The Animated Films of Don Bluth|
by John Cawley
Winnie the Pooh
And Tigger Too
WINNIE THE POOH AND TIGGER TOO was the third featurette starring the bear "stuffed with fluff." It was released in 1974. The story basically surrounded Tigger's bouncing and Rabbit's scheme to stop it.
Pooh had originally been developed as a feature film in the early Sixties. However, during pre-production Walt felt that the material was too soft and cute for U.S. audiences to sit through for over an hour. At a crucial story meeting he declared the project would go the "tough route" of a featurette. He walked along the storyboard and pointed to a scene of Pooh stuck in a honey tree. That was the point the film would stop.
The first segment became WINNIE THE POOH AND THE HONEY TREE (1966). Walt seemed to have been right for the short went by with little notice, except at Sears who obtained merchandising rights and began a major Pooh push. After Walt's death, it was decided to do another segment of the film. WINNIE THE POOH AND THE BLUSTERY DAY (1968) opened to much better reaction. Perhaps it was the introduction of the bouncing Tigger, or perhaps Sears' merchandising had made the character popular. The film received good notices and eventually won an Oscar for best animated short.
By the early Seventies, studio management felt another Pooh short would be a good training ground for the young talent. The older crew had worked on Pooh and had experience with the characters. Plus there would be plenty of reference for the newer artists. John Lounsberry, who worked with Don in the Fifties headed up the film. Don's major work in the film was on the Rabbit character.
The short came out and proved fairly successful, being
nominated for an Oscar but losing out to the clay animated CLOSED
MONDAYS. All three shorts were later edited together, with some
additional footage (again by trainees), into THE MANY ADVENTURES
OF WINNIE THE POOH (1977).
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text and format © John Cawley