Now I’ve never been one to intentionally step on Pooh, let alone pooh-pooh on someone else’s take of Pooh, but I feel like there is an unnecessarily large pile of Pooh productions.
It just seems like Pooh is all over the place these days. I mean, what ever happened to character integrity? You can’t just take a Pooh anywhere or there would be Pooh everywhere.
So appreciate how Pooh was first made…with every fiber of your being.
Ok, I’m done.
…I’ve got it out of my system.
Ok, now I’m really done.
Based on the Winnie the Pooh stories of A. A. Milne, Disney first produced a few animated “featurettes” in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Eventually it was decided to string these shorts together into a feature film and add a little extra material to help tie it all together.
Part of the extra stuff includes the ending scene between Pooh and Christopher Robin. And because Christopher Robin had been voiced by different actors in each short, the studio had the new actor, Timothy Turner, re-record all of Christopher Robin’s lines from the old featurettes to make this movie more consistent.
The rest of the voices you’ll recognize from other Disney animated classics. For instance, you might recognize the voice of Pooh, Sterling Holloway, as the stork in Dumbo, the mouse in The Aristocats, and the snake in Jungle Book.
There was one character not in A. A. Milne’s stories, and that was the gopher. Disney originally included him to replace Piglet, but eventually decided to restore Piglet to his rightful place in the Pooh clan. Thus when we hear the gopher repeatedly say, “I’m not in the book” it’s a double reference to both the phone book and Milne’s book.
(By the way, fans of The Andy Griffith Show might be interested to know that the voice of the gopher is also Ernest T. Bass.)
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: My son actually owns a little Winnie the Pooh chair, and he sits in Pooh almost constantly.
So there was about a month where my boy wanted nothing more in this world than to sit and watch this movie all day, every day. Suffice it to say I became more than well-acquainted with this movie.
Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but I think there’s a tenderness about this movie that few other films can successfully capture.
And while there were some scenes I got tired of very quickly (yeah, I’m looking at you, creepy heffalumps), I always loved watching the ending where Christopher Robin spends his last moments with Pooh before going away to school:
Pooh, what do you like doing best in the world?
What I like best is me going to visit you and you saying, ‘How about a smackerel of honey?’
I like that, too, but what I like best is just doing nothing.
How do you do just nothing?
Well, it’s when grown-ups ask, ‘What are you going to do?’ and you say, ‘Nothing.’ And then you go out and do it.
I like that—let’s do it all the time.
You know something, Pooh? I’m not going to do just nothing anymore.
You mean, never again?
Well, not so much. Pooh, when I’m away just doing nothing, will you come up here sometimes?
You mean alone? Just me?
Yes. And Pooh? Promise you won’t forget me, ever?
Oh, I won’t, Christopher, I promise.
Not even when I’m a hundred?
How old shall I be then?
Ninety-nine—silly old bear.
I just became the father of another little boy this week. And my older son just turned two years old. I know it’s cliché, but it seems like just yesterday I was holding my firstborn for the first time.
Time moves too quickly for us to worry about hurrying our kids into the car seat or off of the grass or out of the bathtub. The greatest need facing families today is not efficiency. It’s attention.
There have been many times I’ve felt bad about brushing off my son while answering emails at home, but I’ve never once regretted putting down my phone to spend time with my family.
Cherish the quiet moments with your children when you’re just “doing nothing” because collectively, those nothings mean everything.
“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”— Mark 10:14