“Christopher Robin, like most small boys, has toy animals to play with. But though he loves them all his best friend is his teddy bear called Winnie-The-Pooh, or Pooh for short.” And so starts the story of Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.
You may best remember Pooh from the 1977 theatrical release of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. But did you know that the material in that movie were first released as ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree’ (1966) and then ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day’ (1968) finally followed a bit later by ‘Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too’ (1974)? I bet you did!
As is usually the case, promotional materials for a new project are often released in advance of the theatrical release. This generates interest and hopefully increased ticket sales at the Box Office. So it shouldn’t surprise us that this storybook record was released one year (likely a matter of months) before the movie.
I love finding these old vinyl treasures! Especially when they contain illustrated pages detailing the story contained on the record. Without further ado, I’ll present the 11-page story now. You can enlarge each page one at a time, and read them from left to right, top to bottom:
We’re almost done! I’ll pause the post for a few moments so that you can get yourself a snack or go to the bathroom. When you return, we’ll continue…
Whew! Now that was a story. Even if you couldn’t invest the time to read each page, no doubt you’ve enjoyed looking at the artwork! The style is a little rougher than what is normally found in a Pooh storybook, but it’s very energetic and colorful. It’s a shame the artist is not credited.
Unlike most cover sleeves that open to reveal an inside picture spread, this version offers something extra. It does have the picture pages, but it also has the opening for the record on the inside (see picture on the left, above) instead of slotted into one of the ends of either the front or back cover. This way, the record cannot fall out when carried. A good feature, but the first time I’ve found it on a Disney release.
The record is narrated by Sterling Holloway and Sebastian Cabot and also contains some of the most iconic Pooh songs, like ‘Rumbly in My Tumbly’ and ‘Little Black Rain Cloud’. And of course, the whole affair is based on the books by A. A. Milne.
Does the story of The Honey Tree, and this post, have a happy ending? Well, “of all the happy endings of all of the many adventures of Winnie the Pooh, this was one of the happiest, for he had all the honey he could eat.” THE END