Ten Things You May Not Know About Winnie the Pooh

by | Oct 2, 2017 | Disney Entertainment, Lists and Trivia

1. Winnie the Pooh was born on October 14, 1926, when A.A. Milne’s original book, Winnie-the-Pooh, was published. That makes Pooh older than Donald Duck, Goofy, and even Mickey Mouse himself!

2. Winnie the Pooh wasn’t always Winnie the Pooh. When A.A. Milne first wrote the tale of this lovable bear, he was called Winnie-the-Pooh, hyphens and all. When Disney adapted the beloved stories into the classic series of featurettes, the dashes were dropped—a boon to typists everywhere.

3. So where did the name originate? Milne’s son Christopher (yes, that is how Christopher Robin got his name) had a toy bear that he named after a real bear he often visited at the London Zoo. The bear’s name? Winnipeg—or Winnie for short.

4. That explains “Winnie,” but what about “Pooh”? Pooh was the name of a swan who was also a resident at the zoo, but Milne crafted a more prosaic explanation in the first chapter of his book. “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.”

5. The original Winnie at the London Zoo has of course long since left us, but you can still visit Christopher Milne’s toy bear at the main branch of the New York Public Library.

6. Winnie the Pooh fans are familiar with the game Pooh Sticks, where players stand over a bridge and drop their sticks at the same time, and the first stick to emerge from underneath the bridge is the winner. But did youknow that you can play Pooh Sticks in a real competition? Enthusiasts gather every year at Day’s Lock near Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, for the Pooh Sticks Championships held on the river Thames.

7. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, released on March 11, 1977, was a collection of three previously released 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). Strictly speaking, it was the last film in which
Walt Disney had personal involvement, since Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree was released before Walt passed away (the scene where Rabbit decorates Pooh’s rump to look like a moose was a favorite of Walt’s), and he was involved in the production of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.

8. Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day won the 1968 Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film, and to date it is the only Winnie the Pooh film to win the award.

9. If you think Winnie the Pooh is popular in the United States, then venture over to Warsaw, Poland, where you’ll find a street named after him, Ulica Kubusia Puchatka. (You’ll also find a street named after him in Budapest, Micimackó Utca.)

10. Just how popular is Pooh? He generates nearly $1 billion in features and merchandising sales annually, which is estimated to be more than Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy combined. Not bad for a silly old bear.