Disney Animated Features
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Release Date: 11 March 1977

When The Walt Disney Company acquired the rights to use A.A. Milne's characters from the Hundred Acre Wood, they probably didn't realize just how much revenue Pooh and company would be bringing in today.

But they did know that they could use these beloved characters in some animated cartoons, and that's what they did in the 1960's and 1970's. And Disney was, at the time at least, the only company who could do Milne's works justice in animated form. While purists scoff and bristle particularly at the line of 'classic Pooh' merchandise Disney sells, it's inarguable that Disney's versions of Christopher Robin's friends are much more well known today. At least on this side of the Atlantic.

At any rate, in 1977, Disney released its three existing Pooh shorts as a theatrical feature, The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh. They've since produced many more, as well as more feature-length cartoons, but at the time, they'd only done these three:

The voice work is excellent, as usual, with the softspoken Sterling Holloway the perfect choice for the "bear of little brain." Sebastian Cabot, formerly Bagheera from The Jungle Book served as Narrator for these shorts.

This film as a whole won no awards, although Blustery Day and Tigger Too each was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short; Blustery Day won.

Although followed within four months by The Rescuers, Disney now counts this film among its Classic Animated Features. It's entertaining, but a collection of shorts can't really compare to a full-length feature.

Information for the Disney Animated Features series of nodes comes from the IMDb (www.imdb.com), Frank's Disney Page (http://www.informatik.uni-frankfurt.de/~fp/Disney/), and the dark recesses of my own memory.

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