Winnie the Pooh

Animated picture of Pooh

Winnie-the-Pooh as you would know is really a stuffed toy teddy bear that belonged to Christopher Robin Milne. The original toy bear belonging to Christopher Robin is on display at Donnell Library Center Central Children's Room in New York City. Winnie the Pooh got his name from Winnipeg, a bear that Christopher & his father Mr. Milne often saw the London Zoo, while ‘Pooh’ was a swan they met while on a vacation. Pooh the swan is there in When We Were Very Young as a separate character.

During the 1st chapter taken from Winnie-the-Pooh, author A.A. Milne offers an explanation as to why at times Winnie-the-Pooh is also called just “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."

Pooh’s birthday date is a matter of some confusion. It is widely accepted that since Winnie-the-Pooh was 1st published on 14th October, 1926 by Methuen therefore this date is Pooh’s birthday and is officially recognized as the day when Pooh celebrates his birthday. In some sections it is thought that since the Pooh teddy bear was presented to Christopher Robin Milne on his first birthday i.e., 21st August, 1921 therefore Winnie-the-Pooh celebrates his birthday on this date.

Winnie the Pooh, a bear of very little brain, tends to be a bit on the slow side (his head is full of fluff, you know...a common occurrence among teddy bears) but his heart more than makes up for that. Pooh has a love of honey (or, hunny, as it is sometimes spelled) but he can also do with a smackerel of whatever tiny quantity he can get his hands onto to soothe that insatiable “rumbly in his tumbly”. He often creates little tunes, or hums, about most anything at all. There are different names for Winnie the Pooh, he is called Pooh Bear or even Pooh but is never just Winnie. He is gifted with an uncommon, clear-eyed wisdom. What is most important for Pooh is the well being, happiness and feelings of his friends. He is also the inventor of the famous game 'Poohsticks' and discoverer of the 'North Pole'. Almost all the animals in the 100 Acre Wood take part in the ‘Poohsticks’ game, while it is always a matter of friendly competition between Pooh and Christopher Robin. The game takes place over a footbridge and the animals use sticks gathered in the close vicinity of the woodland to play the game. The sticks are then thrown into the underneath flowing river. For his brave actions he is honoured as a 'Hero' and knighted to 'Sir Pooh de Bear' by Christopher Robin.

Photo of Pooh

Winnie the Pooh lives by himself in a tree in Hundred Acre Wood under the name of Sanders. "It means he had the name over the door in gold letters, and lived under it." No one really knows who Sanders was. The best guess is that Milne used something he found in the woods near Cotchford Farm and incorporated it into the stories. In this case, a sign with the name Sanders was found on a tree, and it was decided that that was the tree in which Pooh lived.

In the Disney version, Winnie the Pooh always wears an old red t-shirt, he dons a friendlier and cute bear image in the Disney avatar. Disney created a small golden bear that stands at 22 inches in height. Classic Pooh, however, only wears this old red t-shirt during wintertime. This can be seen in two chapters, 'In which Pooh and Piglet go hunting and nearly catch a Woozle', (chapter three from Winnie-the-Pooh) and 'In which a house is built at Pooh Corner for Eeyore' (chapter one from 'The house at Pooh Corner'). Pooh also wears this shirt in the verse 'The engineer' from 'Now we are six'.

Sterling Holloway provided the voice for Winnie the Pooh for Disney's first feature-length animated film of Pooh. He also provided the voice for KAA, the snake in 'The Jungle Book', and the Cheshire Cat in Disney's version of 'Alice in Wonderland'. Holloway appeared in 89 movies during his long acting career. In 1933 alone, he was in 16 movies and acted along side such legends as Clark Gabel, Joan Crawford, Joan Blondell and W.C. Fields with whom he did a live version of 'Alice In Wonderland'.

Some of the lovable quotes and hums from Pooh: