Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree

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Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree poster 2.jpg
One of theatrical release posters
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Walt Disney
Story by Larry Clemmons
Ralph Wright
Xavier Atencio
Ken Anderson
Vance Gerry
Dick Lucas
Starring Sterling Holloway
Junius Matthews
Bruce Reitherman
Hal Smith
Howard Morris
Narrated by Sebastian Cabot
Music by Robert & Richard Sherman (songs)
Buddy Baker (score)
Production
company
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release dates
  • February 4, 1966 (1966-02-04)
Running time
26 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Box office $6.2 million

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is a 1966 film combining live-action and animation, produced by Walt Disney Productions, and based on the first two chapters of the book Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne. The songs were written by the Sherman Brothers (Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman) and the score was composed and conducted by Buddy Baker.

This featurette was shown alongside the live-action feature The Ugly Dachshund, and was later included as a segment in the 1977 compilation film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

Plot[edit]

The story opens with Winnie the Pooh going through his morning exercises during which he accidently rips the stitching on his bottom. After reparing his torn rump he goes to his pantry for some breakfast, only to discover he is out of honey. He hears a bee fly by and decides to climb a nearby honey tree, but as he reaches the beehive, a branch he is sitting on breaks, causing him to fall and land in a gorse bush. Needing help, Pooh decides to go to Christopher Robin's house to get a balloon from him. His plan is to cover himself in mud to disguise himself as a raincloud and use the balloon to float up to the hive. As Pooh gets at the honey, and as his muddy disguise is compromised, the bees fight back against him, and the scuffle ends with the balloon losing its string, sending Pooh flying through the air until it runs out of air. After Pooh falls to the ground, getting caught by Christopher Robin, the bees proceed to chase the two down, and they barely manage to escape them by jumping into the mud puddle.

With honey still on his mind, Pooh heads to Rabbit's house in hopes of getting some. The reluctant Rabbit invites Pooh in, despite realizing the bear's vast appetite, and Pooh proceeds to eat him out of all his honey. Pooh ends up becoming very rotund, and as he tries to exit Rabbit's house, he finds himself stuck and unable to fit through his front door. After a worried Rabbit tries to free Pooh by pushing his over-sized bottom, he runs off to get Christoper Robin for help, Owl flies by and examine's Pooh's predicament. The two are met by Gopher, who suggests that he blast Pooh out with dynamite for pay. Rabbit returns with Christopher Robin, and they unsuccessfully try to pull Pooh out. With Rabbit refusing to push him back in, Christopher Robin decides that Pooh will just have to wait until he gets thin again.

One night, while Pooh is asleep, Gopher appears once again, taking a break from his "swing shift" to eat lunch. One of the things Gopher is snacking on is a jar of honey, and Rabbit manages to prevent Pooh from having some and wards Gopher off. Some time later, Rabbit wakes up and discovers that Pooh's fat bottom has slightly shrunken, meaning it is now possible to get him out. He gets Christopher Robin, who gathers Kanga, Eeyore, Owl, Roo, and Gopher, and they all pull on Pooh from outside the house while Rabbit pushes him from inside. Finally, Rabbit charges into Pooh, which sends him flying out of the front door, through the sky, and into the honey tree, which scares away the bees inside. The gang arrives at the scene, and Christopher Robin promises Pooh that they will help him get out again. However, Pooh tells them to take their time, for now he has an ample supply of honey to eat.

Voice casting[edit]

Songs[edit]

Production[edit]

Walt Disney acquired the film rights to the Winnie-the-Pooh stories in 1961 with the intent of adapting them into a full-length animated musical feature. However, upon realizing that worldwide audiences are not as familiar with the stories as the British, Disney soon decided to split the feature into a series of featurettes to give audiences the chance to get to know and love the Pooh characters. Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree would be the only featurette produced and released during Disney's lifetime, as he died later that year on December 15, 1966, just as production began on its follow-up Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.

Release[edit]

The film was released on February 4, 1966, as a supplement to Disney's live-action feature The Ugly Dachshund. It would later be included as a segment in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which included the two further Pooh featurettes, released on March 11, 1977.

The film had its television premiere on March 10, 1970, as a special on the NBC television network. The special was sponsored by Sears, then the exclusive provider of Pooh merchandise.[1]

Reception[edit]

The short received positive reception. The New York Times said of it "The Disney technicians responsible for this beguiling miniature have had the wisdom to dip right into the Milne pages, just the way Pooh paws after honey...The flavoring, with some nice tunes stirred in, is exactly right—wistful, sprightly and often hilarious.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fanning, Jim (February 4, 2010). "All Facts, No Fluff and Stuff". D23. D23.com. Retrieved November 24, 2016. 
  2. ^ "A Disney Package: Don't Miss the Short". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. April 7, 1966. Retrieved November 24, 2016. 

External links[edit]