Famous Bears: Winnie the Pooh
We all know Winnie the Pooh, that lovable yellow bear in the red shirt that has an affinity for ‘hunny’ and for getting into scrapes along with his band of friends. He, along with Tigger, Owl, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and of course Christopher Robin have many adventures that were first documented in books and later in movies and television shows.
It all started back in 1926 when author A.A. Milne wrote a story about Winnie-the-Pooh, his son’s stuffed bear. The bear got the name Winnie after a Canadian black bear that he liked to visit at the London Zoo and a swan he named Pooh that he had spotted while on holiday. Winnie herself was named after Winnipeg for a truly Canadian piece to the story. Christopher Robin Milne also had other stuffed animals that ended up in the books, namely Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo. Owl came about from the senior Milne’s imagination and it wasn’t until Disney got the rights to Winnie the Pooh that other characters were added.
Several books later, all illustrated by E.H Shepard and today Winnie the Pooh or just Pooh as he is also known is still as popular as ever. Although he was always drawn with a shirt, the illustrations in the first set of books was in black and white. It wasn’t until 1932 that Pooh was drawn and coloured wearing his iconic red shirt.
Winnie the Pooh is a big ole bear that is friendly, thoughtful and not so bright. He has been called slow witted and naïve but he is also gentle and loving to his friends. He is a thinker and a poet and has come up with many sayings that people have taken to heart as the philosophy of Pooh. “Life’s a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved” and “As soon as I saw you I knew an adventure was going to happen” are just two of the many that swirl around the internet today.
Today’s marketing allow us all things Pooh. He appears on lunchboxes, crib sets, wall décor, clocks, books, puzzles and a multitude of other things and of course there are also the plush likenesses of him and his friends that come in all sizes imaginable. We not only have the Pooh we have come to regard in this generation, thanks to Disney, but we also have Classic Pooh which is a nod to how he first appeared all those years ago when he was simply a teddy bear owned by a boy who went on fine adventures…