Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree

Infobox Film
name = Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree

caption =
director = Wolfgang Reitherman
producer = Walt Disney
writer = A.A. Milne
Ralph Wright
starring = Sterling Holloway
Junius Matthews
Sebastian Cabot
Hal Smith
Clint Howard
Ralph Wright
Howard Morris
music = Robert & Richard Sherman
Buddy Baker
distributor = Walt Disney Home Entertainment
released = February 4, 1966
runtime = 26 minutes (USA)
rating = G
country = USA
language = English
imdb_id = 0061199

"Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree" is an animated featurette released by The Walt Disney Company on February 4, 1966. Based on the Winnie the Pooh book by A. A. Milne, it was the only Winnie-the-Pooh production released while Walt Disney was still alive before his death 10 months later of lung cancer the same year on December 15. 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".


*"Winnie the Pooh"
*"Up, Down and Touch the Ground"
*"Rumbly in My Tumbly"
*"Mind Over Matter"
*"Little Black Rain Cloud"


The Honey Bees

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. Pooh then eats the honey, unaware that there are bees left in it. The startled bees start flying around in his mouth forcing him to spit them out. Among them is the head bee who falls into the same muddy spot in which Pooh Bear disguised himself.

Pooh is soon surrounded by angry bees from the hive, his disguise wearing off. After getting out of the mud puddle, the head 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 hole. 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 head bee continues laughing but is now forced to take cover as his quarry whizzes by him 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 head 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.

Rabbit's Honey

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. But as he tries to leave through Rabbit's front door, but has become extremely large from the 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. 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.

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 finds out and posts a sign forbidding Gopher 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.

Return to the Bee Tree

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 he 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 the 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. (Christopher Robin climbs up the tree several days later)

Voice cast

*Sterling Holloway as Winnie the Pooh
*Sebastian Cabot as The Narrator
*Junius Matthews as Rabbit
*Bruce Reitherman as Christopher Robin
*Hal Smith as Owl
*Howard Morris as Gopher
*Clint Howard as Roo
*Barbara Luddy as Kanga
*Ralph Wright as Eeyore


*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 the film, though his name can be seen in the narrative text when Pooh first arrives at the front entrance to Rabbit's house.
*The sound of the bee buzzing the "Charge!" fanfare would later be recycled into "The Rescuers" eleven years later, when Evinrude the Dragonfly hums the "Charge!" fanfare.
*Walt Disney's favorite scene in this short was when Rabbit decorated Pooh's bottom.
* 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 Jungle Book" and "The Happiest Millionaire" released in 1967, about a year after his death.

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