91 Winnie The Pooh Facts On The Honey Loving Bear That Kids Will Love! | Kidadl


91 Winnie The Pooh Facts On The Honey Loving Bear That Kids Will Love!

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Many kids around the world grow up watching 'Winnie The Pooh'.

This adorable yellow bear with a love for honey, along with his friends, never fail to entertain. What many kids do not know is the character is over 50 years old and has a rich history behind it.

If you've been watching the cartoon for a while, you must be having a lot of questions. Like, why Winnie was named so? And what does Pooh mean? Why it loves honey so much? You're not alone. A lot of kids and adults alike have these unanswered questions. This article will answer many of the queries you might be having about the bear. As you'll see, there are many interesting facts about Winnie the Pooh to learn. In fact, the story of how Winnie was conceptualized and later adapted into a book is itself a fascinating one. Satiate your curiosity about Pooh bear in this article and surprise your friends with the knowledge.

The History of Winnie The Pooh

If know who Winnie the Pooh is, then chances are it is because of the animated television series produced by Walt Disney. This is the same company that is behind 'Mickey Mouse', 'Cinderella', and 'Peter Pan'. But how did Disney come up with the idea of producing and airing a show based on a yellow bear character named Winnie?

  • The original creator of Winnie the bear is not the Disney company but, in fact the author Alan Milne, or A.A. Milne.
  • He was a British playwright who wrote more than 50 books, 'Winnie The Pooh' being one of the most famous.
  • Alan Milne was inspired by a teddy bear that he gifted to his son, Christopher Robin Milne, on his first birthday in 1921.
  • It was an 18 in (45.7 cm) bear bought from London-based Harrods department store. You can still visit this teddy at the New York Public Library in the children's section.
  • In 2021, this bear celebrated its 100th birthday!
  • The teddy bear was originally named Edward. However Christopher renamed it to Winnie after visiting London Zoo and seeing a real-life bear there with the same name.
  • The stuffed toy bear and the animated bear, Winnie the Pooh, was named after this real bear in the zoo.
  • The real bear was called Winnie because it came from Winnipeg in Canada.
  • The name Pooh was also inspired by a real-life animal, a swan.
  • The author's son, Christopher Robin Milne, came across a swan during his vacation in West Sussex, England and was very impressed with its appearance.
  • He would feed the swan every morning and called it 'Swan Pooh'.
  • In the book 'When We Were Very Young', Alan Milne revealed that the swan, at times, did not respond to the word 'swan'.
  • Christopher would utter 'Oh, Pooh! Swan Pooh' to attract its attention. Alan Milne combined the two names 'Winnie' and 'Pooh' when creating the Winnie the Pooh character.
  • This first-ever publication of Winnie bear was in 1924.
  • Even though it was not called 'Winnie', the bear was featured in the poem 'When We Were Very Young'.
  • This poem was illustrated by Ernest Howard Shepherd.
  • The bear in the books was officially titled Winnie the Pooh in 1925
  • The first story about 'Winnie The Pooh' was published on Christmas Eve in the London Evening News. In October 14, 1926, A.A. Milne released a book titled 'Winnie Th Pooh'.
  • The book was an instant commercial success. 'Winnie The Pooh' sold around 150,000 copies in the US and 35,000 copies in the UK.
  • The book had many of the characters that you see today on screen and all of the characters were inspired by the dolls that Christopher Robin actually had.
  • He possessed a stuffed donkey that inspired Eeyore.
  • Similarly, he had stuffed pig and a stuffed kangaroo that inspired Piglet and Roo.
  • Today all of the original stuffed animals are preserved at the New York Public Library.
  • The author then followed it up with another book titled, 'The House At Pooh Corner'.
  • This was released in 1928 and was another commercial success.
  • In this second book, A.A. Milne introduced the tiger, Tigger, who was not part of the original 'Winnie The Pooh' book.
  • 'Winnie The Pooh' was also translated in other languages, including Latin.
  • Alexander Lenard translated this classic book into Latin and called it 'Winnie Ille Pu'.
  • Until now, it is the only Latin book and the first foreign-language book to feature in The New York Times Best Seller list.
  • The translations were exact and all the characters like Tigger and Eeyore were part of the translated version.
  • This character became even more popular after the Walt Disney company purchased the licensing rights and produced animated TV shows om 1961.
  • Walt Disney was highly impressed with both 'When We Were Young' and 'The House At Pooh Corner'.
  • He himself worked on obtaining the rights and making the transition from pages to TV.
  • Sadly, he didn't live long enough to see Winnie on the screen but he made sure the right people worked on the project.
  • The first short film featuring this bear on screen was released on February 4, 1966 titled 'Winnie The Pooh And The Honey Tree'.
  • Two more short films followed the first and the three were combined to create a feature film, 'The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh' in 1977.
  • Since then, the company has created dozens of shows about Winnie. The latest to hit the screens is 'Christopher Robin; released in 2018. It features an adult Christopher Robin alongside Pooh and his friends.
  • The Pooh bear character underwent a few changes as it made the transition from a newspaper illustration to the screen.
  • For example, in the original sketches of illustrator Ernest Shepherd, Winnie was just a bear and had no clothes.
  • As drawings developed, the bear was pictured with a t-shirt, but it was not red.
  • The iconic red t-shirt was first drawn by Stephen Slesinger in 1932 after he purchased the rights from A.A. Milne.
  • Disney took this a bit further and tweaked the design of the red shirt and this is how Winnie the Pooh got his iconic red t-shirt.

Who wrote 'Winnie The Pooh'?

Every character has a creator and more often than not, every creator has a fascinating backstory of how they came up with the idea. How Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse is a well-known and inspiring story. Here is how A.A. Milne's came up with Winnie the Pooh.

  • Alan Alexander Milne was a British author born in Kilburn, London, in 18 January 1882.
  • The day is also celebrated as National Winnie The Pooh day to celebrate A.A. Milne's birthday and legacy as a writer.
  • He was a novelist, playwright, and poet. He started his career at Punch as a humorous and whimsical writer in 1906.
  • As World War I started, Alan Milne worked for the British military as a signalling officer in World War I.
  • Then in World War II, he was made the captain of the British Home Guard.
  • During his time in the military, Milne was used for his writing skills and was tasked with writing propaganda articles for M17.
  • Between 1916 and 1918, he wrote various articles. After the war ended, Alan Milne took up writing as his full-time profession.
  • He shifted his focus from humor writing to playwriting, part of the reason being that he was not rehired by Punch.
  • One of his notable works was an essay titled 'Peace With Honour'. It was a denunciation of war and was released in 1934.
  • In between this time period, he went on to write plays like 'Make-Believe' (1918), 'Mr. Pim Passes By' (1921), and 'The Red House Mystery' (1922).
  • Today, Alan Milne is known for his novels 'When We Were Young; (1924) and 'The House At Pooh Corner' (1928).
  • A.A. Milne's popular poems include 'Buckingham Palace' (1924), 'Halfway Down' (1924), and 'The King's Breakfast' (1963).
  • The author had a really close relationship with his son, Christopher Robin Milne.
  • The stuffed animals Christopher Robin played with inspired the characters of Winnie, Eeyore, Piglet, and Roo.
  • A real-life teddy-bear gifted to Christopher on his first birthday inspired Winnie the Pooh. What you may not know is the fictional universe where everything takes place, Hundred Acre Wood, is inspired by a real place.
  • Pooh and Piglet live together in Hundred Acre Wood along with the other animals.
  • The author's country home, Cotchford Farm, is located in Ashdown Forest.
  • Milne family used to drive down to their country home from London every Saturday morning for the weekends.
  • This forest is filled with high trees and grass, just like how Hundred Acre Wood is depicted in the book.
  • A.A. Milne and his son used to walk through the forest and the apple orchard to spend some time together.
  • Milne used this forest as the fictional Hundred Acre Wood.
  • Even illustrator Ernest Shepherd drew inspiration from the landscapes of Ashdown Forest for his illustrations.
  • Today, much of the forest is gone and has been replaced by heath and fern, however the memories of Hundred Acre Wood still exist.
  • The New York Public Library later developed a map of the Hundred Acre Wood and placed it behind Christopher Robin's toys that are on display.
  • Even though Alan's work shot Christopher Robin to fame, he wasn't very fond of it. He was an avid book reader and author, just like his father.
  • Although he did like being Christopher Robin, he did not enjoy the fame.
  • In his memoir, 'The Enchanted Places', he wrote that his father gained fame by climbing on his infant shoulders and left him with empty fame of being his son.
  • A.A. Milne passed away in 31 January, 1956 at the age of 74. He was honored rightfully and his remains were scattered at a memorial garden in Brighton after a royal memorial service.

Winnie The Pooh: The Character

Those who have watched or read the 'Winnie The Pooh' series will know that Winnie is portrayed as a boy. The honey-loving bear is always referred to has 'he' throughout the books by Alan Milne. In the TV shows and movies, Winnie is always voiced by a male artist.

  • While Winnie the Pooh is depicted as male, the real Winnie that inspired the character was a female bear. She lived at the ZSL London Zoo from 1915-1934.
  • The black bear was originally from Winnipeg, Canada, and was brought to London by a British soldier named Harry Colebourn.
  • He purchased her as a cub from a local hunter for $20 at a train stop. Harry Colebourn initially named her Winnipeg but later shortened it to Winnie.
  • She lived with him as a pet for a year.
  • Before departing to Paris for a military assignment, he handed the real Winnie over to the ZSL London Zoo. The black bear lived in the zoo until her death in 1934.
  • Christopher Robin went to the zoo with his father and befriended the real-life bear.
  • At times, Robin would feed the black bear spoonful of condensed milk at London Zoo.
  • In the children's book, all the characters, apart from Kanga and Roo, are male.
  • Pooh and his friends including Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore are all male characters.
  • Kanga and Roo are depicted as female kangaroos.
91 Winnie The Pooh Facts On The Honey Loving Bear That Kids Will Love!

Was 'Winnie The Pooh' banned?

Winnie the Pooh is a recognizable character all around the world. The books have sold in record numbers in multiple languages and the world celebrates Winnie the Pooh day every year. However, the books based on Christopher Robin's teddy bear were once banned in multiple countries including the UK!

  • In the United Kingdom, where the storybook character was born, the book was banned for a brief period of time. Te reason was Piglet, the pig.
  • At one time, school and government officials were concerned that the depiction of the pig in an inappropriate manner would offend Muslims and Jews.
  • They advocated for banning these books in public schools along with any other pig characters.
  • But the Muslim Council of Britain later clarified that the depiction of Piglet in the books was not offensive.
  • In Turkey, 'Winnie The Pooh' was also banned for this reason. It was not just the books, but also the Disney movies based on the teddy bear were censored.
  • The national TV station, TRT, decided to erase the part of the film that featured Piglet.
  • They later realized the character had too big an influence on the story that it was impossible to completely eliminate it. The movies were banned altogether.
  • However, 'Winnie The Pooh' films are still televised on private channels.
  • In Poland, 'Winnie The Pooh' was banned because the character does not wear pants. They considered Pooh bear to be hermaphrodite (a creature with no sex) and inappropriate for kids.
  • None of the other characters like Tigger, Eeyore, or Roo wear pants. Eventually the ban was revoked.
  • As recent as 2018, 'Winnie The Pooh' was banned in China after a series of memes compared him with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping.
  • Despite all of these controversies, Winnie the Pooh continues to be one of the most loved characters among young readers.
  • The books are still being sold, National Winnie The Pooh Day is still being celebrated, and the animated shows still run on TV.
  • The latest book to release about Winnie is 'Finding Winnie: The True Story Of The World's Most Famous Bear' written by Lindsay Mattick.
Written By
Biswajit Majhi

<p>With experience in various content writing roles, Biswajit is an accomplished content writer who has a keen interest in digital marketing. He holds a degree in Chemistry from Indira Gandhi National Open University and has developed his skills in SEO, link building, and copywriting. Biswajit has a proven track record of creating engaging and high-traffic content for a range of clients across industries. His expertise in digital marketing concepts and strategies allows him to craft content that not only educates but also aligns with business objectives.</p>

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