5 Things You May Not Know About Disney’s ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’!
The original Winnie the Pooh film’s 40th anniversary is this year, and we thought we might celebrate in our own nerdy way! Here’s our list of 5 Things You May Not Know About ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’!
#1: It is Actually 3 Separate Films
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh might feel like several separate adventures stitched together instead of one cohesive film. The reason for this feeling is because this was indeed the case! Most kids who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s already know this, but The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is an amalgamation of three separate short films edited together; with new sequences added to weave the segments together naturally. The three short films were originally released in theatres in double-bills with live-action Disney features; Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (released with The Ugly Dachshund in 1966), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (released with The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit in 1968), and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (released with The Island at the Top of the World in 1974). Therefore, even though the final product wasn’t released until 11 years after Walt Disney’s death in 1966, he personally worked on two out of three in this collection.
#2: It was Responsible for Disney’s Last Oscar
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) is responsible for the last of Walt Disney’s Acedemy Awards. The award, given posthumously to Walt in 1969 and accepted on his behalf by animator/director Wolfgang ‘Woolie’ Reitherman, was for ‘Best Short Subject’. It was a shame that Walt Disney had passed away before the film was finally released theatrically, but the honor was deeply felt for him; especially since it officially capped off Walt Disney’s record of Academy Awards won at a whopping 26! Walt Disney still holds the world record for most academy awards won by a single individual; as well as the world record for most academy awards nominations at 59 total nominations!
#3: It Made Winnie the Pooh an American Icon
A.A. Milne’s classic books had been quite popular in England for a long time before Disney purchased the rights to make their films. However, Pooh was comparatively unknown in the U.S. It may be hard to think of a time when kids didn’t know who Pooh was, but his obscurity was very real in the new-era sixties of the United States. Walt Disney was worried that the obscurity would be enough to majorly hinder a full-length feature film. He felt like he needed to start off Pooh in a series of short films, to introduce him to the average American audience and establish his character, then it might have been possible to move on to a full-length film. Sadly, Walt did not live to see his vision of a feature film realized, but he did succeed in making Winnie the Pooh a Very recognizable character in the U.S.
#4: It Was the Last Chapter for Several People
As mentioned above, Walt Disney passed away during the production of these iconic shorts and was not able to see all his dreams about it to come true. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was the last film project to be released which Walt ever worked on. However, Winnie the Pooh didn’t just mark the last chapter for Walt. It also sadly marked the very last screen performance of the well-respected thespian Sebastian Cabot (the Narrator) as the actor passed away five months later. Interestingly, Winnie the Pooh also marked veteran actor Sterling Holloway’s final theatrical performance to be released before his retirement in film. Sterling was the voice of Pooh, the Cheshire Cat, Kaa, and many other iconic Disney characters.
#5: It Spawned one of Disney’s Greatest Franchises
When Walt set out to adapt A.A. Milne’s classic tales into a dream-fulfilling feature film, he had no idea what it would one day become. It spawned dozens of direct-to-video sequels, tv-films, several television shows, thousands of items of merchandise, theme-park attractions, and many more appearances which we do not have room to list here. Pooh’s influence is even acknowledged by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Also, if you want to relive the nostalgia of the Hundred-acre Wood, Winnie the Pooh is one of only 3 Disney films to have a canonical full-budget theatrical sequel. Winnie the Pooh (2011) is a critically acclaimed film which does justice to the original tale. If you haven’t seen it, we would highly recommend it!
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