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  • Writer's pictureCollin Souter

Week # 29: "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh"

(Originally published on 7/19/22)


The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Run time: 74 min.

Release Date: March 11, 1977.

Where/when I first saw it: Arlington Theater, 1983.

How I watched it today: Blu-ray, Sunday evening

About eleven years after Walt’s death, the feature film of Winnie the Pooh–in development when he was alive–finally came to fruition. The result was a bit of a throwback to the Disney post-war years of “package films,” a series of shorts with a loose throughline. Winnie the Pooh had been a Disney property for a few years and they had produced a couple short films to use as a springboard for a feature. Unlike the package films, though, the final result feels satisfying throughout its running time and not like a grab-bag of ideas that only work occasionally. “The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh” remains a delight, thanks in large part to the people who had been there all along during its inception.

The film stands out from many other Disney features by introducing a narrative gimmick that gives it an uncommonly meta feel. While Pooh and the other characters move through their day, we are constantly reminded of the fact that this is a storybook. The characters walk on the typed words and the pages turn with every event as the narrator helps guide us from one situation to another. The result adds an element of charm and invention that allows the writers to play around with the storytelling form. At one point, a raccoon shows up and the other characters have to remind each other that “he’s not really in the book.”

The vocal performances also help a great deal. Sterling Halloway landed the role he was born to play in Winnie the Pooh. A longtime Disney staple, Halloway is the ideal choice here, an innocent, naive soul who sounds childlike and elderly in the same breath. The songs by the Sherman brothers also add a spring in the steps of the characters here and bring the movie alive. The animation looks appropriately simple and not too complex to help fit with the storybook nature of the piece. No need to go any further into the details for this one. It looks like a book from this era and that suits it just fine.

While there’s no one major story to carry the characters along and the narrative will be too loose for some tastes, the characters and what they learn from one another after every situation is what keeps this movie from feeling like a jumbled mess. The heart is always there and the movie’s length feels just about right (any longer and it probably wouldn’t work as well). As Winnie the Pooh’s story starts to fade out, we’re grateful for having spent the time with him, Tigger, Piglet, et al, and want to see more.


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