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Winnie the Pooh (Disney character)

Winnie the Pooh is a fictional teddy bear and the title character from A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928). In 1961, Walt Disney Productions licensed certain film and other rights to the characters, stories and trademarks from Stephen Slesinger, Inc. and the estate of A. A. Milne and made a series of animated stories for TV and feature films, based upon Milne's characters and stories.

Winnie the Pooh
First appearanceWinnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (February 4, 1966)
Created byA. A. Milne
Voiced bySterling Holloway (1966–1977)
Hal Smith (1980–1987)
Jim Cummings (1988–present)
NicknamePooh Bear
Silly Ol' Bear
Buddy Bear
Xi Jinping
by A. A. Milne

Disney's version of Winnie-the-Pooh was originally voiced by Sterling Holloway, who voiced the character from 1966–1977 in three featurettes that were later used as segments in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977). Hal Smith took over for the 1981 short Winnie the Pooh Discovers the Seasons, and maintained the role until Jim Cummings took over beginning with the animated series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988–1991). Cummings is still the current voice of Pooh, as well as Tigger.

Pooh is one of the most popular characters adapted for film and television by Walt Disney and was included in TV Guide's list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002 and also has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Adaptation and development by DisneyEdit

In 1961, Walt Disney Productions licensed certain film and other rights to the characters, stories and trademarks from Stephen Slesinger, Inc. and the estate of A. A. Milne. and made a series of animated films about him. These early films were based on several of the original stories and the distinctive artwork made popular by Stephen Slesinger, Inc. during the 1930s through the 1960s. Alongside the animated versions, which Disney adapted from Slesinger, Slesinger's simplified lines and pastel color adaptations of Shepard's original illustrations are now marketed under the description "Classic Pooh".

In 1977, Disney released the animated feature film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, introducing a new character named Gopher (which Gopher acknowledges by proclaiming, "I'm not in the book, you know"). The film constitutes three stories originally released as separate featurettes: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966), Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968), and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too (1974). The 1977 release featured new bridging material and a new ending, as it had been Walt Disney's original intention to make a feature.[citation needed] A fourth featurette, Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, was released in 1983. Since Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore (1983), Jim Cummings started providing the voice of Pooh.

The live-action TV series Welcome to Pooh Corner ran on the Disney Channel from 1983 to 1986. In 1988, Disney launched an animated TV series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which aired from 1988 to 1991 with a total of 83 episodes. Pooh appeared with Tigger in the anti-drug animated TV special Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.

In 2000, Disney released the feature film The Tigger Movie in which the character of Tigger played the leading role. Due to its success, two more feature-length Pooh movies based on other characters were released to theaters: Piglet's Big Movie in 2003 and Pooh's Heffalump Movie in 2005. Pooh also made appearances in episodes of the animated series House of Mouse, however he doesn't have any speaking lines and is mostly seen in the background.

Playhouse Disney, along with Shadow Projects, produced a puppet TV series for preschoolers, called The Book of Pooh, coordination production of ages kids with family aired, which aired from 2001 to 2003. Playhouse Disney produced another series for preschoolers, called My Friends Tigger & Pooh, which aired from 2007 to 2010 and done in CGI. Pooh also makes a cameo appearance in the DreamWorks animated film, Bee Movie along with Piglet, at one point, a man spies Pooh and Piglet eating honey and Barry tells him to "take him out" with a tranquilizer dart.

Winnie the Pooh was released in 2011. In April 2015, Deadline reported that Disney would develop a live action Winnie the Pooh movie with Brigham Taylor producing and Alex Ross Perry writing. The film focuses both on Pooh and the adult Christopher Robin returning to the Hundred Acre Woods and his reunion with Pooh and friends.[1] Christopher Robin was released on August 3, 2018 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in the United States.

Ownership controversy and changesEdit

During his lifetime, Milne was liberal with his grant of rights. At times he licensed the same exclusive rights to more than one entity.

In the United States, E. P. Dutton and Company acquired exclusive volume publication rights and Stephen Slesinger, Inc., acquired sole and exclusive rights to virtually all uses outside of the Dutton books as well as rights to any sorts of future uses. Beginning in 1930 Stephen Slesinger created all of the distinctive and colorful images of Pooh outside of the books. Under license from Slesinger, Pooh made his debuts in radio, film, animation, children's theatre, advertising and a host of consumer products and services protected by trademark. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, Milne retained most of his literary copyright rights which he left to four beneficiaries of his trust: The Garrick Club, Westminster School, The Royal Literary Fund and the A. A. Milne Family. By direction of Milne's will, the Pooh Properties Trust was formed. Mrs. Milne, trustee of the Milne Estate and Spencer Curtis Brown, Trustee, licensed certain exclusive film rights to Disney in 1961. Christopher Robin Milne sold his rights to the other copyright holders, in order to raise money to support his daughter, before his death in 1996.

Sometime around 2000, the Pooh Properties Trust licensed additional rights to Disney and accepted a buyout of their claims to royalties as defined in a 1991 lawsuit brought by Stephen Slesinger, Inc. Although Slesinger's rights are arguably more valuable, the combined value paid by Disney to The Pooh Properties Trust is said to be approximately $300 million for Milne's portion of those rights.

To further minimize Disney's legal exposure to Slesinger, Disney paid money to the Pooh Properties attorneys and trusts to use the name of Clare Milne, daughter of Christopher Robin, in an attempt to terminate certain of the copyright rights of Stephen Slesinger Inc, in the wake of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. The district court found in favor of Stephen Slesinger, Inc., as did the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.[2] On Monday, June 26, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, thus sustaining the Appeals Court ruling.[3]

In December 2005, Disney announced that Pooh's friend and owner Christopher Robin would transform into a six-year-old "tomboyish" red-haired girl Darby for the Disney Channel animated television series, My Friends Tigger & Pooh. Christopher Robin appeared intermittently in the series.

Awards and honorsEdit

In 2002, TV Guide compiled a list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time as part of the magazine's 50th anniversary. Winnie the Pooh was given the honor of number 27.

On April 11, 2006, Pooh was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, being the fourth Disney character to receive one after Mickey Mouse, Snow White and Donald Duck. The star is located on 6834 Hollywood Blvd.

Disney ParksEdit

Pooh is a common character in the Disney Parks and the most common in the Winnie the Pooh franchise. He is also usually seen with Tigger and Eeyore, and occasionally Piglet. Pooh is also the most requested character in Disney Parks second only to Mickey Mouse himself.[citation needed]

Pooh has his own spell card known as "Winnie the Pooh's Honey Bees" in the attraction Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. Pooh also has his own show in Disneyland Paris known as Winnie the Pooh and Friends, too! In the same park, Pooh takes part in Disney Magic on Parade, on his own float.

In the 2015 rendition of World of Color, Pooh made a cameo appearance during the opening sequence, in honor of Walt Disney.

Popular cultureEdit

In March 2017, a picture of a muscular Winnie the Pooh with the quote "Sorry sir. This is a Christian server, so no swearing." was posted on Reddit and gained a minor amount of popularity on the Internet. Youtubers such as Wetzelmation made references to this Internet meme on their videos. This muscular Winnie the Pooh has been an unofficial mascot for various Christian forums and gaming servers.[citation needed]

Use in political satire and controversies in ChinaEdit

Winnie the Pooh has been used in political satire and has created controversies in China since 2013. In that year, critics compared an image of Pooh and his friend Tigger to a picture of Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama, who met at the G20 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Cartoons of Xi as Winnie the Pooh were regarded as disrespectful and were banned in China, but they continued to be used by critics. Dissident Liu Xiaobo and his wife were photographed holding Pooh mugs. As a result of these controversies, the movie Christopher Robin was not released in China.[4]


Theatrical episodesEdit

Feature-length filmsEdit

Television seriesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Fleming, Jr, Mike (April 2, 2015). "Disney Sets Live-Action 'Winnie The Pooh' Film; Alex Ross Perry To Write". Deadline.
  2. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  3. ^ CNN Archived from the original on June 29, 2006. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Haas, Benjamin (7 August 2018). "China bans Winnie the Pooh film after comparisons to President Xi". The Guardian.

External linksEdit