A. A. Milne (1926)

Dedicated to Winnie-the-Pooh creator A. A. Milne who died on this day in 1956.
I wanted to post this in tribute to his memory and contributions to storytelling and the world of animation.

A. A. Milne was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work. Milne served in both World Wars, joining the British Army in World War I, and as a captain of the British Home Guard in World War II.

He was the father of bookseller Christopher Robin Milne, upon whom the character Christopher Robin is based.

Winnie-the-Pooh is a fictional anthropomorphic teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne and English illustrator E. H. Shepard.

The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also included a poem about the bear in the children’s verse book When We Were Very Young (1924) and many more in Now We Are Six (1927). All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard.

In 1961, Walt Disney Productions licensed certain film and other rights of Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories from the estate of A. A. Milne and the licensing agent Stephen Slesinger, Inc., and adapted the Pooh stories, using the unhyphenated name “Winnie the Pooh”, into a series of features that would eventually become one of its most successful franchises.

In popular film adaptations, Pooh has been voiced by actors Sterling Holloway, Hal Smith, and Jim Cummings in English, and Yevgeny Leonov in Russian.

Heffalumps and Woozles! Beware!

Walt Disney (1946)

The Story of Menstruation is a 1946 10-minute American animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It was commissioned by the International Cello-Cotton Company (now Kotex) and was shown in a non-theatrical release to approximately 105 million American students in health education classes. In 2015, it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Wolfgang Reitherman (1967)

The Jungle Book is a 1967 American animated musical comedy film produced by Walt Disney Productions. Based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 book of the same name, it is the 19th Disney animated feature film. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, it was the last film to be produced by Walt Disney, who died during its production. The plot follows Mowgli, a feral child raised in the Indian jungle by wolves, as his friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear try to convince him to leave the jungle before the evil tiger Shere Khan arrives.

The early versions of both the screenplay and the soundtrack followed Kipling’s work more closely, with a dramatic, dark, and sinister tone which Disney did not want in his family film, leading to writer Bill Peet and songwriter Terry Gilkyson being replaced. The casting employed famous actors and musicians Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, George Sanders, and Louis Prima, as well as Disney regulars such as Sterling Holloway, J. Pat O’Malley, Verna Felton, and the director’s son Bruce Reitherman as Mowgli.

The Jungle Book was released on October 18, 1967, to positive reception, with acclaim for its soundtrack, featuring five songs by the Sherman Brothers and one by Gilkyson, The Bare Necessities. The film initially became Disney’s second-highest-grossing animated film in the United States and Canada, and was also successful during its re-releases.