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  • Rated: G
  • Starring (Voices): Sterling Halloway, Sebastian Cabot, Junius Matthews, Howard Morris, John Fielder, Ralph Wright. Hal Smith, Clint Howard, Paul Winchell, Barbara Luddy
  • Written By: A.A. Milne (books), Larry Clemmons (story)
  • Directed By: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman
  • Distributor: Walt Disney
  • Run Time: 77 Minutes
  • Original Year of Release: 1977
  • Special Features: Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy, See Below
  • Series:

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh Blu-ray Review

1977 classic arrives on Blu-ray

By Robert T. Trate     September 05, 2013
Source: Mania.com

Having just recently turned two years old in 1977, The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh would have been an ideal film for me. If only we had the technology and screening opportunities that we do now. My parents needed their night off and probably wouldn’t have taken a two year old to see The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh anyway. No, instead, my Dad took me to the likes of Star Wars. There was no Pooh bear in my childhood. 
 
In all the video stores and rental places that I have ever worked in, The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh constantly came into my hands. I never felt the need or desire to watch it. After all, it was children’s tale told from a story book with characters that literally walked through the pages. When Disney announced that its classic was coming to Blu-ray for the first time, I knew I wanted to see it. How would I now react to this classic tale? I know who Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet are. I even know that the voice of Pooh, Sterling Halloway, is also the voice of Disney’s Cheshire Cat in 1951’s Alice in Wonderland. Can an adult enjoy Winnie The Pooh without a child present? This was something I had to find out. 
 
The Blu-ray is spectacular. Much in the vein of Disney’s recent release of The Muppet Movie (see Mania’s review here), it is full of supplemental content. The menu alone will keep kids interested and when you pause the film, Pooh and friends continue to entertain you. The transfer is amazing and allows the audience to see every line drawn for Pooh’s eye brows and Piglet’s scarf. The wonder, here, is why traditional 2D animation doesn’t continue. This film from 1977 transferred to Blu-ray is a perfect argument as to why 2D is better than the digital 3D nightmare. 
 
In the story, itself, we find Pooh in the constant search for honey. His adventures take him up a tree, get him stuck in Rabbit’s house, and eventually he meets a Tigger (Paul Winnchell). As an adult, I found a sweetness and wonder to this talking bear discovering the solutions to so many of his problems. These are perfect stories for children who have those adventures with their teddy bears in the confines of their backyard. However, what kept me from loving the film was my adult cynicism.
 
It may say strange, but I found Winnie the Pooh to be a fat lazy character and a bit of a mooch. Tigger wasn’t a bully per se, but he is that friend that doesn't know that his rough-housing hurts. So when Rabbit (Junius Matthews) decides to teach him a lesson, I thought it was about time. Other questions started to come up like how did Kanga (Barbara Luddy) and Roo (Clint Howard) come to live in the 100 Acre Woods? Where was Roo’s father? Was Owl (Hal Smith) real? He was the only one without stitchings. I then realized that perhaps I had gone too far. Right there as I was about to right off The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, Christopher Robbin and Pooh journey to “The Enchanted Place” to discuss Christopher Robbin growing up. Christopher talks about missing Pooh and the joys of “doing nothing” and how telling people he was doing nothing and actually doing it was the best time in his life. It made me miss those days where my imagination was my best friend and the backyard was any place I wanted it to be. That part of the story was clearly for the adults that needed to remember that these stories, though simple and childish, still are building blocks for the men and women we will become. A powerful message told  to me by stuffed bear that only wants to eat honey. 
 
Disney fans will love this period of animation and appreciate all the other great character actors in The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh. It was great to hear Sebastian Cabot narrate the film. For me, he will forever be Sir Ector from Disney's The Sword in the Stone (1963). Discovering that legendary character actor, Clint Howard, was Roo was another shock. However, John Fielder as Piglet was also a true treat. This classic character actor had been in everything from 12 Angry Man (1957) to The Twilight Zone (2 episodes) and played Piglet until his passing in 2005!
 
Special Features

NEW! Disney Intermission - Press “pause” during the movie and find out what happens!  The narrator invites younger viewers to play along with the Hundred Acre Wood friends in a variety of engaging activities.

NEW! Pooh Play-Along – In this bonus feature, the narrator invites viewers to play along with Pooh and his friends.

NEW! 5 “Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” Shorts: “If I Wasn’t So Small,” “Piglet’s Drawings,” “The Expedition,” “Geniuses” & “The Honey Song”

LEGACY  “A Day for Eeyore” – Classic Animated Short

LEGACY  “The Story Behind the Masterpiece” – Making of Featurette

LEGACY  “The Winnie the Pooh Theme Song” – Performed by Carly Simon

Robert Trate writes three columns a month for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 10 of 15
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ElBaz13 9/5/2013 5:33:37 AM

Great addition to my collection. My young one loves it.

Me too! Brings back memories.

 

ElBaz13 9/5/2013 5:38:26 AM

It's funny you mention Pooh being a mooch. I love the articles online about the Pooh characters and how they all have a mental disorder.

Winnie the Pooh-eating disorder. Piglet-general anxiety. Rabbit-OCD. Tigger-ADHD,. Eeyore-Manic Depressive. Christopher Robin-schizophrenic. Kanga/Roo-Codependent. Owl-Narcissistic.

karas1 9/5/2013 8:39:11 AM

Each of the characters embody a character trait taken to extremes.  We all have those moods.  When we have one mood all the time they call it a mentall disorder.

But young children are still learning to deal with their own emotions and feelings and their personalities are still developing.  Experiences which are familliar to us are brand new to them and cause stress.

Piglet is phobic, about everything.  But young children are frequently timid and are scared by things we take for granted.  I was babysitting my two year old neice and she saw a spider and was scared and kind of teleported into my lap.  I had to give her hugs and reassurance.  When you think about it, feeling fear of something you don't know about is perfectly reasonable.  The spider was strange and new and wierd looking and it was in her house.  Fear was a reasonable response.  Seeing Piglet deal with the feelings of fear is educational to young children.

And having a new kid move into the neighborhood can be scary.  Suddenly Tigger is there and Pooh has to deal with this new person in his world.

Adults do overanalyze.  But Pooh is perfect for his target audience.

 

ryanwareham 9/5/2013 9:02:04 AM

I was lucky to get a copy of this (though ebay mind you) on blu ray pre-release thanks to a kind soul who got a pre-release version from Disney. My son will be 2 soon, and LOVES it. I've used the theme song from Pooh as his nightly song since he was 8 months old, and his first movie he ever saw was the newer pooh movie, so this was magical for him even at this age! Even in the beginning credits, when pooh tumbles after the butterfly he laughs and yells "FUNNY POOH BEAR!", which means more than words can say.

To comment on your cynicism on the characters, i feel the same way in many other childrens age stories/shows/movies; but they are stereotypical facets of personality (in this case, outlets for the various personalities of Christopher Robin) and his best friend is a bear who does nothing because that's his favorite thing to do (as evidenced by your realization in the ending). Rabbit is the budding adult, planning for the future and eating healthy foods, so while there, the role is not as prominent in a child's imaginary world and therefore he suffers at the hands of the more child-like personality traits.

Piglet is the essency of worry and fear, and is small because Christopher Robin is not overly a worrisome or scared boy. Tigger shows up later and is the embodiment of boyhood physical fun, so yes, he's slightly bully-ish in some regards because that's what testosterone does to young boys (and older ones too, if they don't learn to socially adapt and control themselves).

Kanga and Roo coming to the forest is told in a book, and are a mother and little brother - either who moved near christopher, or his mother and little brother.

Owl is "wise" in the sense of a child believes his knowledge is beyond what it is, and therefore is typically wrong in what he tells the other characters. All of these characters are evidenced as toys in christopher robins room in the onset of the tale.

I am VERY happy to see this re-released for a new generation to love and enjoy, and i'm actually glad to see you still gave it an A despite your early cynicisms.

ElBaz13 9/5/2013 9:45:58 AM

This blu-ray was available earlier than the release date via Disney Movie Club. I got mine the first week of August, almost 4 weeks prior to the release date. I'm assuming your Ebay seller got it from there as well.

The 2011 Winnie Pooh animated film was just as good, and dare I say, better. It was a shame that movie was overlooked at the Oscars that year.

HomestarRunner 9/5/2013 10:17:12 AM

It warms my heart to hear so many positive and downright loving comments about this movie. As adults, we've likely seen more than our fair share of the dark side of reality, yet we can still appreciate (desire, even) being taken to a simple place and enjoy a story about friends who all have their own quirky personalities.

My daughter is ten and is autistic. I'm not sure if I could get her to sit for this whole movie, but it would certainly be worth the attempt.  I just need to go out and get a blu-ray player.  :-)

RobertTrate 9/5/2013 10:30:05 AM

 it is a collection of short stories... so it is worth a try

ddiaz28 9/5/2013 10:44:00 AM

I absoultely loved this as a child.  I watched this over and over.  I'm definitely adding this to my collection and watching it with my son. 

HomestarRunner! Nice!  Strong Bad is one of the greatest internet cartoon characters ever.

ElBaz13 9/5/2013 10:46:49 AM

Agree.

I like many genres. I'm a guy who loves watching Spartacus amd Game of Thrones and then go to an extreme and watch touching family stuff like this.

I guess I relate to this movie a lot as it was one of my first Disney movies and my first stuffed bear (still have it too) was a Winnie the Pooh.  What's great about these movies are the innocence of them. Disney has made many animated classics but some still have the violence, fear, pain, villains, etc... These are just cute little stories. And yes, the movie is divided in segments of roughly 8-10 minutes each.

@homestarRunner

The blu-ray also comes with a DVD copy of the movie.

DarkXid 9/5/2013 11:26:39 AM

 First off, if you need me to come over and beat your adult cynic out of you, I'm available.  I'll happily let you beat mine out of me.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a classic and one my dad kept renting for me, then my brother for several years before the video store we frequented went under and he was able to buy it on BETA.  Yep, we had betamax.  Dad also go Tron, Crocodile Dundee, and Irresisteble (a porn film).  

My brother wore out our copy of Winnie the Pooh, and you know what, I never got over the movie.  I love it.  Occsionaly I still get the theme song stuck in my head from time to time.  Plus the other songs too.  

Pooh's excercise song?  Who else do you know that does excercises so he can make himself hungry?  Pooh is da Man!  Or bear.  

I love the Pooh Bear so much that when Kingdom Hearts came out, I was thrilled, exstatic, giddy as a little kid (I was 25 at the time) when I got to interact with Pooh Bear, it was an awesome trip in that game.

I've been waiting for this come out on bluray and as soon as I saw your review this morning, I hit Amazon and bought a copy.   And when I get paid again, I'm going to buy a copy and send it to my brother, because damn it, it's Pooh Bear!

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