Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too (1974)
A.A. Milne’s beloved characters came to animated life in Disney’s The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The film was actually composed of three separate stories-Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too-each of which had been shown previously as a theatrical short (Blustery Day won a posthumous Oscar for Walt Disney in 1969). The packaged format gave Pooh, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore and the others a broader audience on which to work their easygoing charms.
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree follows Pooh’s efforts to purloin a stash of honey from a buzzing beehive. Pooh tries to trick the bees into thinking the weather is turning sour, with young human pal Christopher Robin sloshing about with an umbrella, repeating, “Tut, tut! It looks like rain…” After exhausting his little bear brainpower, Pooh ends up eating honey with his friend Rabbit, only to discover his excessive intake has made him too tubby to fit out the door of Rabbit’s hutch.
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day is the disaster movie of the Pooh series. When a dangerous storm and a subsequent flood threaten the Hundred Acre wood, Pooh and friends team up to protect each other’s homes and hides. This cartoon also features the famous “Huffalumps and Woozles” sequence.
In Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, the always bouncy Tigger gets to be too much for the other residents of the Hundred Acre Wood. The animals band together to help the springy tiger become more subdued. This short contains the memorable Tigger anthem, “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers.”
The various Pooh shorts captured the kindly spirit of Milne’s original stories, adding some clever interaction between the characters and off-screen narrator Sebastian Cabot. Another voice artist, Sterling Holloway, became forever identified with his pitch-perfect Pooh, delivering an “Oh, bother!” like no one else could. The compilation feature proved to be as successful as its individual parts, and new Pooh shorts, shows and features continued to be produced through the ensuing decades.