- "Winnie the Pooh lived in an forest all by himself under the name of Sanders."
- —Narrator (voiced by Sebastian Cabot)
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is a 1964 film combining live-action and animation. It was released by The Walt Disney Company. Based on the first two chapters of the book Winnie-the-Pooh written by A. A. Milne, it is the only Winnie the Pooh production to be released under the supervision of Walt Disney before his death in December 1966. It was later added as a segment to the March 1977 film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. 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 was shown before The Ugly Dachshund.
The film’s plot is based primarily on two stories A. A. Milne stories: "In which we are introduced to Winnie-the-Pooh and some Bees, and the stories Begin" (Chapter I of Winnie-the-Pooh), and "In which Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets into a Tight Place" (Chapter II of Winnie-the-Pooh).
Winnie the Pooh, a teddy bear, and do his morning stoutness exercises. Pooh decides to climb a honey tree when there was no honey in his pantry. And while he was climbing, he sang his "Rumbly in my Tumbly" song. When he got to the last branch he fell into a gorse bush. Later, he gets help from an preteen boy Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin gives Pooh a balloon and he tries his best to trick the bees by disguising himself as a Little Black Rain Cloud. He tries to spit them out, gargle them, and kicks one of them into the puddle he rolled in. This causes the bee to get angry at him, and it stings him on the baby bottom, making him get stuck in the hole of the beehive with the bees trying to make him die as part of their formula for bear soup. As the bees laugh at the bear, who was shocked, Pooh warns Christopher Robin that he is dealing with the wrong sort of bees as the tree rocks intense enough to shake the screen. The intense part follows and is the first near-death experience in a Walt Disney short.
The bees follow at hyper-speed, causing the balloon string to fall off. Pooh gets chased around by the bees, and later chases the bees. The balloon runs out of air, causing Pooh to slow down and fall right into Christopher Robin’s face. The bees chase the two causing them to take cover in a mud puddle.
Winnie the Pooh didn’t give up the honey tree too easily. So, he went to Rabbit’s house to eat some honey. And Pooh ate, and ate, and ate, ate, ate, ate, ate, and... ate... When he finally said good-bye to Rabbit, he got stuck in his small front door fast. So, Rabbit went to go get Christopher Robin. Then Owl called Gopher in to take a look at that poor bear. Gopher thought he could blast Pooh out of there from bombs. Then, Christopher and Rabbit pulled Pooh. But it failed. Pooh had to wait for months to get out of Rabbit’s door. Then, Inside Rabbit’s house, Rabbit made a moose out of Pooh’s bottom. Then, little Roo gave Pooh some honeysuckle flowers. And Pooh sneezed, then Rabbit’s moose came down. Later, that lonely night, Gopher was having lunch right in front of Pooh! He wanted some honey when Rabbit posted a sign in front of Gopher that said, "Don’t feed the bear!". The next morning, Pooh budged a little. Then, Christopher Robin, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, and Gopher all pulled Pooh. Then, when Rabbit pushes Pooh hard, he gets launched to another honey tree. And, he gets stuck in the hole, scaring the bees inside. Happily for Pooh, inside the tree, he got to eat all the honey he wanted until he was free again.
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree made it into The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh along with Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. It is the first segment in the movie.
- Sterling Holloway as Winnie the Pooh
- 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
- "Winnie the Pooh"
- "Up, Down and Touch the Ground"
- "Rumbly in My Tumbly"
- "Little Black Rain Cloud"
- "Mind Over Matter"
- Piglet and Tigger do not appear in the story itself (having been replaced by the more "all-American" Gopher), though they do appear in the poster. Piglet also makes a brief cameo during the opening sequence, with a slightly different design.
- There is a deleted scene, heard only in the 1965 LP album, in which after Pooh gets stuck, Christopher Robin and the animals have a picnic, but resist to feed him, much to the bear's dismay. This was also seen in the 1965 storybook adaptation.
- Another brief deleted scene involves Kanga placing a warm shawl around Pooh, to keep him from getting cold at night Christopher Robin reading to him and Owl teaching him dangers and long words (though he is shown wearing it in the nighttime scene featured). This was also not only included in the aforementioned LP and storybook adaptations, but also the Animated StoryBook: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.