Winnie the Pooh and the Heffalumps is a 1968 animated featurette from Disney based on the fifth chapter from Winnie the Pooh and the third chapter from The House at Pooh Corner. The featurette was produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Distribution Company on June 16, 1968. This was the sixth of the studio's Winnie the Pooh shorts.
The film's plot is based primarily on two A. A. Milne stories: "In which Piglet meets a Heffalump" (Chapter V from Winnie-the-Pooh), and "In which a search is organized and Piglet nearly meets the Heffalump again" (Chapter III from The House at Pooh Corner).
The story begins when Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet are all together, passing the time of day and having a munch. Christopher Robin immediately introduces the theme of this chapter by telling the others that he has seen a Heffalump today! Pooh asks what the Heffalump was doing, and Christopher Robin says that it hadn't been doing much, and that he didn't think the Heffalump had seen him back.
It's time for Pooh and Piglet to head home, so off they go along the path just outside the Hundred Acre Wood. They are having a little chat with each other about various inconsequential things, but when they come to the Six Pine Trees Pooh reveals that he has actually been formulating a very daring plan. And it is this - he is going to catch a Heffalump.
Well, as you can imagine Piglet is extremely impressed by this plan, although he is a little disappointed that he didn't think of it first. Pooh explains that he will catch the Heffalump by using a Cunning Trap, and that he will need Piglet's help, which cheers Piglet up no end.
The two animals sit down together and start to work out the specifics of the plan. Pooh suggests that they dig a Very Deep Pit, so the Heffalump would fall into it as he was walking along. Piglet is not sure why the Heffalump would fall in, and Pooh explains that the Heffalump would probably be humming and looking up at the sky to see if it might rain, and then before he knew it he would be half-way down the pit, which would be as good as being all the way down for their purposes.
Piglet is not entirely convinced by this strategy, as he has spotted a flaw in the plan - if it was raining to start off with, then the Heffalump wouldn't be looking up at the sky wondering if it was going to rain, as he would know it was raining already.
Pooh has not really considered this argument, but he quickly counters by saying that if it was already raining the Heffalump would be looking at the sky hoping that the rain would stop, and then before he knew it...
And Piglet agrees that, now that Pooh has covered that side of the debate, he is satisfied that their plan can work. But Pooh has a query.
But, again, there is a flaw in this logic, and this time it is Pooh who brings attention to it - the Heffalump would see them digging the pit, and have time to escape. Piglet says that that wouldn't be true if he was looking at the sky, but Pooh says he could easily Suspect if he looked down.
They are a little discouraged at this point, and Pooh is beginning to realise that they may have found out why Heffalumps hardly ever get caught. They stand up for a little while, remove some gorse prickles from themselves, sit down again, and try to think of another plan.
Pooh decides that a bit of lateral thinking is in order, and so he asks Piglet how he would go about catching Pooh if he felt like it. Piglet says that he would make a trap, and he would put a jar of honey into the trap, and this would attract Pooh and lead him into the trap...
And they've got it! Bait is the answer! Pooh gets a little distracted by thoughts of all that honey, and so Piglet has to bring him back to the conversation by asking him what the Heffalump equivalent of honey is. Piglet thinks that it might be acorns, although Pooh thinks honey would still be the best thing, and they are arguing about that when Piglet realizes that if they are going to use acorns then he'll have to give up some of his own acorns, whereas if they use honey then that will come from Pooh. So he gives in on the honey question, just before Pooh has realized it too.
So, Pooh goes home to fetch some honey, while Piglet digs the deep pit. Pooh finds a jar of honey in his larder, and he thinks that it is honey because it has the word HUNNY written on it, but he decides to just check that it looks like honey. Which it does, so he decides to just check that it tastes like honey, because it could look like honey and still be cheese. So he has a little taste, and then decides to check that it is honey all the way down, because you never know, someone could have come along and put cheese at the bottom of the jar for a lark. And what if Heffalumps don't like cheese, and there is cheese down there? Best to check.
So he checks right down to the bottom, and sighs with relief, because it is in fact honey all the way down, so that's good.
He takes the jar and goes back to see Piglet, who has by this time dug a Very Deep Pit (and we have to give Piglet some considerable Acclaim at this point, for he has just dug a Very Deep Pit in the time it has taken Pooh to eat a jar of honey, and that is not to be sneezed at.)
Pooh and Piglet put the rather empty jar of honey at the bottom of the pit, and then climb out and walk home together. They arrange to meet at six o'clock tomorrow morning by the pine trees to see how many Heffalumps have fallen into their trap. Pooh asks Piglet if he has any string, because they might need that to lead the Heffalumps home with, but Piglet thinks that Heffalumps come if you whistle. Pooh says that some do and some don't, you never can tell with Heffalumps, and they say good night and both go home to bed.
Pooh gets to sleep OK, but the wakes up in the middle of the night with a sinking feeling. He knows exactly what this means - he is hungry - and so he goes to the larder to get himself a little middle of the night snack. He was sure there was a jar of honey in there, but now he can't find it, and it is all very strange.
However, he then remembers about the Heffalump and the trap and the pit, and says Bother. "It all comes of trying to be kind to Heffalumps," he says, and goes back to bed. But he can't sleep, even when he is counting sheep, or Heffalumps, and indeed counting Heffalumps is worse, because they keep eating all his honey.
Pooh gets out of bed and runs straight to the Six Pine Trees, which look cold and lonely, and the Very Deep Pit looks deeper than it did before, and Pooh's honey jar at the bottom of it looks mysterious and strange. But the honey jar still contains some honey, so Pooh goes down into the pit and gets his nose into the honey jar so he can reach the little bit left at the bottom of the jar.
We leave Pooh there for a little while and go back to Piglet's house, where Piglet has also woken up and is talking to himself bravely in preparation for the Heffalump. He is not really feeling very brave though, and he is worrying about various Heffalump-related questions - are Heffalump's fierce? Do they come when you whistle? Are they Fond of Pigs? Are they particularly and specifically Fierce with Pigs who have have grandfathers called Trespassers William?
These are all very scary questions, but they are made even scarier by the fact that Piglet is due to meet his very first Heffalump in about an hour! Pooh will be joining him, and it is much more Friendly with Two, but then Heffalumps could well be fierce with both pigs and bears, and then what are they to do?
Piglet considers these points very carefully, and thinks about pretending to have a headache so that he can stay in bed and avoid all Heffalumps. But then, it might be a really nice day outside, and they might not have caught any Heffalumps, in which case he'll be stuck inside doing nothing when he could be outside having fun.
And then Piglet has a Clever Idea. What he will do is go to the pit, have a quick look into the trap, and see if they have caught anything. If there is a Heffalump in there, he will go back to bed; if there is no Heffalump in there then he won't.
Piglet sets off for the pit, and when he gets up close he knows that they have actually caught a Heffalump, because he can hear it Heffalumping about like anything! Piglet is understandably very frightened and has the urge to run away, but he stands his ground because he does want to find out what a Heffalump looks like. So he goes right to the edge of the trap and looks downs...
And Pooh has been trying to get the last little bit of honey from the bottom of his jar, and now he is trying to get the jar to come off his head, but the more he tries, the more it sticks. And he is bothering and owing to himself, and then he tries bumping the jar against things, and he tries climbing out of the trap, but as he can't see anything at all through the jar these are not terribly successful ideas.
Pooh has to give up, and he is so sad and frustrated that he lets out a loud roaring noise...at the exact moment that Piglet has looked into the trap.
Piglet runs straight to Christopher Robin's house (as we have seen from previous chapters, Christopher Robin is a calming influence and a great source of support for the animals). When Piglet gets his breath back and tells Christopher Robin what's wrong - he has seen a Heffalump with the biggest head ever which looked like a jar - Christopher Robin comes to have a look.
They go back to the pit, and they can hear Pooh inside, who is still stuck in the jar and is bumping his head against a tree root to try to free himself. "There!", says Piglet, "Isn't it awful?", holding on tightly to Christopher Robin's hand.
Christopher Robin doesn't think that it's awful, and he actually thinks it's very funny, and he laughs and laughs. While he is laughing Pooh bangs his head against the root one more time and manages to smash the jar and get free.
Poor Piglet realizes that he has been a Foolish Piglet, and he is a bit ashamed of himself and has to go home early with a headache. But Christopher Robin and Pooh go and have breakfast together.
The second story begins when Pooh is in his house, counting his honey pots, when Rabbit arrives. This makes him lose count which is a bit of a Bother, as he likes to know how many pots he has, just for comfort. Pooh thinks he had counted 14, and Rabbit agrees but isn't very convincing about it, and then Rabbit says why don't they just call it 16 and leave it there.
Rabbit hasn't really come over to talk about honey - he has come over because he hasn't see one of his friends-and-relations, Small, for a long time, and he is wondering whether Pooh has seen him. Pooh doesn't think that he has seen him, and then he thinks about it for a little while, and then asks Rabbit who Small is.
Rabbit's answer is not very helpful because he just says that Small is a friend and/or relation, and Rabbit has many different sizes and shapes of friends-and-relations, which means that Small could be any sort of animal and any sort of size. We suppose that, with a name like Small, he might well be on the smaller side of things, but you never know.
Pooh confirms that he hasn't actually seen anyone today (apart from Rabbit), and certainly not anyone who he has said "Hallo, Small!" to. Rabbit says that although Small isn't really needed for anything in particular, he has organised a search to find Small, just because it's useful to know where people are and no-one has seen Small for a long time.
So Pooh and Rabbit set off to start the search, and Rabbit explains how he has organised it so that they don't all look in the same place at once, and Pooh should start looking at the Six Pine Trees. Pooh isn't really taking it in though, so he just asks if Piglet is organdized as well, and apparently he is. And Rabbit goes off and says that he will meet Pooh in about an hour.
As soon as Rabbit was out of sight, Pooh remembered that he had forgotten to ask who Small was, and whether he was the sort of friend-and-relation who settled on one's nose, or the sort who got trodden on by mistake, and as it was Too Late Now, he thought he would begin the Hunt by looking for Piglet, and asking him what they were looking for before he looked for it.
That seems to be pretty good reasoning by Pooh, and then he shows even more good reasoning by realising that Piglet won't be at the Six Pine Trees because he has been organdized somewhere else, so he will have to find Piglet's special organdized place first to find Piglet to find out who Small is, to find Small. And then he will have to find Rabbit to tell him that he has found Small, and then he will have to find Small again to tell him he has found Rabbit. Which means that the day is turning into rather a bothering one.
Unfortunately for Pooh, things very quickly get even worse, because he isn't really paying attention to his surroundings as he is walking along, and he steps on a bit of forest that has been left out accidentally, and falls a long way down with a bump. And when he stops falling he hears a squeaky "Ow!", and then a squeaky "Help!", and the only explanation Pooh can think of is that he has broken himself by falling down and he is now making squeaky noises without really wanting to.
So just to check that he can still say things in a normal voice when he does want to, he says "A Very Bad Accident to Pooh Bear", and that seems to come out fine, but then he hears the squeaky voice again.
Pooh immediately climbs off poor squashed Piglet, and, perhaps a little redundantly, asks Piglets if he fell on him. Piglet says he did, and Pooh says that he didn't mean to, and Piglet says that he didn't mean to be Underneath, but that he is OK really, and in fact he is very glad to see Pooh, because they have fallen into a Pit!
Piglet says that he had just been walking along when suddenly he wasn't walking anymore, and then just as he was getting up Pooh had fallen on him. Piglet is glad to see Pooh because he is worried that they might have fallen into some kind of Trap - and Pooh suddenly remembers the Pooh Trap for Heffalumps that they had built...and with a flash of inspiration he knows what has happened...they have fallen into a Heffalump Trap for Poohs!
Piglet reacts rather as you might expect to this terrifying piece of news - he begins to tremble, and asks Pooh what will happen when the Heffalump turns up to find he has caught a Pooh and a Piglet in his Trap. Pooh puts a brave face on things and encouragingly tells Piglet that the Heffalump might not even notice such a Small Animal. But Piglet, slightly less encouragingly, says that the Heffalump is bound to notice Pooh, and Pooh agrees, and says that when that happens the Heffalump will say "Ho-ho!".
Piglet is, not to put too fine a point on it, terrified at the thought of that "Ho-ho!", and in fact he is so scared that his ears start to twitch. He asks Pooh what he will say in reply to the "Ho-ho!", and Pooh thinks for a long time, but he decides that there really isn't an appropriate thing to say to a Heffalump who has just said "Ho-ho!" to you, so he tells Piglet that he will just hum a little hum.
Piglet points out that the Heffalump may well say "Ho-ho!" again, and Pooh agrees that that is probably the most likely course of events. Piglet's ears are out of control by this stage, and he has to lean against the side of the Trap to try to calm them down a bit.
Pooh bravely says that when the Heffalump says "Ho-ho!" for the second time, he will simply continue humming to him, which will Upset the Heffalump, who will be hoping for much more of a reaction, and will be thoroughly bemused to find that his "Ho-ho!"s are just being met with a hum. (Piglet sums this up nicely by saying that when you say "Ho-ho!" to a person, and the other person just hums, your "Ho-ho!"s become much less "Ho-ho!"ish.)
Piglet points out that, although Pooh's plan is a good one, the Heffalump will probably stop saying "Ho-ho!" at some point, and try saying something else instead. Pooh thinks that the Heffalump will say "What's all this?", and that will give him a Useful Opening, for he will then say that the Trap is actually a Trap for Heffalumps, and that he is waiting for a Heffalump to fall into it!
Piglet is (understandably) hugely impressed by this Thoughtful Plan, and he is convinced that Pooh has saved the day. He is so sure in fact that he starts to imagine what will be said in the conversation that will take place between brave Pooh and the terrified Heffalump. But just before he starts imagining this he thinks that it is a bit of a shame that it won't be a brave Piglet talking to the terrified Heffalump, because although he loves Pooh he does have more brain than Pooh, and he would be very proud to have stood up so grandly to a Heffalump.
And Piglet plays out the whole conversation in his head, right from the Heffalump's first gloating "Ho-ho!" (to be greeted with Piglet's careless "Tra-la-la"), to the Heffalump's dawning realisation that the trap is really to catch Heffalumps, not Piglets, to the Heffalump's rather apologetic admission of defeat, to a final, total surrender involving a mortified and eager-to-please Heffalump and a proud and victorious Piglet.
Piglet is completely lost in his little fantasy world, and Pooh is back to wondering about how many jars of honey he has at home, and so they have both forgotten that they are supposed to be looking for Small. All of the other animals of the forest are still searching for him though.
Small's real name was Very Small Beetle, but he was called Small for short, when he was spoken to at all, which hardly ever happened except when somebody said "Really, Small!". He had been staying with Christopher Robin for a few seconds, and he had started round a gorse-bush for exercise, but instead of coming back the other way, as expected, he hadn't, so nobody knew where he was.
Christopher Robin is saying to Rabbit that Small has probably just headed home, but Rabbit says that as he hadn't said Goodbye and Thank you for Having Me, or sent a polite letter saying what a nice time he had had, then he really must be Lost. So Rabbit heads off right away to continue searching.
Christopher Robin goes to see Pooh, and on his way to Pooh's house he comes across the Pit. He looks down into the Pit and spots Pooh and Piglet, who are both lost in their own wonderings. But they are about to be rudely awakened from their wonderings, because Christopher Robin decides to say hello in a particularly scary fashion - he says "Ho-ho!".
Now, "Ho-ho!" is of course the sound that the Heffalump was going to make, so poor Piglet promptly jumps six inches into the air with Surprise and Anxiety. Pooh is being a little slow though and doesn't react, but Piglet is far more alert, and is trying to work out what to do now that the Heffalump has appeared.
Remembering back to his fantasy Heffalump conversation, Piglet says "Tra-la-la, tra-la-la" in as careless a way as possible, to show that he isn't in the least frightened and that he will soon have the upper hand over the Heffalump. He doesn't look straight at the Heffalump though, because sometimes it is easier to think more clearly when one isn't staring straight at a Very Fierce Animal.
Christopher Robin (the pretend Heffalump) then says "Rum-tum-tum-tiddle-um", and he says it in a voice like Pooh's, just for the fun of it. That is not what the Heffalump was supposed to say - in Piglet's little fantasy the Heffalump was supposed to just say "Ho-ho!" again, so Piglet is now completely confused, and he decides that he will have to say "Ho-ho!" as the Heffalump hasn't.
Christopher Robin asks Piglet how he got into the Pit, but Piglet is now in such a state that he doesn't really respond very well.
Luckily for Piglet, Pooh gets up at this point, and moves around a little to try to scratch an itch that he seems to have developed, and while he is moving he sees Christopher Robin standing at the top of the pit. So Pooh shouts "Hallo!" to Christopher Robin, who says "Hallo!" back. Piglet looks up and sees that the Heffalump is not a Heffalump, and feels very Foolish and Uncomfortable for a moment, until he is distracted by something that is climbing on Pooh's back.
The thing that is on Pooh's back is the same thing that has been causing his itch, and Piglet then recognizes the thing - it is Small! Piglet yells up to Christopher Robin that he has found Small, and Christopher Robin congratulates him on his wonderful find, and Piglet feels much better and less Foolish.
Christopher Robin helps Pooh and Piglet out of the pit, and off they go together. And a few days later Rabbit runs into Eeyore in the forest, and poor Eeyore is still looking for Small., because no-one has told him that Small has been found two days ago! Poor old Eeyore thinks that this is typical and just what would happen, and that is a woeful note to end on, so we shall remind ourselves that the chapter has really ended happily, with an escape from the pretend Heffalump and the finding of Small, so there's really no reason to be bothered.
Voice casting Edit
Sterling Holloway as Winnie the Pooh/Narrator
Thurl Ravenscroft as Eeyore
Bruce Reitherman as Christopher Robin
Dallas McKennon as Rabbit
Wally Cox as Piglet
Sam Edwards as the Heffalump
Winnie the Pooh featurettes Edit
Winnie the Pooh and Tigger (1968)
Winnie the Pooh and the Heffalumps (1968)