Winnie The Pooh

Winnie The Pooh has been an enduring character for both children as well as adults since the book Winnie-The-Pooh in 1926 by A. A. Milne. Since then, Pooh has become a force in books, movies, songs, toys, and multimedia.

The original Winnie the Pooh toys from Christopher Robin's room.

Original drawing by E. H. Shepard.

Just The Facts

  1. Winnie the Pooh was named by Christopher Robin Milne based on a Canadian Black Bear named Winnie at the London Zoo. "Pooh" was actually a nickname done for a swan.
  2. Christopher Robin did not actually own an 'Owl' or 'Rabbit.'
  3. 'Winnie' is actually a reference to Winnipeg, Manitoba.
  4. Winnie the Pooh was originally introduced in a series of books written by A. A. Milne.
  5. Christopher Robin Milne was the actual name of A. A. Milne's son. As such, Christopher Robin Milne was associated with the popular character throughout his entire adult life.
  6. Ashdown Forest in England was used as the model for the 'Hundred Acre Wood.' The Milnes lived near Ashdown forest.
  7. Stephen Slesinger obtained the marketing rights to Winnie The Pooh in the 1930's. However, it wold be Slesinger's widow that would market the franchise out to the Walt Disney Corporation.
  8. Many of the people involved with Winnie the Pooh would become bitter about their involvement and being over shadowed by the bear. This would include not only A. A. Milne and Christopher Robin Milne, but also illustrator E. H. Shepard who felt as if his other superior work was often over shadowed by

The Winnie The Pooh Characters And Origins

Winnie the Pooh - Christopher Robin Milne named his Teddy Bear after the real life Canadian Black Bear 'Winnie' who was on display at the London Zoo. 'Winnie' was named after the town of Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. The bear had been purchased as a cub for twenty dollars by Canadian veternarian and soldier Harry Colebourn with the Royal Canadian Army Veternary Corps. Colebourn became attached to the Fort Garry Horse regiment as a veternarian. "Winnie" became an unofficial mascort to the Fort Garry Horse regiment. While Colebourn was stationed in France, Winnie was kept in the London Zoo. Later on, Winnie went on permanent loan to the zoo and Colebourne retired to Canada. The Winnie the Pooh series helps to remember Colebourne's special relationship with the bear. The relationship was also commemorated in the CBC movie A Bear Named Winnie. There is a statue of Colebourne and Winnie in Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo. "Pooh" was the named that Christopher Robin Milne gave to a swan that Christopher Robin fed in the mornings. A. A. Milne wrote about the swan in his poem 'The Mirror.' On the 'Pooh' swan, A. A. Milne said " This is a very fine name for a swan, because, if you call him and he doesn't come (which is a thing swans are good at), then you can pretend that you were just saying 'Pooh!' to show him how little you wanted him." The original name of the Teddy Bear was actually Edward Bear. In the first book Winnie-The-Pooh, A. A. Milne writes "Well, when Edward Bear said that he would like an exciting name all to himself, Christopher Robin said at once, without stopping to think, that he was Winnie-the-Pooh. And he was." So in the same way that Christopher Robin is put into the stories, Christopher's renaming of Edward Bear is put into the stories as well.

Piglet -- Piglet first appeared in the original book Winnie-The-Pooh by A. A. Milne.

Piglet has the ability to read and write. He is shown as hunting Woozles (which is kind of a fictional Weasel in the 'poohverse.' The original illustrations of Piglet had him in a green jumper. Piglet's more familiar pink jumper would come a long in the Disney version of the character. Pglet loves acorns and is one of the few characters to be featured in all ten chapters of The House on Pooh Corner. He does refer to the food as 'haycorns.' Piglet was originally excluded from the first Disney film Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree replaced by the more Americanized - Gopher. Gopher was created by Disney. Fan protest made Disney relent and Piglet has been featured in all susequent Disney related materials. Piglet's first appearence in a Disney film was in Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. Blustery Day came out in 1968. Piglet was voiced by John Fieldler. Fiedler would be the voice of Piglet till his passing in 2005. Fiedler was also the voice of the church mice in Disney's Robin Hood as well as the old man thrown out of the window in The Emporer's New Groove. Piglet is also featured in Bejamin Hoff's 1982 book The Te of Piglet. Te is the concept of virtue (often among the small.) Hoff describes the book as a companion piece to the book The Tao of Pooh.

Eeyore - Eeyore was one of the original characters in A. A. Milne's Winnie-The-Book in 1926. In Milne's original book, Eeyore was not only portrayed as being gloomy - but he also has a low opinion of most of the characters in the Hundred Acre Wood. Eyeore described them as not having brains at all, not one. He is described as being full of sawdust. This is the reason why the tail can be nailed on in the back.

In the Disney version, Eyeore is slightly more sympathetic to his fellow inhabitants and more self deprecating in demeanor as well as humor. In the toys, Eyeore will appear sometimes with an uncharacteristic smile as well as a pink nose. The nose is not pink in the cartoons. In Disney cartoons, Eyeore was originally voiced by veteran animation writer Ralph Wright. For the Disney Channel series Welcome To Pooh Corner, Ron Gans replaced Wright. Subsequent appearances for Eeyore were done by Peter Cullen (who is famous for doing the voice of Optimus Prime in film and animation.) For the 2011 film Winnie thw Pooh, Eyeore was voiced by veteran children's writer Bud Luckey.

Eeyore has a classic 'sad sack' personality which can be detected by his signature line "Thanks for noticing me." Eeyore is almost permanently pessimistic about such things as the weather as well as the outcome of stories. Eeyore as a word is made to sound alike the donkey sound "Hee Haw." The plot of the 2011 movie Winnie The Pooh is about attempts to replace or find Eeyore's tail. In the end of the movie, Pooh gives up a chance at honey to give Eeyore back his tail.

Rabbit - Rabbit and Owl were based more as 'residents' of the Hundred Acre Wood rather than stuffed animals owned by Christopher Robin. While the interact with and are friends with Christopher Robin and residents of Pooh Corner, they are seen as 'real' animals. Rabbit even comments to Owl, that the rest of them have heads of 'fluff.' Rabbit was introduced in the first book of A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh. Rabbit is a rather classically 'jumpy' character and is easily excitable as such. Rabbit is quick to over reaction and often will get overly angry or overly scared by small situations. Rabbit is also quick to rabble rouse as well as 'jump to conclusions.' Rabbit does not like changes to his routine. As such, he was slow to warm up to newer characters such as Tigger, Kanga, and Roo. Rabbit is portrayed as dedicated to his garden and wary of the clumsiness of his friends around the garden. Rabbit was originally voiced by actor Junius Matthews. Although Rabbit was only done during the last ten years of Matthews life, it would give him lasting fame. Matthews was also a silent film actors as well as the voice of Archimedes the Owl in Disney's The Sword in the Stone. Will Ryan provided the voice for Tigger, Rabbit, and Owl in the Disney channel series Welcome to Pooh Corner. Movie appearances were taken up by Ken Sansom and Ray Erlenborn. Erlenborn had been a Vaudevillian performer in his youth. Sansom was the voice of Rabbit in Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin, The Tigger Movie, The Heffalump Movie, as well as the game Kingdom Hearts II. The 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie had Rabbit voiced by Tom Kenney. Kenney is popularly known as the voice of Spongebob Squarepants.

Tigger - Most of Tigger's personality traits were established by the later Disney movies. Many of the animals in the Pooh universe were established in Milne's original book Winnie-The-Pooh. Tigger is seen as an ousider (typical of the hodgepodge of children's stuffed animals, he is 'the only one.') and the word is always written 'Tigger.' The animal name Tiger is never actually used. Tigger's introduction comes in the book House at Pooh Corner. The plotline around Tigger concerns not only what the 'Tigger' is but as well as what a 'Tigger' might eat. Finally, it is found that what 'Tiggers eat best' in the book was the Malt at Kanga and Roo's. As a result, Tigger goes to live with Kanga and Roo in the northeastern corner of the Hundred Acre Wood.

Tigger is boistrous and often unintentionally inconsiderate of others in his area. Tigger can often cause damage as a result of his motion as well as a supreme ego. Tigger loves his friends but seems unaware of the damage that he can cause. Tigger takes pride in his singularity as evidenced by his song

"The wonderful thing about tiggers
Is tiggers are wonderful things!
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs!
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is
I'm the only one"

It is not only a way to emphasize is individuality of Tigger but also to slyly accentuate the fact that Tigger was in fact a toy. In addition to appearing in all of the Winnie the Pooh movies, Tigger also received his own feature film in 2000 with The Tigger Movie.

Tigger was originally voiced by ventriloquist Paul Winchell. Winchell was also famous for being the original voice of Gargamel in The Smurfs. In 1990, Tigger's voice went to Jim Cummings (a veteran voice actor who also now voices Winnie the Pooh himself.) Tigger's bounciness serves as a compliment to Pooh's general laziness. They are opposites who seem to compliment each other.

Owl - Owl along with Rabbit appears as a 'living creature' and not as a stuffed animal. This is recognized by both Owl and Rabbit as they are 'different' from the othe residents. They are indigenous to the Hundred Acre Wood. Owl in introduced in the book Winnie-The-Pooh. He lives in a tree referred to as "The Chestnuts." His house has a 'doorknocker' as well as a pull to ring the door. Owl's house has an 'old world charm' as if it is stuck in the nineteenth century. Owl can write but he cannot spell everything correctly. This is not really noticed by those around him. Owl is quick to offer explanations confidently (whether he actually has the right answers or not.) This allows Owl to simply enjoy the assumption that he was correct all along. This belief in Owl can lead to comic hijinks as well. In the Disney cartoons, Owl was originally voiced by Hal Smith. In addition to voicing Owl, Smith was famous as Otis Campbell in the Andy Griffith Show. Otis was a town drunk who would often lock himself up until Otis was sober. Otis worked at a local glue fatory. Smith was replaced as Owl by Andre Stojka after Smith's passing. Late Late Show star Craig Ferguson starred as Owl in the 2011 Winnie the Pooh movie.

Kanga -- Kanga was first introduced in A. A. Milne's book Winnie-The-Pooh. Kanga is the closest thing that the Hundred Acre Wood has to an actual parent. She is not potrayed as being particularly bright but rather tends to know 'the right thing to do.' Kanga will often give her son Roo 'strengthening medicine' which is revealed to be extract of malt. This is also seen to be a pleasing food to Tigger in the book The House at Pooh Corner. Keeping with her motherly nature, Kanga invites Tigger to live with her as well as Roo in the Northeastern corner of the Hundred Acre Wood. Originally, Kanga was voiced by Barabra Luddy. Luddy, in addition to doing Kanga, is probably most famous as the voice of Lady from Lady and the Tramp.

Roo - Roo is a 'joey' or young Kangaroo. Roo is portrayed as Kanga's son but also protrayed as being a toy. This means that the toys may have been bought seperately and gravitated towards each other in a familial relationship. As such, the conept of Roo's father or (since he is a toy) Roo is portrayed as a perpetual learning child. This is gives Kanga a personality as an eternal mother as well. Kanga's pouch (which is at least implied to have an internal button) can hold Piglet as easily as Roo. Roo is shown as easily mislead by Tigger (who takes a friendly disposition to his housemate). Roo was originally introduced in the Milne's book Winnie-The-Pooh.