7 INTRIGUING STORIES BEHIND WINNIE-THE-POOH
Winnie-the-Pooh and all his Hundred Acre Wood friends have been entertaining us since 1924. The bear with “very little brain” captured our imaginations and was embedded in pop culture worldwide. Dive into these 7 Intriguing Stories Behind Winnie-the-Pooh to learn more.
1. Pooh Bear joins the public domain.
Well, maybe. As of January 1, 2022, Winnie the Pooh is in the public domain according to U.S. copyright law. However, there is some dispute on the matter. In the United Kingdom, copyright law doesn’t start the clock on public domain until the author is deceased. Since British illustrator E.H. Shepard died in 1976, Pooh Bear may not indeed be in the public domain until 2046. In terms of value, only Mickey Mouse is more valuable than Winnie-the-Pooh.
2. Disney wasn’t the first to dress Pooh in a red shirt.
After acquiring the rights to the Pooh kingdom, Stephen Slesinger presented the first color version of Winnie-the-Pooh wearing a red shirt in 1932. However, E. H. Shepard, Pooh’s original illustrator, occasionally drew the bear wearing a shirt, images that illustrators would later add color to.
3. A.A. Milne published other works before Winnie-the-Pooh.
A.A. Milne began his career writing plays and began writing as a soldier during World War I. He also wrote poetry and non-fiction. British writer J.M. Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, even produced one of Milne’s plays. Milne published First Plays in 1919, and it contained “Worzel Flummery,” “The Lucky One,” “The Boy Comes Home,” “Belinda,” and “The Red Feathers.” One of his poems titled “Teddy Bear” featured Edward Bear published in 1924. The poem appeared in a collection titled “When We Were Very Young,” illustrated by E.H. Shepard.
4. You can visit the original Pooh Bear.
The New York Public Library displays the original Pooh Bear, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger.
5. Milne purchased the stuffed animals at Harrods of London.
The stuffed animals were gifts to Christopher Milne, A.A. Milne’s son, and he purchased them from Harrods of London. Charles Henry Harrod established the department store in 1824. The young Milne received an 18-inch Alpha Farnell teddy bear from his father around 1920. In subsequent years, Milne would also give his son Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, and Tigger.
6. Hundred Acre Woods is real, too.
Located outside East Sussex in Hartfield, England, Ashdown Forest is the 500 Acre Wood (not hundred acre) featured in the classic stories by A.A. Milne. You can even visit Pooh Corner for tea and biscuits!
7. Kenny Loggins was only 17 years old when he wrote “The House At Pooh Corner.”
Loggins was a senior in high school, and going through the right of passage into the next stage of his life got him thinking. In an interview in the Tennessean in 2014, he tells Bart Herbison that The House at Pooh Corner “was the first book I ever read. The last chapter is where Christopher Robin is leaving the Hundred Acre Wood.” After becoming a father, Loggins returned to the song and Pooh Corner and added a new verse, “Return to Pooh Corner.”
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