Winnie-the-Pooh


Winnie-the-Pooh

Infobox Book
name = Winnie-the-Pooh
title_orig =
translator =


image_caption = Winnie-the-Pooh (original version from 1926)
author = A. A. Milne
illustrator = E. H. Shepard
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English

publisher = Methuen & Co. Ltd. (London)
pub_date = 1926-10-14

Winnie-the-Pooh, commonly shortened to Pooh Bear and once referred to as Edward Bear, is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. The character first appeared in book form in "Winnie-the-Pooh" (1926) and "The House at Pooh Corner" (1928). Milne also included several poems about Winnie-the-Pooh in the children’s poetry books "When We Were Very Young" and "Now We Are Six". All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard.

The hyphens in the character's name were later dropped when The Walt Disney Company adapted the Pooh stories into a series of Winnie the Pooh featurettes that became one of the company's most successful franchises worldwide.

The Pooh stories have been translated into many languages, notably including Alexander Lenard's Latin translation, "Winnie ille Pu", which was first published in 1958, and, in 1960, became the first foreign-language book to be featured on the New York Times Bestseller List, and is the only book in Latin ever to have been featured therein.

History

Origin

Milne named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who was the basis for the character Christopher Robin. His toys also lent their names to most of the other characters, except for Owl and Rabbit, who were probably based on real animals, and the Gopher character, who was added in the Disney version. Christopher Robin's toy bear is now on display at the Donnell Library Center Central Children's Room in New York. [ [http://www.nypl.org/branch/central/dlc/dch/pooh/ "The Adventures of the Real Winnie-the-Pooh.] The New York Public Library.]

Christopher Milne had named his teddy after Winnipeg, a bear which he and his father often saw at London Zoo, and "Pooh", a swan they had met while on holiday. Winnipeg the Bear was purchased from a hunter for $20 by Canadian Lieutenant Harry Colebourn in White River, Ontario, Canada, while en-route to England during the First World War. He named the bear "Winnipeg" after his hometown in Winnipeg, Manitoba. "Winnie", as she became known, was surreptitiously brought to England with her owner, and gained unofficial recognition as a regimental mascot. Colebourn left Winnie at the London Zoo while he and his unit were in France; after the war she was officially donated to the zoo, as she had become a much loved attraction there. Among her many young fans was Christopher Milne, who named his own teddy bear "Winnie". [ [http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=10193 "Winnie".] "Historica Minutes", The Historica Foundation of Canada. Retrieved on 2008-05-30.] Pooh the swan appears as a character in its own right in "When We Were Very Young".

In the first chapter of "Winnie-the-Pooh", Milne offers this explanation of why Winnie-the-Pooh is often called simply "Pooh": "But his arms were so stiff ... they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think - but I am not sure - that that is why he is always called Pooh."

The home of the Milnes, Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England, was the basis for the setting of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The name of the fictional "Hundred Acre Wood" is reminiscent of the Five Hundred Acre Wood, which lies just outside Ashdown Forest and includes some of the locations mentioned in the book, such as the Enchanted Place. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Winnie-the-Pooh
work = Ashdown Forest
publisher = The Conservators of Ashdown Forest
date =
url = http://www.ashdownforest.org/pooh/winnie_the_pooh.php
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-05-30
]

The origin of the Poohsticks game is at the footbridge across a tributary of the River Medway near Upper Hartfield, close to the Milne's home at Posingford Farm. It is traditional to play the game there using sticks gathered in nearby woodland. When the footbridge required replacement in recent times the engineer designed a new structure based closely on the drawings (by E H Shepherd) of the bridge in the original books, as the bridge did not originally appear as the artist drew it. There is an information board at the bridge which describes aspects of how to play the game.

Publication

Pooh first appeared in December 1925, when what became the first chapter of the book "Winnie-the-Pooh" was commissioned as a Christmas story by London's "Evening News". The book was published in October 1926 by Methuen, the London publisher of Milne's earlier children's work "When We Were Very Young". [cite book
last =Thwaite
first =Ann
authorlink =Ann Thwaite
coauthors =
title =Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Alan Alexander Milne
publisher =Oxford University Press
date= 2004
location =Oxford
pages =
url =
doi =
id =
isbn =
] The illustrator was E.H. Shepard, who had also drawn the pictures for the earlier book.

tephen Slesinger

On Jan. 6, 1930, Stephen Slesinger purchased US and Canadian merchandising, television, recording and other trade rights to the "Winnie-the-Pooh" works from Milne for a $1000 advance and 66% of Slesinger's income, creating the modern licensing industry. Slesinger marketed Pooh and his friends for 20 years, creating the first Pooh doll, record, board game, puzzle, doll, US radio broadcast (NBC), animation and film. Pooh was an industry long before Walt Disney acquired rights from Slesinger to produce a feature animation in 1961. Before Stephen Slesinger began marketing Winnie-the-Pooh, he was just a black-and-white drawing in a story on the bookshelf. But by 1938, he was a $50 million-a-year business.

Red Shirt Pooh

The first time Pooh and his friends appeared in color was 1933, when he was drawn by Slesinger in his now-familiar red shirt and featured on an RCA Victor picture record. Parker Brothers also introduced "A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh Game" in 1933, again with Pooh in his red shirt. In the 1940s, Agnes Brush created the first plush dolls with Pooh in his red shirt.

Disney

After Slesinger's death in 1953, his wife, Shirley Slesinger Lasswell, continued developing the character herself. In 1961, she licensed rights to Disney in exchange for royalties in the first of two agreements between Stephen Slesinger, Inc. and Disney. [ [http://jcgi.pathfinder.com/fortune/print/0,15935,404206,00.html "The Curse of Pooh."] "Fortune". ] The same year, Daphne Milne also licensed certain rights, including motion picture rights, to Disney.

Since 1966, Disney has released numerous features starring Winnie the Pooh and related characters. Many direct-to-video featurettes have been created, as well as the theatrical feature-length films "The Tigger Movie", "Piglet's Big Movie", and "Pooh's Heffalump Movie".

In December 2005, Disney announced that the Disney Channel animated television series, "My Friends Tigger & Pooh", will focus on adventures had by 6-year-old Darby and the Pooh characters, with the occasional appearance from Christopher Robin. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4512770.stm "New-look Pooh 'has girl friend'."] BBC News.]

The Disney version of Winnie the Pooh was featured in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, the Kingdom Hearts videogames and the TV series House of Mouse

Pooh also appears at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meet-able and child friendly character.

Merchandising revenue dispute

Pooh videos, teddy bears, and other merchandise generate substantial annual revenues for Disney. The size of Pooh stuffed toys ranges from Beanie and miniature to human-sized. In addition to the stylized Disney Pooh, Disney markets Classic Pooh merchandise which more closely resembles E.H. Shepard’s illustrations. It is estimated that Winnie the Pooh features and merchandise generate as much revenue as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto combined. [ [http://jcgi.pathfinder.com/fortune/print/0,15935,404206,00.html "The Curse of Pooh"] "Fortune".]

In 1991, Stephen Slesinger, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Disney which alleged that Disney had breached their 1983 agreement by again failing to accurately report revenue from Winnie the Pooh sales. Under this agreement, Disney was to retain approximately 98% of gross worldwide revenues while the remaining 2% was to be paid to Slesinger. In addition, the suit alleged that Disney had failed to pay required royalties on all commercial exploitation of the product name. [ [http://www.monitor.net/monitor/0201a/pooh1.html "The Pooh Files"] "The Albion Monitor".] Though the Disney corporation was sanctioned by a judge for destroying millions of pages of evidence,cite web
last =Nelson
first =Valerie J
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Shirley Slesinger Lasswell, 84; fought Disney over Pooh royalties
work =Los Angeles times
publisher =
date =2007-07-20
url =http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-lasswell20jul20,0,4053283.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-california
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-08-14
] the suit was later terminated by another judge when it was discovered that Slesinger's investigator had rummaged through Disney's garbage in order to retrieve the discarded evidence. [ [http://www.disneycorner.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=82 "Judge dismisses Winnie the Pooh lawsuit"] "The Disney Corner".] Slesinger appealed the termination, and on September 26, 2007, a three-judge panel upheld the lawsuit dismissal. [cite news
first=Meg
last=James
title= Disney wins lawsuit ruling on Pooh rights
url= http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-pooh26sep26,1,2582327.story?coll=la-headlines-business
publisher=The Los Angeles Times
date=2007-09-26
accessdate=2007-09-26
]

After the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, Clare Milne, Christopher Milne's daughter, attempted to terminate any future U.S. copyrights for Stephen Slesinger, Inc. [ [http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2002-11-05-pooh_x.htm "Winnie the Pooh goes to court"] "USA Today"] After a series of legal hearings, Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the United States District Court for the Central District of California found in favor of Stephen Slesinger, Inc., as did the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On June 26, 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, sustaining the ruling and ensuring the defeat of the suit. [ "Justices Refuse Winnie the Pooh Case." ABC News.]

On February 19, 2007, it was reported Disney lost a court case in Los Angeles which ruled their "misguided claims" to dispute the licensing agreements with Slesinger, Inc. were unjustified. [cite news
title= Disney loses court battle in Winnie the Pooh copyright case
url= http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/02/17/1850319.htm
publisher=ABC News
date=2007-02-17
accessdate=2008-05-15
]

In doing so, the claims by Slesinger, Inc. can now be tackled without any argument over who owns the rights. Though the ruling was downplayed by a Disney attorney, the outcome of the case could affect Disney's revenue, since Pooh-related merchandise has been reported to bring the Walt Disney Company approximately 1 billion dollars a year. cite news |first=Valerie J.|last=Nelson|title= Shirley Slesinger Lasswell; fought over Pooh royalties|url= http://www.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2007/07/21/shirley_slesinger_lasswell_fought_over_pooh_royalties/|work= The Los Angeles Times |publisher=Boston Globe |date=2007-07-21 |accessdate=2007-08-07 ]

Adaptations

Theatre

*"Bother! The Brain of Pooh" is a one-man show from the English actor Peter Dennis with selections from the works of Winnie-the-Pooh. It premièred on October 14, 1976 at the ADC Theatre, Cambridge, England. In America its first showing was in December 1986 at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, New York. The show received eight 'Critics Choices' awards, the "L.A. Weekly Theatre Award", and the "Drama-Logue Award". Bother! "The Brain of Pooh" has been performed at over 80 major venues throughout the United Kingdom and the United States of America

Audio books

Unabridged recordings read by Peter Dennis of the four Pooh books:
* When We Were Very Young
* Winnie-the-Pooh
* Now We Are Six
* The House at Pooh Corner

These are the only recordings authorized by Christopher Robin Milne.Fact|date=March 2008

Radio

Pooh made his radio debut in 1930 in New York. Readings of various Winnie-the-Pooh stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the United Kingdom with narration by Alan Bennett and also have been released as recordings.

Broadway

Pooh debuted on Broadway with Sue Hastings' Marionettes in the 1930s.

Disney media

Featurettes
* 1966: "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree"
* 1968: "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day"
* 1974: "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!"
* 1983: "Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore"

Full-length features
* 1977: "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" (trilogy of the "Honey Tree", "Blustery Day", and "Tigger Too!")
* 1985: "Winnie the Pooh and Friends" (re-release of "Day for Eeyore" with additional shorts)
* 1997: ""
* 1999: ""*
* 2000: "The Tigger Movie"
* 2002: ""* Winnie the Pooh's Camping Trip Adventure
* 2003: "Piglet's Big Movie"
* 2004: ""
* 2005: "Pooh's Heffalump Movie"
* 2005: "Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie"**These features integrate stories from "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" and/or holiday specials with new footage.
These features were Direct-to-video.

Television shows
* "Welcome to Pooh Corner" (Disney Channel, 1983-1995)
* "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" (American Broadcasting Company, 1988-1991)
* "The Book of Pooh" (Disney Channel, 2001-2002)
* "My Friends Tigger & Pooh" (Disney Channel, 2007-Present)

Holiday TV specials
* 1994: "Winnie the Pooh & Christmas Too!"
* 1996: "Boo! To You Too! Winnie the Pooh"
* 1998: "A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving"
* 1998: ""

Video games
* "Winnie the Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood"
* "Winnie the Pooh Adventures"
* ""
* ""
* "Pooh & Tigger's Hunny Safari"
* "Winnie the Pooh Pre-School"
* "Winnie the Pooh Kindergarten"
* "Piglet's Big Game"
* "Winnie the Pooh's Rumbly Tumbly Adventure"
* "Ready To Read With Pooh"
* "Kingdom Hearts" series

Other cartoons

In the Soviet Union, three Winnie-the-Pooh, or "Vinni Pukh" (Russian language: Винни-Пуx) stories were made into a celebrated trilogy [ [http://www.animator.ru/db/?ver=eng&p=show_film&fid=6758 Russian animation in letters and figures | Films | «WINNIE THE POOH»] ] of short films by Soyuzmultfilm (directed by Fedor Khitruk) from 1969 to 1972. Pooh was voiced by Yevgeny Leonov, looking distinctly different from both the yellow-and-red Disney incarnation and Shepard's illustrations. He was brown instead of yellow, as he is known in the US.

References in other media

*Winnie-the-Pooh is such a popular character in Poland that a Warsaw street is named after him, "Ulica Kubusia Puchatka." There is also a street named after him in Budapest (Micimackó utca). [ [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&ll=47.415006,19.138366&z=17 Google Maps ] ]
*In "The Hums of Pooh", Harold Fraser-Simson set to music several of Milne’s poems and the verses sung by Pooh in the original books.
*In the "sport" of Poohsticks, competitors drop sticks into a stream from a bridge and then wait to see whose stick will cross the finish line first. Though it began as a game played by Pooh and his friends in the stories, it has crossed over into the real world: a World Championship Poohsticks race takes place in Oxfordshire each year.
*"The Tao of Pooh" and "The Te of Piglet" by Benjamin Hoff use Milne's characters in an effort to explain Taoism in an accessible way.
*Frederick Crews' [http://www.heretical.com/freudian/milne.html "The Pooh Perplex"] and "Postmodern Pooh" both poke fun at literary theory.
*In December 2000, a Canadian medical journal jokingly "diagnosed" characters in the books and films with various mental illnesses, e.g. Winnie the Pooh shows signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Tigger shows signs of ADHD etc. [ [http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/163/12/1557 "Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne."] "The Canadian Medical Association Journal." December 12, 2000. V163: 12.]
*In the Polish translation, by Irena Tuwim, Pooh was called "Kubuś Puchatek" (Jacob the Pooh), because using a woman's name for a male bear would have been too controversial.
*A number of philosophical books have been written about Winnie the Pooh - "Postmodern Pooh" and "The Pooh Perplex" by Frederick Crews rewrite stories from Pooh's world in abtruse academic jargon (from a number of sources including postmodernism, psychoanalysis and so on) for the purpose of satire [http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/00000006DB0F.htm] . "Pooh and the Philosophers" by John T. Williams uses Winnie the Pooh as a backdrop to illustrate the works of philosophers including Descartes, Kant, Plato and Nietzsche [http://www.sonderbooks.com/Nonfiction/poohandphilosophers.html] .
*Not everyone was a fan of the original stories. Dorothy Parker in particular was critical of what she considered A. A. Milne's "dumbing down of English for children", a criticism she had for many other children's book authors as well. In her pseudonym as Constant Reader in the New Yorker magazine she made one of her most famous barbs when she, while reviewing one of the stories, wrote, "and it is precisely at that word, 'hunny' that Tonstant Weader fwowed up."
*In the 2007 DreamWorks film Bee Movie, Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet are seen in a scene where Pooh is tranquilized. His "hunny" jar is then confiscated.
*Kenny Loggins wrote the song House at Pooh Corner, which was originally recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band [ [http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=8486 House at Pooh Corner by Loggins and Messina Songfacts] ] . Loggins later rewrote the song as Return to Pooh Corner, featuring on the album of the same name in 1991.
*In the film The Salton Sea, Vincent D'Onofrio's character "Pooh-Bear" is so named because his methamphetamine abuse led to the loss of his nose, reminiscent of Winnie-the-Pooh's habit of getting his nose stuck in the honey jar.

Facts and figures

*Pooh's official birthdate is August 21, 1921, the day Christopher Robin received him as a present on his first birthday.
*The sign over the door to Pooh's house says "Mr Sanders." This is because it is mentioned in the original book that Pooh "lived under the name of 'Sanders'".
*On April 11, 2006, Winnie the Pooh was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard. [ [http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/icons/recent_ceremonies.asp#WinnieThePooh "Winnie the Pooh Celebrated 80th Anniversary with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."] ]

ee also

*Sterling Holloway – the original voice of Disney's Winnie the Pooh
*Hal Smith – the voice of Winnie the Pooh in "Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore" and "Welcome to Pooh Corner"
*Jim Cummings – the current voice of Winnie the Pooh
*Peter Dennis – the narrator of Winnie the Pooh audiobooks
*Sherman Brothers – songwriters of the majority of "Winnie the Pooh" music
*The Fort Garry Horse is the Canadian Militia armored regiment based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, whose regimental mascot was the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh.
*Harry Colebourn - the Canadian Lieutenant and veterinarian who brought the mascot from Canada to Salisbury Plain.

References

External links

* [http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp09399 The original bear, with A. A. Milne and Christopher Robin, at the National Portrait Gallery, London]
* [http://www.nypl.org/branch/central/dlc/dch/pooh/ Winnie-the-Pooh] at the New York Public Library
* [http://www.ashdownforest.org/pooh/winnie_the_pooh.php The real locations] , from the Ashdown Forest Conservators
* [http://disney.go.com/characters/pooh/index.html Disney's Winnie the Pooh site]


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