Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Critics Consensus

Perhaps the most faithful of Disney's literary adaptations, this cute, charming collection of episodes captures the spirit of A.A. Milne's classic stories.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

88%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,308
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Movie Info

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is an hour-long compendium of the three Disney "Winnie" animated short subjects produced between 1966 and 1974. Sterling Holloway provides the voice of A.A. Milne's whimsical pooh-bear in all three cartoons, the first two of which are directed by Wolfgang Reithermann and the last by John Lounsbery. The program consists of Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968, which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Subject), and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! (1974). The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was originally prepared in 1977 for theatrical release, and has since been available primarily in home-video form.

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Critic Reviews for Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

  • Jul 03, 2016
    "Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood..." From Walt Disney comes The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, a fun and charming collection of animated shorts. There's no real plot to the film, instead a narrator reads a Winnie the Pooh storybook, stopping from time to time to either tell a story or interact with the characters. And this interactive, "breaking the fourth wall" quality is done extraordinarily well. The animation is also especially good, and really makes one feel like they're entering a storybook and watching it come to life. Additionally, the Sherman brothers provide some wonderful music that's incredibly whimsical. A magical film that appeals to the child at heart, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a true Disney classic.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2015
    A great collection of short stories that will warm your heart and even todays kids will enjoy as it's cute, Funny and innocent, Just what kids films should be.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2014
    Straight from A.A. Milne's imagination, during the 70s Disney was still capable of executing a sense of nostalgia which simplicity can transport us back to our childhood times were our mentality was less complicated, maybe more confused, but all the more bening. Keep in mind that the title is suggesting "many adventures", meaning that it gives the sense of telling an entire book of around 150 pages in 74 minutes, progressing from one anecdote to the next very quickly, very humbly, but maybe with no sense of cohesion. After all, it is all about displaying the beloved characters in an official feature length film for the first time. It is not the promoted "Walt Disney's masterpiece" that its publicity has intentionally suggested. It is, nevertheless, a creative manner to use animation to entice children to read. Several sequences actually make the book and the characters interact in a metaphorical way. Songs are unforgettable, especially the main theme, and it is the first project after the great <i>The Three Caballeros</i> (1944) where Disney attempted to convey a different kind of animation, noticeable in the landscapes, to give it a sense of book illustrations, while the narrator (maybe unsuccessfully for some) makes us feel like children in bed during nighttime. A classic? Err.... Okay, let's say "Yes, it is". In fact, the last three minutes were gorgeous. 68/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 26, 2013
    It's funny how creative artists in general, and authors in particular, become indelibly associated with one specific work or character. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is forever tied to Sherlock Holmes, F. Scott Fitzgerald to Jay Gatsby and A. A. Milne to Winnie the Pooh. All three men enjoyed a wider career outside of their most famous works, and both Doyle and Milne became rather disparaging about their characters' popularity. But while Doyle and Fitzgerald's work has been adapted many times, and in many different ways, Milne's work has become almost inseparable from Disney's interpretation. To some extent, this is a reflection of the wider dominance that Disney enjoys in our popular culture. The Disney fairy tale adaptations are regularly taken as gospel truth, though many of them differ vastly from even the most widely accepted versions of the original stories. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Winnie the Pooh hereafter) suffers from a similar problem, with Disney watering down the distinctly British qualities to appeal to a wider audience. It's still passably entertaining, but he's not quite the silly old bear he once was. Winnie the Pooh's journey from page to screen is rather protracted. When Milne died in 1956, the rights to the four Pooh stories were shared four ways between his family, the Garrick Club, Westminster School and the Royal Literary Fund. Milne's widow subsequently sold her stake to the widow of Stephen Slesinger, the illustrator who had created Pooh's distinctive red shirt. She subsequently sold the rights to Disney in 1961, with the first Pooh short, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, appearing five years later. In terms of Disney heritage, Winnie the Pooh is closest to the package films of the 1940s. It consists of a given number of shorts (in this case three) connected by an often-arbitrary framing device (in this case, turning the pages of a book). Like the package films, it rises and falls on the strength of its individual parts - though the parts in this case were already successful in their own right, rather than being half-finished leftovers from World War II. And both this film and the likes of Make Mine Music are essentially money-making exercises: they are not so much labours of love as means to buy the company time. But while its structural roots are firmly in the 1940s, Winnie the Pooh is aesthetically very much a product of its time. Although Walt Disney was personally involved in the first of the shorts, the auteur of this film is Wolfgang Reitherman, whose work I have frequently criticised. This is among his better offerings as a director, with the paler, more pastel colour scheme complimenting the pastoral feel of the material. But it still looks and feels like something that was thrown together on the cheap, by someone who lacked both Disney's imagination and his skill as a storyteller. The framing device of the turning pages is a further illustration of Disney's decline in this period under the lesser talents of Reitherman and John Lounsbery. Disney often used books in his fairy tale adaptations, and sometimes (as on Sleeping Beauty) they were used to reduce the amount of animation needed in the opening sequences. But while these films quickly got into their stride, Winnie the Pooh leans upon this device very heavily, and even with the animation of the text it comes across as an obvious exercise in cost-cutting. The animation itself is just one step up from zooming in on an illustration which then comes to life, which Disney has done much better on numerous occasions. One of the main criticisms of Disney's Winnie the Pooh is that it sanitises the characters, making everything too cute and cuddly and thereby losing a lot of the rough-edged English charm of the original. While both the original stories and the film are intended for very young children, the books occasionally delve into subject matters which are more grown-up in nature. The film, by contrast, is completely innocuous: it contains nothing that could possible offend, but also very little that could actively engage or stimulate. The best example of this departure comes with the ending. In addition to the three shorts, the film includes a fourth section which is based on the final chapter of The House at Pooh Corner. It involves Christopher Robin taking Pooh into the Hundred Acre Wood and bidding him farewell on account of him starting school, ending on the immortal line: "Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on top of the forest, a Little Boy and his Bear will always be playing." In the book this is a heartbreaking moment, representing the loss of innocence and putting childhood ways behind you. In the film, it lacks all meaning, being tacked on to Tigger's hi-jinks without context or emotional weight. Even if we accept that Milne's creations come from a more innocent time and place, emotional miscues like this prevents us from bonding to the characters as much as we would like. What we are left with is the light-hearted antics of the shorts themselves, whose self-contained stories are relatively stake-free. Each of the three shorts has odd funny moments, and the voice cast do their best in each case, but ultimately the whole project is little more than a very forgettable diversion. The voice cast of Winnie the Pooh are generally good, with many of the main players coming straight from The Jungle Book or The Sword in the Stone. Sterling Holloway is very good as Pooh, capturing his gleefulness and naivety in his quivering voice and generating a fair amount of laughs when Pooh tries to be serious. Sebastian Cabot is a capable narrator, whose lilting tones are well-suited to the material, and Ralph Wright is reasonable as Eeyore even if he doesn't have the range of his literary counterpart. There's also very pleasant supporting roles by Paul Winchell as Tigger and Junius Matthews as Rabbit. The latter also lent his voice to Archimedes in The Sword in the Stone, and both bring much-needed energy to their given stories. The weak link in the casting is Christopher Robin, who is played by three different actors include Reitherman's young son Bruce. This creates a disjointed feel to the proceedings which exacerbates the creakiness of the framing device and the over-emphasis on goofy fun. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a harmless and innocuous slice of second-rate Disney which is very much a product of its time. It departs from its source material in disappointing ways and is deeply forgettable for the most part, but equally there is so little in it that could possibly offend and thereby it is hard to get angry with it. It's passable fare for a rainy afternoon, but all in all it's far too safe and far too dull.
    Daniel M Super Reviewer

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