD re-release coincides with the 30th anniversary of the release of the film.
The Blu-ray version was released for the first time along with the third DVD release on August 27, 2013. The bonus features included a Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh segment, "Geniuses" and the only bonus feature that was kept from the previous DVD releases was the "Winnie the Pooh" theme song music video performed by Carly Simon.
- The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh: The Story Behind The Masterpiece
- Thomas, Frank; Ollie Johnston (1981). Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life. Abbeville Press. p. 448. ISBN 0-89659-232-4.
- Davidson, Bill; Kathy Merlock Jackson (2006). Walt Disney: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi. p. 128. ISBN 1-57806-712-X.
- "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)". rottentomatoes.com. Fandango. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
- Maltin, Leonard (1987). Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. New American Library. p. 76. ISBN 0-452-25993-2.
- Viguers, Ruth Hill (1969). Cornelia Meigs (ed.). A Critical History of Children's Literature. Macmillan Publishing co. p. 412. ISBN 0-02-583900-4.
- "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2016-08-19.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Muir, Shannon. "DVD Review of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh - 25th Anniversary Edition". Digital Media FX. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- "Upcoming Disney DVD Release Schedule - The Ultimate Guide to Disney DVD". www.ultimatedisney.com.
- "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh". 27 August 2013 – via Amazon.
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