GDR #22: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

I’m familiar with Winnie the Pooh and his pals. Of course, I am–who isn’t? But this was my first time watching this movie. And I didn’t really understand how that could be, because I’ve definitely seen parts of this movie before–I’ve watched Pooh pretend to be a raincloud, and I’ve seen him get stuck in Rabbit’s door. And then I read that this “movie” is actually a compilation of three Winnie the Pooh shorts that were made forever ago, and that made a whole lot more sense. And it made me feel a little less weird for not having seen the movie in its entirety. (And yet, I don’t want to think about how much Winnie the Pooh-related merchandise I own…including an Eeyore keychain…)

Let’s get some voice-acting tidbits out of the way, because everyone in this movie has been in something else that you’ve heard of, and it will blow your mind. First off, we have Sterling Holloway (in what is probably his most recognizable role) as Pooh. I just…still find it so crazy that sweet, simple Winnie the Pooh is also the Cheshire Cat. And Kaa. But that was nothing compared to when I looked up Barbara Luddy, the voice of Kanga. She’s also Lady from Lady and the Tramp. That’s not too weird, but she’s also Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty! I’m totally buggin’. Other cool things: John Fiedler (Piglet) was in 12 Angry Men; Sebastian Cabot (the ever-helpful narrator) is also Bagheera from The Jungle Book; Ralph Wright (Eeyore) is actually a Disney writer, which I find hilarious, for some reason; Hal Smith (Owl) has been in like everything, but I’m most tickled by the fact that he’s also Philippe (yes, the horse) in Beauty and the Beast; one of the kids who voiced Roo is Ron Howard’s brother; Paul Winchell (Tigger) is also Gargamel (what!) from The Smurfs; and finally, Junius Matthews (Rabbit) was Archimedes in The Sword in the Stone, which is just another reason why Rabbit is my favorite (but more on that later). I’ll always be impressed by how versatile voice actors are, and this is like the most crazy awesome cast I’ve ever seen.

So, duh, this movie is really cute. From the opening song with Pooh bouncing around to the bittersweet ending with Pooh and Christopher Robin, this is just the cutest movie ever. I really loved the narration of it–the use of a book with pictures that the characters move around in. And sometimes the narrator talks to the characters. It’s a unique twist on the tried-and-true opening book introduction that Disney is so fond of. Also, I love me a good narrator.

Even with all the cuteness, though, there are moments when I am genuinely annoyed with Pooh. Okay, there’s one moment when I’m genuinely annoyed with Pooh, and it’s when he barges in on Rabbit, eats his honey, and then gets stuck. Yeah, yeah, it’s still cute (and it will always bring to mind one scene from Pushing Daisies), but I find it so annoying that Pooh would just eat all of someone else’s honey. Bad form, Pooh. And poor Rabbit knows what’s coming, but there’s no stopping it. (And then he tries to decorate Pooh’s butt, which is the moment I realized he was my favorite forever.) I mean, Rabbit constantly comes out as the bad guy, and no one else ever does, and it’s not fair, I say. He just wants to be left in peace.

I’m also not okay with the part where Eeyore, like, gives away Piglet’s house without consulting him first. Well, okay, maybe Eeyore didn’t know, but…dude, speak up, Piglet. That’s your house. Can’t he and Owl at least share? Why can’t everyone just stay in their own houses? Why is this so distressing for me?

I was going to come up with a graceful transition to the “Heffalumps and Woozles” scene, but considering what a random-ass moment that is, I feel like I should jump in. I do love a good Disney acid trip moment (as opposed to, say, a whole Disney acid trip movie, like The Three Caballeros), and this one didn’t disappoint. It called to mind those pink elephants from Dumbo, but it was slightly less terrifying. It probably would have scared the bejeezus out of me as a child, but now, I just found it delightfully weird.

I still haven’t mentioned Tigger, maybe because Tigger is possibly my least favorite. Geez, just…chill, okay? The whole second half of the movie is like Tigger vs. Rabbit, and as we’ve already established, Rabbit is my homeboy. Here’s a sample of the notes I took during the second half of the movie:

–Poor Rabbit! Tigger ruined his garden! Why can’t these bitches just leave him alone?

–Haaa, Rabbit’s kind of diabolical.

–Ohh, Rabbit. Poor Rabbit. I love him.

–No, seriously guys, why can’t Rabbit catch a break?

Much like with Bagheera and Baloo, there are Rabbits and there are Tiggers, and for some reason, fiction tends to always side with the Tiggers. It’s like being a rational character with a sense of personal space is a bad thing. I will admit that Tigger’s sad face when Rabbit tells him he can never bounce again kind of broke my heart, but can’t he at least agree not to bounce around Rabbit’s garden? Would that be so hard? Why is Rabbit always the bad guy?

(Remember that episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh where Rabbit adopts the bird and then lets her go? Man, that episode makes me cry just thinking about it. It’s also the only episode of that show I’ve seen…)

Anyway, Tigger teaches Rabbit how to bounce, and it all ends well. Which is as it should be, because Winnie the Pooh should not cause me this much stress on behalf of a curmudgeonly rabbit.

Favorite moment: Heffalumps and Woozles

Because it’s random and there are pretty colors and the song is catchy.

Best fanvideo in the universe: Winnie the Pooh + Avenue Q

Because it’s frightening how well this works. This is seriously the greatest thing YouTube has ever given me.

Next time: The Rescuers!



1 Comment

Filed under movies, The Great Disney Rewatchathon

One response to “GDR #22: The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

  1. janetheflounder

    “Hip Hip Poohray” is by far the greatest tagline ever written about any movie ever.

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