Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore
|Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore|
Theatrical release poster with The Sword in the Stone
|Directed by||Rick Reinert|
|Produced by||Rick Reinert|
|Story by||Peter Young
Tony L. Marino
|Based on||Stories written
by A. A. Milne
|Narrated by||Laurie Main|
|Music by||Steve Zuckerman
Robert & Richard Sherman (songs)
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore is a 1983 Disney Winnie the Pooh animated featurette, based on two chapters from the books Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, originally released theatrically on March 25, 1983, with the 1983 re-issue of The Sword in the Stone. It is the fourth and final of Disney's original theatrical featurettes adapted from the Pooh books by A. A. Milne.
Produced by Rick Reinert Productions, this was the first Disney animated film since the 1938 Silly Symphonies short Merbabies to be produced by an outside studio. (The company had also previously produced the educational Disney short Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons in 1981.)
The film begins with the invention of a racing game called Poohsticks in which Pooh takes a walk to a wooden bridge over a river where he likes to do nothing in particular. On this day, though, he finds a fir cone and picks it up. Pooh thinks up a rhyme to go with the fir cone, but he accidentally trips on a tree root and drops it in the river. Noticing that the flow of the river takes the cone under the bridge, Pooh invents a racing game out of it. As the game uses sticks instead of cones, he calls it "Poosticks".
Later that day Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit and Roo are playing Poohsticks, then see Eeyore floating in the river. After somehow rescuing him with a rock, he tells them that he fell in due to being bounced from behind. Piglet assumes it was Tigger who bounced Eeyore into the river. When Tigger arrives on the scene, he claims that his bounce was actually a cough, leading to an argument between him and Eeyore, but with some outside help from the narrator, Winnie the Pooh and his friends find out that he had indeed deliberately bounced Eeyore on page 245. Tigger says it was all a joke, but nobody else feels that way. Tigger disgustedly says that they have no sense of humor, and bounces away.
But as Eeyore seems particularly depressed this day, Pooh follows him to his Gloomy Spot and asks what the problem is. Eeyore says that it is his birthday, and nobody has taken any notice to celebrate it. Pooh decides to give him a jar of honey, but does not get far before he has a hunger attack and ends up eating the honey. He decides to ask Owl for advice. Owl suggests that he writes to Eeyore on the pot so that Eeyore could use it to put things in. Owl ends up writing a misspelled greeting (hipy papy bthuthdth thuthda bthuthdy means A Very Happy Birthday, With Love from Pooh) on the pot and flies off to tell Christopher Robin about the birthday. Piglet, who heard about Eeyore's birthday from Pooh, planned to give a red balloon to Eeyore, but when Owl greets him from the sky, Piglet does not look where he is going, hits a tree and causes it to accidentally burst the balloon.
Piglet is very sad that his gift for Eeyore is spoiled, but he presents it to him anyway, and only a minute later, Pooh brings the empty pot. Eeyore is gladdened, as he puts the busted balloon into the pot and removes it again (he also claimed that he likes the color red). Pooh and his friends then pitch in and plan a surprise party for their friend.
During the party, Tigger arrives and bounces Rabbit out of his chair. Roo welcomes him to the festivities as Rabbit draws himself up from being bounced on by Tigger, incensed. Rabbit opines that Tigger should leave because of the way he treated Eeyore earlier. Roo wants Tigger to stay, and Christopher Robin's solution is for everyone to go to the bridge and play Poohsticks. Eeyore, a first-time player, wins the most games, while Tigger does not win at all, causing him to conclude that "Tiggers don't like Poohsticks". Eeyore's secret for winning, as he explains to Tigger afterwards, is to "let his stick drop in a twitchy sort of way." As Tigger bounces Eeyore again, Christopher Robin, Pooh and finally Piglet all decide that "Tigger's all right, really".
- Hal Smith as Winnie the Pooh and Owl
- Laurie Main as the Narrator
- Will Ryan as Rabbit
- Dick Billingsley as Roo
- Ralph Wright as Eeyore
- John Fiedler as Piglet
- Kim Christianson as Christopher Robin
- Julie McWhirter Dees as Kanga
- Paul Winchell as Tigger
Only Hal Smith, Ralph Wright, John Fiedler, and Paul Winchell returned in the roles they had originated in. Kim Christianson became the fourth different actor to portray Christopher Robin in as many featurettes, after Bruce Reitherman, Jon Walmsley, and Timothy Turner. Dick Billingsley assumed the role of Roo after Dori Whitaker and Clint Howard portrayed him in the previous featurettes.
Hal Smith and Laurie Main first took the roles of Winnie the Pooh and The Narrator in the 1981 educational film Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons, as Sterling Holloway elected not to continue the role of Pooh and Sebastian Cabot, the original narrator, died shortly after the making of the feature film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The deaths of Junius Matthews in 1978 and Barbara Luddy in 1979 also necessitated changes in Rabbit's and Kanga's portrayers; Will Ryan began a three-year stint as Rabbit's voice in this featurette while Julie McWhirter portrayed Kanga only once. Additionally, Laurie Main, Hal Smith, Will Ryan, and Kim Christianson later appear in the live-action series Welcome to Pooh Corner as the Narrator, Winnie the Pooh, Rabbit, Owl, and Roo respectively.
Ralph Wright, one of two voice actors who appeared in all four theatrical releases, became the third principal Winnie the Pooh featurette voice to pass away shortly after the release of the film; he died of a heart attack on December 31, 1983. He has since been followed in the deaths by Sterling Holloway (1992), Hal Smith (1994), and finally Paul Winchell and John Fiedler, who had also died on consecutive days in June 2005.
On DVD and Blu-ray releases of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, the short carries different voice credits than those on previous video releases. Jim Cummings (Pooh), Ken Sansom (Rabbit), Tress MacNeille (Kanga), Trevyn Savage (Christopher Robin), and Aaron Spann (Roo) are listed, despite that the original soundtrack (with Hal Smith as Pooh, Will Ryan as Rabbit, etc.) appears unaltered. This implies that a re-dub was attempted with these actors, but ultimately was not used.
The first home video release for Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore was Winnie the Pooh and Friends, released on VHS in 1984, followed by other releases of this film, including the December 28, 1990 Walt Disney Mini-Classics release and the July 11, 2000 Storybook Classics release. It has since been included as a bonus feature on VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray releases of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. (The Blu-Ray edition presents the short in high definition.)
- This featurette features a completely-overdubbed version of the classic featurette opening sequence. The title music and the famous opening theme are re-recorded at a different key to match up with the rest of the cartoon's music score, the cuckoo clock sound was replaced, and Laurie Main does the opening narration instead of Sebastian Cabot.
- This featurette appears as clips in A Poem Is... short, "In the Fashion".
The film's plot is based primarily on two A. A. Milne stories: "In which Pooh invents a new game and Eeyore joins in" (Chapter VI from The House at Pooh Corner), and "In which Eeyore has a birthday and gets two presents" (Chapter VI of Winnie the Pooh).
Winnie the Pooh featurettes
- Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)
- Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)
- Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974)
- Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore (1983)