On this day in 1966, Disney's featurette Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree was released to theaters (along with the Disney live-action film The Ugly Dachshund). Based on A.A. Milne's character, the 26-minute short was the only Pooh production (and the first) to be released while Walt Disney was still alive.
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree featured songs by the Sherman Brothers and background music by Buddy Baker. The voice cast included Sterling Holloway as Pooh, Sebastian Cabot as the narrator, Junius Matthews as Rabbit, and Bruce Reitherman as Christopher Robin. Bruce's dad Wolfgang (one of Walt's "Nine Old Men") directed the film. Owl was voiced by Hal Smith (best known to fans of The Andy Griffith Show as Otis) and Roo was voiced by Clint Howard (brother of Ron and star of the Gentle Ben TV series). Howard Morris supplied the voice for Gopher - a character introduced in the film, but not part of A.A. Milne's original tale. In fact, at one point in the film Gopher exclaims, "I'm not in the book, you know."
Click HERE for more February 04 Disney history.