Much like crude forms of sampling existed before purpose built sampling technology, mash ups existed before non-linear editing equipment and digitized media made it easy. Just as tape trading thrived before Bandcamp, bootleg VHS tapes made the rounds of the country, doorstep to doorstep and hand to hand before YouTube. Though often these tapes were violent, pornographic or just plain bizarre, plenty were pet projects, experiments and forgotten cult classics that refused to die. So it is with this nearly thirty year old mash up of Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and Apocalypse Now.
This mash up is attributed to nearly unknown filmmaker Todd Graham. It was apparently grouped with two other shorts, one crushing together Blue Velvet and Charlie Brown and the other giving Archie and friends some Sex Pistols music to perform. Whether these efforts are also his work is unclear. As much as the anonymity of the internet is a source of its power and of great hand-wringing, there’s little more anonymous than being credited with a mash up of other people’s work on a media format staggering towards its grave.
The mash up itself is artfully done, though a longer cut would be appreciated (likely the only time that phrase will uttered anywhere near Apocalypse Now). Using Pooh exercising in the mirror to connect the bear to Martin Sheen losing his mind in a hotel room is genius. Eeyore’s voice projecting from the tape of Kurtz is likewise shocking and effective. As each character in Pooh gets assigned a role in Apocalypse you start anticipating moments and scenes from the film and fumbling for moments in Pooh that might be adequately transformed. It’s quite the trip.
So cheers to you, Todd Graham, wherever you are. We appreciate your work.