Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree
|Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree|
Storybook Classics VHS cover
|Directed by||Wolfgang Reitherman|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Written by||A.A. Milne
|Narrated by||Sebastian Cabot|
|Music by||Robert & Richard Sherman
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
|Box office||$6.2 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)|
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is a 1966 film combining live-action and animation. It was released by The Walt Disney Company. Based on the first two chapters of the book Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne, it is the only Winnie the Pooh production to be released under the supervision of Walt Disney before his death on December 15, 1966. It was later added as a segment to the March 1977 film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Music and lyrics were written by the Sherman Brothers (Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman). Background music was provided by Buddy Baker. This featurette was shown before The Ugly Dachshund.
The story opens with Pooh Bear going through his morning exercise, during which he accidentally rips the stitching on his bottom. After repairing his torn rump, Pooh goes to his pantry for some breakfast, but finds he is fresh out of honey. He hears a bee fly by and decides to climb the honey tree, but while climbing the branch he is standing on breaks and he falls, landing in a gorse bush. Needing help, Pooh heads to Christopher Robin's house. Pooh gets Christopher Robin's magical blue balloon to try to get the honey from the honey tree. He rolls himself in a muddy puddle to disguise himself as a little black raincloud, and then uses the balloon to float up next to the hive. Once he reaches the bee hive he takes a giant handful of honey with bees still in it. He eats the honey then spits out the bees, one of which is the queen bee who falls into the mud below. The queen bee proceeds to sting Pooh's bottom which jams his rear into the hive. A now scared Pooh admits to Christopher Robin these are the wrong sorts of bees and the angry bees end up pushing him out the hive and chasing Pooh and Christopher Robin. The two barely manage to escape the angry swarm by diving into the mud puddle.
With honey still on Pooh's mind, he heads to Rabbit's house. Rabbit invites Pooh in for lunch (despite being aware of the bear's vast appetite), originally intending to give him a small drop of the stuff. However, this does not fill Pooh's stomach all the way and he eats out every last bit of honey he could find in Rabbit's house, which causes his bottom to expand further. Pooh thanks Rabbit and eats leftover honey on his stomach (which is now very round and full), before trying to go out the front door which he came in through, but becomes stuck because of his now over-sized bottom, which has become too fat to fit through the door. Rabbit attempts to free Pooh, pushing hard on his larger bottom, but when he does Pooh's bottom just becomes fatter. As Rabbit runs off to fetch Christopher Robin for help, Owl flies over and sees the predicament Pooh is in, declaring that an expert is needed, which Gopher claims to be. Gopher offers to free Pooh using dynamite but Pooh refuses.
Rabbit returns with Christopher Robin and Eeyore in tow. They unsuccessfully try to pull Pooh Bear out. Eventually, Christopher Robin decides that Pooh will just have to wait to get thin again. Rabbit is forced to make the best of a bad situation, when he decides he does not want the bear's enormous bottom protruding from his door, including disguising it as a moose head, and placing furniture on it, but Pooh sneezes (from honeysuckles that Roo gave him earlier) and causes the antiques to fall off. Rabbit eventually finds out that Pooh's bottom growing in fatness has actually caused it to become very comfortable and decides to use him as a chair, with his legs as arm rests and his obese-but-comfortable bottom as a cushion.
One night, while Pooh is asleep, Gopher pops out of the ground once again. This time, he is taking a break from the "swing shift" which he is working. Gopher is carrying a lunchbox with him. One of the things Gopher is snacking on is a jar of honey, and Rabbit manages to prevent Pooh getting a lick and sternly insists that nobody feeds the bear.
A few days later, Rabbit wakes up and sees that Pooh's fat bottom has slightly shrunken, meaning it is now possible to pull him out. Rabbit gets Christopher Robin who gathers Kanga, Eeyore, Owl, Roo, and Gopher and they all pull on Pooh from outside the house while Rabbit frantically pushes Pooh from inside. Finally Rabbit (fed up with all the delay) charges into Pooh, which sends him out of Rabbit's front door and shooting into the air (knocking the others down in the process) until he lands headfirst in the hollow of the honey tree, getting himself stuck again and scaring the bees away. The gang runs after him, and Christopher Robin tells Pooh that they will help him get out again, but Pooh tells them to take their time now he has an ample supply of honey to eat.
- Sterling Holloway as Winnie the Pooh
- Junius Matthews as Rabbit
- Bruce Reitherman as Christopher Robin
- Hal Smith as Owl
- Howard Morris as Gopher
- Clint Howard as Roo
- Barbara Luddy as Kanga
- Ralph Wright as Eeyore
- James MacDonald as The Bees (uncredited)
- Dallas McKennon as The Bees (uncredited)
- Ginny Tyler as The Bees (uncredited)
- Sebastian Cabot as The Narrator
- "Winnie the Pooh"
- "Up, Down and Touch the Ground"
- "Rumbly in My Tumbly"
- "Little Black Rain Cloud"
- "Mind Over Matter"
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)
- "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8