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The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 25th Anniversary Edition DVD Review

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh movie poster The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Theatrical Release: March 3, 1977 / Running Time: 74 Minutes / Rating: G

Directors: John Lounsberry, Wolfgang Reitherman

Voice Cast: Sterling Holloway (Winnie the Pooh), Paul Winchell (Tigger), Junius Matthews (Rabbit),
John Fiedler (Piglet), Ralph Wright (Eeyore), Barbara Luddy (Kanga), Clint Howard (Roo),
Howard Morris (Gopher), Hal Smith (Owl)

Songs: "Winnie the Pooh", "Up, Down, Touch the Ground", "Rumbly in my Tumbly", "Little Black Raincloud", "Heave-ho!", "Blustery Day", "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers", "Heffalumps and Woozles", "The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down", "Hip-Hip Pooh-ray!"

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Click to buy The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Friendship Edition, coming to Disney DVD on June 19.
On June 19, 2007, Disney will reissue The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in a Friendship Edition DVD. This new disc will include all of this 25th Anniversary Edition DVD's bonus features plus an episode of the upcoming Playhouse Disney series "My Friends Tigger & Pooh."
Click here to buy The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Friendship Edition from Amazon.com, click here to read our Friendship Edition DVD Review, or read on for our original review of the 25th Anniversary Edition disc.

Synopsis: Edited from three 20-minute shorts -- "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree" (1966), "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day" (1968), and "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!" (1974) -- The Many Adventures takes us inside the Hundred Acre Wood and introduces us to the characters from A.A. Milne's book series. Winnie the Pooh - "short, fat, and proud of that" - gets stuck in Rabbit's door after a satisfying quest for honey leaves him rounder than normal. In the second episode (Best Short Oscar winner "Blustery Day"), Pooh meets Tigger, who warns the silly old bear of honey-stealing Heffalumps and Woozles. Pooh and Piglet find themselves swept away in a storm. The third act finds Rabbit hatching a plan to deal with Tigger's bouncing once and for all. The magically imaginative adventures conclude with one of the most touching scenes ever animated. Roo, Kanga, Rabbit, and Tigger sail in an umbrella to find Pooh and Piglet on the blustery-turned-stormy day.
DVD Details

1.33:1 Fullscreen (preserving the original aspect ratio of the shorts)
Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, Spanish), Dolby Surround 2.0 (French)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Release Date: May 7, 2002
THX-Certified with THX Optimizer
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9)
Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
Out of Print since 2006
Winnie the Pooh builds up his appetite with up, down, touch the ground exercises. VIDEO: For a film which is 25 years old and shorts which are even older, the movie looks great. The animation quality possesses the distinctly '60s-style animation, which doesn't look and isn't supposed to look sharp like animated films of today. But the movie looks great. It is wonderfully animated with the warm, pleasant colors of the Hundred Acre Wood and its inhabitants. The video is clean, and free of problems that plague earlier Disney DVD releases like The Aristocats and Sword in the Stone.

AUDIO: The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix mostly stays in the front speakers, and comfortably so. The narration and character dialogue is all clear and easy-to-understand. The wonderful songs, written by the Sherman Brothers (who collaborated on many successful Disney scores from the '60s including The Parent Trap and Mary Poppins) are lively enough, as is the low-key but oft-running score, which encompasses a number of instruments. This isn't an adventure-and-effects film, and both the video and audio serve the film flawlessly.

EXTRAS: This 25th Anniversary DVD is pleasantly packed with some great supplemental features. Most notable are the terrific 25-minute "The Story Behind the Masterpiece" making-of featurette and the 25-minute short "A Day for Eeyore" (which replaces the "and Tigger Too" third sequence of the film in some Disney Channel airings). This 1983 short is fun-spirited and imaginative, though it doesn't work as well as the film's segments.

The art gallery offers two methods to view conceptual and promotional artwork from the film's production - Still Gallery, which allows you to flip through pages of thumbnails and highlight the pictures you'd like to view full-sized, or the Video Gallery, which does the work for you and presents all the images in nine minutes.

There is a 2 1/2 minute music video of the "Winnie the Pooh Theme Song", performed by Carly Simon.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: 25th Anniversary Edition DVD menu
Kanga sweeps while Roo enjoys the winter snow in the final third of the movie. Pooh's Pop-Up Fun Facts is a subtitle track which provides running trivia as you watch the film. The "100 Acre Wood Challenge" game lets you play as Pooh, Tigger, or Rabbit as you solve a puzzles specific to that character.

The interactive storybook "Pooh's Shadow" is the typical have-it-read-to-you or read-it-by-yourself activity for children. "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" Sing-Along is pretty self-explanatory.

Finally, there are two Exclusive Sneak Peeks for Piglet's Big Movie and Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year.

The menus are animated, and are accompanied by music from the movie. Very nicely done, and in the spirit of the film.

Closing Thoughts: This is undoubtedly the pinnacle of '70s Disney animation. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh provides a look at childhood imagination like no other. Each character oozes with personality, the songs are catchy, and the down-to-earth scenery is refreshingly beautiful.

This DVD shows that Disney can really do a great job with a catalogue title when they want to. First-rate video and audio quality, interesting and thorough extras, and an outstanding little movie. What more could you ask for?

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Buy from Amazon.com Marketplace

Click to buy The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Friendship Edition, coming to Disney DVD on June 19.
Buy The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Friendship Edition
Read our Friendship Edition DVD Review

Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin bid farewell to a carefree summer, but not their enduring friendship, in this touching final scene.

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Related DVD Reviews:
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Friendship Edition
Robin Hood (1973) Freaky Friday (1977) The Sword in the Stone (1963) Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005)
Growing Up with Winnie the Pooh: A Great Day of Discovery (V1) Friends Forever (V2) It's Playtime with Pooh (V4)
Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie (2005) The Rescuers (1977) The Shaggy D.A. (1976)
Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo (2004) Sing Along Songs: Sing a Song with Pooh Bear and Piglet Too (2003)
Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year (2002) Disney Learning Adventures: Winnie the Pooh - Wonderful Word Adventure

Reviewed June 2003.