El Cap Celebrates 80th with Dumbo, Pooh

To kick off its 80th anniversary, the historic El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood will present a special two-week engagement of Disney’s animated classic, Dumbo. The Oscar-winning film, which turns 65 this year, will screen from May 25 through June 7 as the new, deluxe Big Top Edition DVD hits retail on June 6. Also on the playbill at the El Capitan is the 1966 animated featurette Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree. Pooh is also celebrating his 80th birthday and will make a live, in-theatre appearance.

First released in 1941, Dumbo tells the story of a young circus elephant who is teased for his unusually large ears, until he discovers that he can flap those ears to fly. The film received the Oscar for Best Scoring of a Motion Picture, and was nominated for Best Song (‘Baby Mine”). The film was directed by Ben Sharpsteen, and based on a book by Helen Aberson and Harold Perl.

Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree is the 26-minute featurette that introduced A. A. Milne’s tales of the Hundred Acre Woods to the screen. Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman, the movie finds the title bear up to his nose in trouble when he and his pals discover a fabulous honey tree that is protected by a swarm of bees. Accompanying the comedic action are songs by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman (aka The Sherman Brothers). Sebastian Cabot narrates the short and Sterling Halloway provides the voice of Pooh.

Robert Sherman, who wrote many songs for the various Pooh films, will participate in a panel discussion prior to the film screenings on Thursday, May 25, at 7:00 p.m. Other panelists will include veteran Disney animator Eric Goldberg and film music historian Miles Kreuger, who serves as president of the Institute of the American Musical.

The El Capitan Theater is located at the corner of Hollywood and Highland. Tickets for all shows can be purchased at the box office, online at http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/el_capitan, or by calling 1-800-DISNEY6.