Disney Odyssey #22 – Heffalumps, Woozles, and A Distinct Lack of Literacy

Winnie-the-Pooh is one of those things that transcends even the Disney juggernaut – young and old alike all across the globe relate to Pooh Bear and his friends – Eeyore and Tigger in particular has enjoyed a hefty celebrity status beyond their cartoon and storybook origins. To return to Pooh Corner (for the first time on this Disney Odyssey) we invited our friends Rhett and Mary to join us. These two fellow Disney dorks are the geniuses behind Disney Meals – which you can experience by checking out their blog here and their snazzy videos on YouTube!


They also brought some homemade shortbread-and-jam cookies inspired by Pooh’s “hero party” feast!


So sweet and DELICIOUS!

All right. On to the film!

 

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The Film: The Many Adventures of Winnie-The-Pooh (1977)

The Facts:

  • This film is based on the short stories by author A.A. Milne, who first published tales of Pooh Bear in 1926. The characters in the tales were based on the stuffed animals of his son, the real-life Christopher Robin.
  • This is actually made up of three classic Winnie the Pooh shorts: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968), and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974), all edited together with animated wrap-arounds with Pooh and Piglet between each feature. Furthermore, Christopher Robin originally had a different voice in each short, but for this release, Timothy Thomas re-recorded all of the lines to be consistent.
  • Paul Winchell (Tigger) ad-libbed the famous “TTFN – Ta Ta For Now!” line, as well as Tigger’s trademark chuckle “hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!”
  • All backgrounds for the film were outlined in ink to keep with the sketchy style of the original Ernest Shepard illustrations.
  • This is the final Disney film to feature Sterling Holloway before his acting career came to an end. He died 15 years later, in 1992. Also the last film to feature Barbara Luddy (voice of Merryweather and Lady)
  • This film was praised by critic Leonard Maltin for having the integrity and continuity of the original A.A. Milne works. It’s got a super fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes – a whopping 92%!
  • Music for the shorts was provided by the Sherman Brothers – obviously.

 

The Observations:

  • The books on Christopher Robin’s shelf are the actual books by A.A. Milne – and this room is definitely the room of an Actual British Child. There are toy soldiers, some fishing gear, a gun, cricket balls… you name it.
  • Wait a second, I know that voice…. The narrator is Bagheera!!! But it doesn’t stop there: Christopher Robin is Mowgli, Pooh is Kaa, Kanga is Merryweather, and perhaps most surprisingly – Rabbit is Archimedes! I don’t remember ever noticing that before.
  • Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.21.04 PM.png

    “What do you need it for?” asked Christopher Robin. Pooh leaned in. “Genocide,” he whispered.

  • The “little black raincloud” section stands out in my memory as being the part I re-watched the most frequently. Possibly because of the little song he sings… possibly because bees are fickle and terrifying and any child who has been stung by bees knows that this part of the cartoon is actually a horror film.
  • “Tut tut, it looks like rain!” I didn’t know why he heck he said this until years later. Like, who says ‘tut tut’? British people.
  • “It’s not much of a tail, but I’m kind of attached to it.” BOOM EEYORE PUN MIC DROP
  • So apparently there’s this theory where the 100 Acre Wood gang are all representative of different psychological conditions or disorders. Piglet’s anxiety, Tigger’s ADHD, Eeyore is depression, etc. etc. I’ve never actually thought about this before in detail…but yeah, the signs are all there. Mind blown.
  • Gopher is actually just the Beaver from Lady and the Tramp. Welp. It’s not like they haven’t done the same recycling of voice/animation as they did with Phil Harris as Baloo and Little John.
  • Owl is the Dottore of this world. He says words in no particular order, makes up stories and definitions and ‘can read.’ It’s genius. And hilarious. Pooh, meanwhile, is a bit of an unexpected Arlecchino – driven by his stomach, thinks he’s quite clever, but would rather not work hard for what he wants. (Tigger is the obvious Capitano.)
  • Pooh’s complete and utter perplexement with Tigger’s energy level is hilarious.
  • “Heffalumps and Woozles” is essentially the same song as “Pink Elephants on Parade.”
  • Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.24.46 PM.png

    Again, Dumbo, that’s not *quite* how trunks work…nor is it how physics works…

  • “Owl, you fly over to Piglet’s and tell him we’ll make a rescue.” The Fella: “Or…you could pick him up and bring him back? He probably doesn’t weigh much.”
  • giphy

    Me, literally every time the Fella cooks dinner

  • Eeyore: “Has his name on it. W-O-L. Spells Owl.” Owl: “So it does!” The Fella: “And since none of the rest of us can read, we can’t contest that!” Aly: “Hooray!”
  • Tigger: Inventing acronyms since before the internet even existed!
  • Rabbit’s plan: ditch Tigger in the woods, stop him from bouncing, profit.
  • Pooh’s stomach rumbling sounds a little bit less like a stomach and more like he’s got… I dunno, scorpions in there?? “Fssss-ss-ss-ss-ss-sssssss!”
  • Poor Rabbit has this Alice in Wonderland sequence where his mind unravels from fear while lost in the woods… It’s very Ichabod in  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Rhett: “Yeah, his plan kind of…backfired, didn’t it?”
  • Aly: “Christopher Robin, put some PANTS on! It is WINTER-TIME!” The Fella: “But these are my SIGNATURE SHORTS!”
  • And then awww, there’s this bittersweet ending about growing up and saying goodbye to summer and one’s favorite childhood toys… sniffle.

 

We didn’t shed as many wistful tears as we had anticipated, but this movie is still a tender one. It was awesome having Mary and Rhett join us for The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh. Hopefully we’ll have them back on for another movie sometime in the Odyssey – and hopefully we’ll get to help them eat some more of their amazing Disney Meals!

 

Up Next: The Rescuers!


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