tek's rating: ¼

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (G)
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Caution: spoilers!

This came out in 1977; it is a "package film" consisting of three short films that had previously been released individually, which themselves were based on books by A.A. Milne, which I'm afraid I haven't read. I'm not sure whether or not I ever saw the film in its entirety before I got it on DVD in 2023, but I definitely saw all three parts before, probably on The Wonderful World of Disney, and possibly elsewhere. (So I do find it quite nostalgic.) Watching the movie now, I think the segments blend together seamlessly, so one can scarcely tell where one ends and the next begins. This is because there's a narrator who bridges the gap between segments, but he also narrates within the segments, as well as sometimes talking to the characters. And the animation sometimes includes the book the narrator is reading, with the characters moving between pages. It's all pretty neat, I think. I always like that kind of thing. Oh, and there's an epilogue that I guess was made specifically for this film.

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)
In which we meet Winnie the Pooh (voiced by Sterling Holloway), a bear who lives in the Hundred Acre Wood. When he finds that all his hunny pots are empty, he goes out to steal some more honey from bees that live in a tree. First he climbs the tree, but that doesn't work out so well for him. Later, he gets a balloon from his friend, Christopher Robin, a young boy who also lives in the Hundred Acre Wood. (Actually, all the animals in the story, like Pooh, are Christopher Robin's stuffed toys, but the animation makes them look, act, think, and feel as real as Christopher himself.) Pooh uses the balloon to float up to the hole in the tree where the bees store their honey, after rolling in mud to disguise himself as a rain cloud. That plan doesn't go so well, either. So Pooh visits his friend Rabbit and eats all his honey, much to Rabbit's chagrin. Rabbit gets even more chagrined when it turns out all that eating has made Pooh too fat to get back out the front door (really just a hole) in his house, so Pooh gets stuck in the hole for quite awhile. We meet a Gopher who offers to dig him out, for a price, but he never actually says what the cost would be, and never digs him out. (There's a running joke about Gopher "not being in the book", because he wasn't in the book the film is based on.) Pooh only gets free when enough time has passed for him to lose weight.

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)
In which there is a very windy day, so windy that Pooh's friend Piglet gets blown away, but Pooh keeps hold of him via a thread, with Piglet flying like a kite. They eventually wind up at Owl's treehouse, until the whole tree gets blown down, and the house demolished. So their friend Eeyore, a gloomy donkey, sets out to find Owl a new house. That night, Pooh meets Tigger, who likes to bounce on people. Tigger introduces Pooh to the concept of heffalumps and woozles, creatures that like to steal honey. So Pooh has a very trippy nightmare about them, which features what I would say is one of the movie's most memorable songs (which I tend to associate with Halloween). Meanwhile, the wind storm turns into a rainstorm, and the Hundred Acre Wood is flooded. And... I guess I won't spoil how it all ends.

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974)
In which Rabbit gets annoyed by Tigger constantly bouncing on everyone, so he decides that he and Pooh and Piglet should lead Tigger deep into the Hundred Acre Wood and leave him there. He plans to find Tigger the next day and bring him home, too humbled to bounce anymore. But Rabbit's plan goes awry when, after abandoning Tigger, he finds that he can't find his own way home. Pooh and Piglet do manage to get home, but Rabbit remains lost, until Tigger finds him and brings him home. Later, in the winter, Tigger is going out to play with his friend Roo. (I haven't mentioned Kanga and her young son, Roo, yet, but they've been in all the stories.) Tigger ends up getting stuck at the top of a tree he bounced up, and is too scared to come down. So he gets some rather inventive help from the narrator.

Well, I think I've left out quite enough details from all three shorts. And I feel like I haven't talked nearly enough about some of the characters. I think my favorite character has always been Eeyore, because I identify with him the most, being a rather gloomy sort of person, myself. But I also like Tigger, who is much more manic, and I find his song about himself to be another of the most memorable songs in the movie. Really, all of the characters are good, in their own ways. Um... I think the middle story was my favorite of the bunch. And um... I should probably read all the books someday. Also I feel like mentioning that Winnie the Pooh has inspired at least two books about philosophy. And... apparently some home media releases of the movie have included a fourth short film, "Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore", but it's not included on the DVD I've got, unfortunately. I do think I've probably seen it on TV at some point, but I'm not sure. Also, I'm torn about whether or not to consider this film a musical. I probably should, really, but for now, I'm not going to, because most of the songs are fairly short, and not all of them are actually sung by characters. Anyway, I feel like there's so much more I should say about the film, but I'm not sure what. It's all pretty random. (I was going to say it's weird that the "many" in the title really just means three, but in fact I think each short film feels like more than one story, so maybe it really is many adventures.)

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Winnie the Pooh franchise
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The Many Adventures... * The Tigger Movie * Piglet's Big Movie * Pooh's Heffalump Movie * Winnie the Pooh * Christopher Robin