440. Winnie-the-Pooh – Fyodor Khitruk

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SUMMARY: Winnie the Pooh, with the help of his friend Piglet, attempts to get honey from a beehive at the top of a tree.

WHY IT’S HERE: While Disney’s wonderful Winnie the Pooh shorts will always be the most well known, Russia’s Fyodor Khitruk made a trio of shorts featuring the character which have a huge cult following and are often praised as being superior. As I love both versions of the character I won’t attempt to choose but fortunately they are so different from one another that they can easily both be enjoyed alongside each other, even as they tell the same stories. ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’, the first of Khitruk’s Pooh shorts, tells the story of Pooh’s attempts to steal honey from a beehive (the story covered by the first half of Disney’s ‘Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree’). In contrast with Dinsey’s slow-moving, almost middle-aged-seeming Pooh, Khitruk’s Pooh is a ferociously lively creation, hollering, singing, marching and persisting with a good-natured but ill-advised confidence. It’s remarkable to see how differently two directors can interpret one character and even more remarkable that both versions can yield such classic results.

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