Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day

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Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day poster.jpg
A theatrical release poster
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Walt Disney
Story by
Based on Stories written
by A. A. Milne
Starring
Narrated by Sebastian Cabot
Music by Songs:
Robert & Richard Sherman
Score:
Buddy Baker
Production
company
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date
December 20, 1968 (1968-12-20)
Running time
25 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day is a 1968 animated featurette based on the third, fifth, ninth, and tenth chapters from Winnie-the-Pooh and the second, eighth, and ninth chapters from The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. The featurette was produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company on December 20, 1968 as a double feature with The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit. This was the second of the studio's Winnie the Pooh shorts. It was later added as a segment to the 1977 film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The music was written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.[1] It was notable for being the last animated short produced by Walt Disney, who died during its production.

Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The Academy Award was awarded posthumously to Walt Disney, who died of lung cancer two years before the film's initial release. It is also the only Winnie the Pooh production that won an Academy Award.[2] (Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, which was released six years later in 1974, was nominated for the same Academy Award, but lost to Closed Mondays.)

The animated featurette also served as an inspiration for the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride in Walt Disney World in which the rider experiences several scenes from the cartoon, including Pooh's Heffalump and Woozle dream.[3]

Sources[edit]

The film's plot is based primarily on seven A. A. Milne stories: "In which Eeyore finds the Wolery and Owl moves into it" (Chapter IX from The House at Pooh Corner) "In which Tigger comes to the forest and has breakfast" (Chapter II from The House at Pooh Corner), "In which Pooh & Piglet go hunting and nearly catch a Woozle" (Chapter III of Winnie the Pooh), "In which Piglet does a very grand thing" (Chapter VIII from The House at Pooh Corner), "In which Christopher Robin gives a Pooh Party and we say goodbye" (Chapter X of Winnie-the-Pooh) and "In which Piglet is entirely surrounded by water" (Chapter IX of Winnie-the-Pooh), with elements taken from "In which Piglet meets a Heffalump" (Chapter V from Winnie-the-Pooh: Winnie the Pooh's nightmare of Heffalumps and Woozles). In A. A. Milne's original story, Pooh shows more initiative during the flood, finding his way to Christopher Robin by riding on one of his floating honey pots, which he names The Floating Bear, then having the inspiration of using Christopher Robin's umbrella to carry them both to Piglet's house.[4]

Plot[edit]

The story begins when Winnie the Pooh is on his way to his thoughtful spot. Today is a very windy day. But as Pooh sits thinking, Gopher pops out of the ground and advises Pooh to leave the spot because of it being "Winds-day". Pooh having misunderstood his warning goes across the Hundred Acre Wood to wish everyone a happy Winds-day. Pooh first goes to his friend Piglet who lives in a beech tree. Piglet initially came out to rake leaves but the wind proves too strong for him to handle. Piglet is nearly blown away but Pooh quickly hangs on to him by his scarf, like a kite on a string. As Pooh struggles to keep a hold of the scarf he passes by Kanga and Roo, wishing them both a happy Winds-day; Eeyore, whose stick house Pooh breaks as he passes; and finally Rabbit, who Pooh inadvertently helps harvest the carrots in his vegetable garden as he slides by.

The blustery wind finally blows Pooh and Piglet over to Owl's treehouse, where he invites them in. Pooh wishes Owl a happy Winds-day, as he has everyone else, but Owl informs them that the wind is due to "a mild spring zephyr" rather than to a particular holiday. While Owl begins telling Pooh and Piglet stories of adventures his relatives had, the strong wind rocks his house back and forth causing it to sway and eventually the tree and house both collapse. Owl blames Pooh at first but Pooh says he did not do it. Christopher Robin and the others come and examine the wrecked house and since it cannot be repaired, Eeyore volunteers to seek out a new house for Owl, who proceeds to tell the others more stories of his relatives for quite some time; talking from page 41 to page 62.

Meanwhile, on page 62, as night falls, the wind is still blowing and Pooh is kept awake by growling and scratching noise and he opens his door for the visitor outside. An orange bouncing tiger named Tigger emerges from outside, rolling over Pooh and sitting on him. Tigger introduces himself with his signature song ("The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers") and informs Pooh that he has come looking for something to eat. He then decides to try some of Pooh's honey but after some tastes he gets disgusted and decides that "Tiggers don't like honey". Before leaving Pooh's house, Tigger tells him that there are Heffalumps and Woozles in the forest that steal honey. Pooh, frightened by Tigger's tale, stays up to guard his honey, but eventually falls fast asleep. As he is sleeping, he has a nightmare about Heffalumps and Woozles stealing his honey and chasing him around (which includes four singing honey pots, a balloon-like Heffalump, a honey pot with legs, jack-in-the-box Woozles, two dancing Heffalumps, a bee Heffalump, a Heffaump cannon, hot air balloons resembling Heffalump heads with honey pots as baskets, and a giant watering can with a face) until he wakes up during a flood-inducing rainfall.

Later, Piglet is washed away from his home. He writes a bottle-note for help just before the waters carry him off, sitting on a chair. Pooh manages to reach higher ground with only ten honey pots. However, as he is eating some of the honey the rising waters carry him away. Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Tigger all gather at Christopher Robin's house, which is situated on the highest ground, while Eeyore continues house hunting for Owl. Roo finds Piglet's bottle, and Owl flies off to tell Piglet that help is on the way.

Owl manages to reach Piglet and Pooh, but before he can inform them of the impending rescue (and telling them another one of his boring stories) a waterfall threatens to carry them all over the side. Pooh switches places with Piglet as they take the plunge, and luckily for them the waterfall washes them right into Christopher Robin's yard. Thinking that Pooh had rescued Piglet, Christopher Robin decides to throw a party celebrating Pooh's heroic deed. During the party, Eeyore announces that he has found a new home for Owl. He leads everyone over to his discovery, which, known to everyone except for Owl and Eeyore, is Piglet's beech tree. Owl is very impressed with the house, but before anyone can tell him who the home belongs to, Piglet decides that Owl should have the house. Pooh decides to allow Piglet to move into his home and, very impressed by his selflessness, asks Christopher Robin to make the hero party for two instead of one.

Voice cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Shortly before Walt Disney's death in December 1966, the animation department was finishing work on The Jungle Book and preparing for The Aristocats. In late summer 1967, before The Aristocats went into production, it was decided to go ahead with a featurette-length sequel to Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.[5] Because The Honey Tree was popular with American audiences, it was decided it would be the first animation project without Walt. Under the circumstances, "Nine Old Men" animators Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, and Milt Kahl were brought onto the project. Wolfgang Reitherman remained as director, but he decided to feel more faithful to the source material.[6]

During a story meeting for the short, Walt Disney considered Wally Boag to be perfect for the role of Tigger.[7] However, after Walt's death, Boag's performance of the character was considered to be "too zany for a children's film", and he was replaced by ventriloquist Paul Winchell.[7] Following a British backlash to The Honey Tree led by film critic Felix Barker, Piglet was added to the short.[8] For the part, Walt had heard John Fiedler's voice on television and selected him to voice the character. Although Fiedler's natural speaking voice was higher than most men's, he still had to raise it considerably to achieve the character's high pitch.[9]

Home video[edit]

The film was released on VHS and Betamax in 1986. It was re-released in 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, and was also re-released again on July 11, 2000 as part of the Storybook Classics Collection. This short also shows up as a bonus feature on the 2006 DVD release of Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin.[10]

It was also released on the Super 8mm film format by Derann in the early 2000s, making it one of the company's final and rarest films released, with only twelve copies made.[11]

Songs[edit]

  1. "A Rather Blustery Day" by Richard & Robert Sherman and sung by Sterling Holloway
  2. "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" by Richard & Robert Sherman and sung by Paul Winchell
  3. "Heffalumps and Woozles" by Richard & Robert Sherman and sung by the Mellomen
  4. "The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down" by Richard & Robert Sherman and sung by the Disney Studio Chorus
  5. "Hip Hip Pooh-Ray!" by Richard & Robert Sherman and sung by the Disney Studio Chorus

Winnie the Pooh featurettes[edit]

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Finch, Christopher (2000). Disney's Winnie the Pooh: A Celebration of the Silly Old Bear. Disney Editions. ISBN 978-0786853441.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Osborne, Jerry. "Movie/TV Soundtracks and Original Cast Recordings Price and Reference Guide." Google Books. 27 January 2015.
  2. ^ Stewart, Julie (February 23, 2012). "And the Award Goes To..." The Walt Disney Family Museum. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  3. ^ "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh". Walt Disney World. January 27, 2015.
  4. ^ A. A. Milne. Winnie-the-Pooh, Chapter IX
  5. ^ Finch 2000, p. 50.
  6. ^ Finch 2000, p. 51.
  7. ^ a b Hill, Jim (April 3, 2001). "The Greatest Performances You Never Got to Hear". The Laughing Place. p. 2. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  8. ^ Milne, James. "The Page at Pooh Corner". pooh-corner.org. Archived from the original on June 11, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  9. ^ O'Donnell, Michelle (June 27, 2005). "John Fiedler, 80, Stage Actor and Film Voice of Pooh's Piglet, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "Pooh's Grand Adventure - The Search for Christopher Robin." Amazon.com. 27 January 2015.
  11. ^ Derann Film Services Catalogue 2007

External links[edit]