ANIMATION SPIN
August 2, 2016 posted by

Winnie The Pooh for President!

Sears as well as Disney gave the tubby little cubby their support with this little record package featuring members of the film cast and a special campaign song.

PoohPresident45rpmFront-600

Walt Disney’s
 WINNIE THE POOH FOR PRESIDENT

Disneyland Records 563 (Sears Exclusive / 7” 45 RPM)

Released in 1976. Producer: Gary Krisel. Music: Stratton & Christopher. Running Time: 8 minutes.
Voices: Sterling Holloway (Pooh); Laurie Main (Narrator); John Fiedler (Piglet); Billy Simpson (Christopher Robin).

While there were a slew of cartoon characters that were “awarded” presidential campaigns, only a few had multiple campaigns. One such statesperson was Winnie the Pooh, who was also unique in that he had the powerful economic support of Disney and Sears.

winnie-presidentPooh is such a low-key property, it’s easy to overlook how much of a promotional juggernaut he has been over the last 50 years. In addition to tie-ins with products like Wheat and Rice Honeys Cereal, he and his friends have been merchandised and revived in films, TV and records.

Pooh had already been featured on over two dozen Disneyland Records when the 45 RPM coloring book and record set, Winnie the Pooh for President was released. This was not his first campaign. In the turbulent year of 1968, Pooh was a candidate as part of a Disneyland entertainment experience called “On Stage U.S.A.” In 1972, there was a stage show and Main Street, U.S.A. parade celebrating Pooh’s presidential run.

Pooh’s 1976 campaign had the distinction of a Sears promotion, which featured this record and in-store point-of-purchase materials. Sears’ association with Disney’s Pooh was massive. Year after year, Winnie the Pooh Collection clothes, as well as lots of Pooh merchandise, were a staple of Sears stores and catalogs. Sears also sponsored of TV network broadcasts of the Pooh featurettes.

Here are some highlights from the 1972 parade at Disneyland:


As evidenced, from the music in the above clip–the Disneyland Band playing “Hip-Hip-Pooh-Ray” from Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day — there was no recorded campaign song until 1976, when Larry Groce wrote and performed what is likely his first of many Disneyland Records.

The record is especially interesting because of the voices of Sterling Holloway as Pooh and John Fiedler as Piglet. Holloway even talk-sings in the song. Perhaps as an attraction for parents, the record has educational content, with Christopher Robin offering a basic overview of the American election process. It was produced just before Jymn Magon arrived and produced his first Disney records, the Little Golden Book and Record series, all featuring original songs by Larry Groce.

WTVJ, which in 1976 was a CBS affiliate in Miami, produced a homegrown “Pooh for President” special.

WTVJ’s facilities also supported The Jackie Gleason Show, Flipper and Gentle Ben in the mid-sixties. Chances are that it was taped in connection with The Skipper Chuck Show, a long-running daily series in the long-lost tradition of local kid’s shows with audiences, games, comedy bits, puppets, cartoons and in-studio commercials. Tim Hollis explores this and other shows across the nation in his book, Hi There, Boys and Girls: America’s Local Children’s TV Programs.


GIVE A LITTLE LISTEN

“Winnie the Pooh for President”

This includes the dialogue section in mono:


To hear the song in stereo, as well as see photos and info about the events in Disneyland over the years, visit here.

10 Comments

  • All this ignores the fact that Pooh was a British character, and as such would have been ineligible to run for president. Then again, it was never implicitly clear whether the films took place in England or not, and none of the characters spoke with a British accent.

    • The fact that Christopher Robin’s accent kept changing didn’t help. Also no gophers in the UK, but in America. Then again, HE did say “I’m not in the book”.

    • And Soyuzmultfilm of Russia (formally the USSR ) did a animated film about Winnie the Pooh back in the 1970’s.

    • Owl did say that a cousin of his sang soprano in the London opera.

  • I wonder how many other characters threw their “hats” in the ring for high political office *AND* made records about it. Familiar faces like BETTY BOOP and GUMBY have done their bit, but, as far as I know, no music as campaign released to the general public outside of a few minutes in front of their movie screen or TV set at home. This was fun.

  • I recall that Amtrak provided a special campaign train for Winnie the Pooh for his whistle stop tours across the US. During the Thanksgiving weekend I along with my parents were returning from visiting my brother who was studying at the University of Oregon in Eugene via the Amtrak Coast Starlight, as we stopped at San Luis Obispo we passed a northbound Coast Starlight which the baggage car on the train was adorned with the Winnie the Pooh for President logo on the side of the baggage car.

    • I remember that too, I brought my kids to the Oakland station and they passed out buttons. I lost my button in ’84.

  • What’s odd is this year is the “Silly Old Bear’s” 90th birthday and a special commemorate book was published in England about Winnie the Pooh and his friends traveling to London to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday jubilee with a special cameo appearance by Prince George the Queen’s Grandson.

  • Maybe it’s just me, but I would love to hear Jim Cummings read some of Trump’s speeches in his Winnie the Pooh voice. Hilarity is guaranteed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *