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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Original Production Cel of Christopher Robin from "Winnie the Pooh And The Honey Tree," 1966


Original hand painted production cel of Christopher Robin used during the production of "Winnie the Pooh And The Honey Tree," 1966 and "Winnie the Pooh And The Blustery Day," 1968; Set on a lithographic background; Matted with original Walt Disney Art Corner mat with label sticker verso; Size - Christopher Robin 6 3/4 x 3 1/2", Image 10 x 8", Mat 14 x 12"; Matted.


"The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh," 1977 was composed of a series of featurettes Disney produced based upon the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne. Walt Disney wanted to introduce the public to the Pooh characters slowly over time and the released featurettes include, "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree," 1966, "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day." 1968, and "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too," 1974. For the full length film in 1977, extra material was added and used to link the three featurettes together. A fourth, shorter featurette was added at the end of the film and was based on the final chapter of "The House at Pooh Corner."


Photo showing the cel, background and the original Walt Disney Art Corner mat.

Wolfgang Reitherman began working for Walt Disney in 1934, along with future Disney legends Ward Kimball and Milt Kahl. The three worked together on a number of early classic Disney shorts and Reitherman worked on Disney feature films produced from 1937 to 1981, including "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (animating the Slave in the Magic Mirror) up to "The Fox and the Hound," where he served as the co-producer for the film. Beginning with 1961's "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," "Woolie" (as he was called by friends) served as Disney's chief animation director.

One of Reitherman's productions, the 1968 short "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. In addition, all three of Reitherman's sons — Bruce, Richard, and Robert provided voices for Disney characters. Bruce Reitherman was the voice for Christopher Robin in "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree," and the character was animated by Mark Henn.


Back of the matting showing the Walt Disney Art Corner label.

This cel of Christopher Robin playing his drum is from "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree," 1966; and occurs when Christopher Robin arrives at Rabbit's hole to find Pooh (who had become stuck in it due to overeating) was finally able to be budged by Rabbit. Christopher Robin while playing a drum and accompanied by Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, Owl, and Gopher arrive and begin to pull Pooh out of the hole; all the while singing the "Mind Over Matter" song. The song was written by Robert and Richard Sherman, who had written most of the music for the Winnie-the-Pooh franchise over the years. As Christopher Robin and his animal friends are pulling Pooh from one side of the hole; Rabbit is pushing him from the other, and eventully Pooh is catapulted out of the hole and into the top of a nearby honey tree.

This cel was also used two years later in the making of "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," 1968 and occurs when Christopher Robin and his animal friends celebrate Pooh for saving Piglet, and Piglet for giving his house to Owl. A parade is started with Christopher Robin playing a drum and Tigger, Owl, Kanga, Eeyore, Pooh, and Piglet, all singing the "Hip Hip Pooh-Ray!" song; that was also written by the Sherman Brothers.

This is a wonderful full figure image of Christopher Robin playing his drum that was used in the two earliest Pooh featurettes "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree," 1966 and "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," 1968. Christopher Robin, despite being the main character and owner of all the stuffed animals in the Pooh world, is a rare character to find in original animation artwork. He was in very few scenes and the majority of the Winnie the Pooh artwork in the market is either of the animal characters or is from features that were created in the 1980s or 1990s.

To see the cel in the "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," 1968 film; click on the short video: