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Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Produced by Walt Disney
Written by A.A. Milne
Ralph Wright
Ken Anderson
Larry Clemmons
Narrated by Sebastian Cabot
Starring Sterling Holloway
Junius Matthews
Bruce Reitherman
Hal Smith
Howard Morris
Clint Howard
Barbara Luddy
Ralph Wright
Music by Robert & Richard Sherman
Buddy Baker
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) February 4, 1966
Running time 26 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is an animated featurette released by The Walt Disney Company on Friday February 4, 1966. Based on the Winnie the Pooh book by A. A. Milne, it was the only Winnie-the-Pooh production released before Walt Disney's death 10 months later of lung cancer. It was later added as a segment to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977). Music and lyrics were written by the Sherman Brothers, (Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman). Background music was provided by Buddy Baker. This featurette served as a companion to the film The Ugly Dachshund.

Contents

Songs

Plot

The story opens with Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood going through his morning exercise routine. He discovers that his jar of honey is nearly empty and starts wondering where he can get honey as he eats what's left in the pot. He hears a bee fly by, and tries pulls his head out of the jar, then decides to try to get honey from the bee's hive in the nearby honey tree.

He first tries climbing the tree, but that doesn't work when the branch he's standing on breaks, and he tumbles to the ground into a "gorse-bush". He then borrows a blue balloon from Christopher Robin in an attempt to fool the bees and get the honey. Cleverly, Pooh disguises himself as a little black rain cloud by dunking himself with mud, and then uses the balloon to float up next to the hive. A lone bee guard flies out to meet him and is very wary of the little black rain cloud. Pooh Bear sticks his hand into the hive and pulls out a giant handful of honey with bees on it and spits the bees out. Among them is the queen bee, who is kicked by Pooh Bear and falls into the same muddy spot in which he disguised himself.

Pooh is soon surrounded by angry bees from the hive, his disguise wearing off. After getting out of the mud puddle, the queen bee sees the little black rain cloud is a bear. Angry, the bee shoots up toward Pooh and collides with the bear's backside. The sudden hit causes Pooh to swing upward and back, jamming his rear into the bottom of the hive. The head bee rests on a nearby branch and starts laughing heartily at Pooh Bear's expense. The now nervous Pooh Bear admits to Christopher Robin that these are the wrong sorts of bees, and is shoved out of the hole by the incensed insects who proceed to give chase.

During the pursuit, the string holding the balloon closed comes loose and the balloon flies out of control. Pooh Bear is taken for a wild ride. The queen bee continues laughing but is now forced to take cover as her quarry whizzes by her twice. The chase is suddenly reversed as the bees are now chased by Pooh Bear. The bees retreat into their hive and Pooh Bear's balloon deflates its last bit of air. The defeated bear inevitably falls back to earth and lands in the arms of Christopher Robin. The queen bee calls the others to attention with a buzzing "CHARGE!" and the swarm gives chase after the two who seek safety in the mud puddle. Pooh then confesses, "You never can tell with bees!" before spitting out one more bee.

Pooh Bear visits Rabbit's house, hoping to finding honey there. Although Rabbit is aware of the bear's vast appetite, he welcomes him for lunch and gives him a small drop of honey. The honey, however, doesn't fill Pooh's stomach all the way. So he asks for more. Rabbit is hesitant but agrees, and so in a very gluttonous manner, Pooh devours ten jars of honey.

Pooh Bear, his face covered with honey, thanks Rabbit and eats leftover honey on his stomach, which is now extremely round and full. He tries to leave through Rabbit's front door, but has become extremely large from the vast amount of honey he has eaten — so fat that Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit's front door. Rabbit tries to free Pooh by pushing his over-sized bottom but it isn't any use. He goes round to the front of the house to face Pooh's head, and tells Pooh, truthfully, that he has eaten too much, and as a result, he has grown too fat for rabbit's front door. Rabbit then goes off to find Christopher Robin for help. While he waits, Pooh Bear is visited by Owl and Gopher. Owl analyzes Pooh's peculiar situation and decides that the intervention of an expert is necessary. Gopher offers to free Pooh Bear using dynamite, but Pooh declines. Gopher turns to leave and falls into one of his holes.

Christopher Robin, Rabbit, and Eeyore arrive and try to help Pooh Bear but they can't budge him one inch from all the honey. Christopher Robin suggests pushing him back in but Rabbit protests. So everyone comes to a solution; Pooh will abstain from eating until he slims down. Rabbit is forced to make the best of a bad situation, and devises various ways to disguise the bear's bottom, which turns out not to be a good idea (Pooh sneezes from honeysuckle given to him by Roo just as Rabbit is decorating his behind as an antiques shelf).

One night, as Pooh sleeps, Gopher suddenly reappears, preparing to have his midnight snack when Pooh suggests that Gopher allow him to 'just taste' some of his honey. Gopher agrees to allow this, but soon Rabbit, fearing an extended period of Pooh being stuck, runs outside and posts a sign forbidding anyone to feed Pooh at all (Rabbit: "Don't Feed The Bear!"). Miffed by this ruling, Gopher decides to leave and falls into his hole again.

As the days go by, Pooh Bear finally slims down enough to be freed. Christopher Robin, Kanga, Eeyore, Owl, Roo, and Gopher (who falls into his hole once again when Eeyore's tail is accidentally pulled off by both him and Roo) start pulling on Pooh Bear while Rabbit pushes from behind but the bear won't move.

Fed up with all this delay, Rabbit takes several steps backwards and charges into Pooh Bear. Rabbit's push launches Pooh into the air towards the forest. (In a sight gag, Pooh almost flies out of the book, but is pushed back by the turn of a page at Gopher's harried insistence.) Pooh Bear comes in for a landing in the hole of a similar honey tree, flushing out a swirling swarm of bees. The gang runs after him and finds him stuck in the honey tree. Christopher Robin tells Pooh that they will help him get out again but Pooh tells them to take their time; the bees were scared away by his abrupt arrival giving the silly old bear a chance to enjoy a hive full of his favorite honey.

Voice cast

Trivia

  • This film introduces the character of Gopher, not part of the original stories — hence his comment "I'm not in the book, you know." (A pun on unlisted telephone numbers).
  • Although Piglet doesn't appear in this film (he only shows up in the opening sequence, and looks drastically different), he appears in the book "Winnie the Pooh meets Gopher" which is the same plot. Also, in "Winnie the Pooh Meets Gopher", Piglet's jumper is green like in the stories.
  • Tigger does not appear in this film, though his name can be seen in the narrative text when Pooh first arrives at the front entrance to Rabbit's house.
  • Since this was in theaters the same year Walt Disney had died it is possible to be his last short he saw complete and released to the public, along with feature films The Happiest Millionaire and The Jungle Book.
  • From an interview, it was learned that a scene in this film, where Rabbit makes Pooh's behind look like a moose, was one of Walt Disney's favourite scenes from one of his movies.

Winnie the Pooh Featurettes

External links

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