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Trivia / Winnie-the-Pooh

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Trivia related to the original books:

  • Creator Backlash:
    • A.A. Milne grew to loathe his Winnie-the-Pooh books, as they typecast him forever as a "writer of children's books", and he could never go back to writing adult fiction. He even tried to kill off Pooh at the end of the second book. (Of course, it didn't work.) Milne's son, Christopher Robin, grew to hate the works as well, since he was bullied constantly for being immortalized in them and he resented his parents monetising his childhood. He did later warm up to the works as he grew old, however.
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    • E.H. Shepard, Pooh's illustrator, likewise suffered from this, as the books overshadowed his work in political cartoons. He would later draw a Take That! illustration (depicting Pooh being kicked by Christopher Robin) for the British humour magazine Punch!, perfectly summarising his feeling towards the character by that point. He apparently still had some remaining affection for Pooh, however, since he was reportedly not fond of Disney's Americanisation of the franchise in the '60s.
  • Defictionalization: The game of Poohsticks now has its own world championships.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: The illustrator of the books, E.H. Shepard, considered his work on them to be a side project, with the majority of his focus and effort being placed on the political cartoons he did for Punch! instead. Guess what he became far better known for? The fact that Pooh overshadowed his other works would eventually cause Shepard to hate the books and his work on them as a result.
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  • Name's the Same: Another otter named Lottie appears in Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.
  • Outlived Its Creator: The original author and illustrator are now deceased, but authorised sequels have been published, such as Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (published 2009) as well as The Best Bear in All the World and Winnie-the-Pooh Meets the Queen (both published in 2016).
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: Until the end of the 20th century, Poland was known from putting on numerous stage and audio plays based on Milne's books that were frequently independent from Disney's version. These adaptations came to a halt in November 2000 when the A. A. Milne Trust didn't extend the agreement with ZAiKS (Polish royalty collecting society) as it had decided to sell the remaining rights to the Winnie the Pooh franchise to Disney, which ultimately happened in March 2001. Since then, the only stage productions in countries where the original books haven't fallen into public domain yet (such as Poland) are the ones based on the Disney adaptations.
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  • Spin-Off Cookbook: The Pooh Cook Book, "inspired by" Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. Written by Virginia Ellison; with Ernest H. Shepard's illustrations.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • At one point Gopher of the Disney adaptations would have been "in the book", according to Disney, who claimed that the real Christopher Robin saw a gopher in the garden and asked for it to be included in his father's stories. Fantasy author and animation historian John Grant, however, points out that gophers do not exist in Britain, and so this story is almost certainly false. Christopher Robin Milne's autobiography, The Enchanted Places, reveals that A. A. Milne had planned to include an American Gopher in his Pooh books, but his publisher nixed it (Enchanted Places reprints a short poem from the lost Milne version of Gopher). In other words, Gopher at one point would have been in the book.
    • In the introduction (or, according to Owl, the "Contradiction") to The House at Pooh Corner, Milne himself mentions other adventures, "more grand than any I have told you about," which he can't tell because they came to him in dreams and he's forgotten them. He only remembers one small part of one of them, with Pooh meeting 107 cows sitting on a gate, and claims that this was probably the best story of them all.
  • Write Who You Know: Christopher Robin is the author's son of the same name. Many of the animal characters are based on actual stuffed animals he owned.

Trivia related to Disney's Winnie the Pooh canon:

  • Banned in China: Believe it or not, yes. Sort of. As of 2017, Chinese censors have been blocking numerous mentions of Winnie the Pooh on social media thanks to memes that compare Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pooh Bear. Contrary to popular belief, Winnie the Pooh is still allowed in China in ordinary context.
    • However, it was the factor that some people living outside of Chinese countries mocking the president Xi with Pooh Bear, including Thai people (in a Thailand vs. Chinese internet war in 2020, also known as Thai-Chinese Meme War, in where the Chinese refer to Thailand as "poor", and the Thai refer to China as "pooh".) and Indian peoples. (even more so since the ongoing recent China–India skirmishes)
      • Recently, Myanmar protestors began boycotting Chinese products and wearing Pooh Bear mask as an insult to Xi after they disappointed that they found out that China has voiced open support for the Myanmar military government.
    • Sadly this meme resulted in the Taiwanese indie horror game Devotion losing its publishing license in China, and was pulled from Steam after it was review bombed by more nationalistic Chinese gamers.
    • It is also resulted in South Park being banned and scrubbed from Chinese internet after the episode named "Band In China" aired. The episode, in question, taking jabs at Winnie-the-Pooh ban and criticize the Chinese censorship. Trey Parker and Matt Stone later made an mock apology where they mockingly said that Xi doesn't looks just like Winnie-the-Pooh at all, and asserted this rash censorship just proves the points they made on South Park.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: The highest-grossing Western-based media franchise, and the third-largest one in the world. (Only the Japanese franchises Pokémon and Hello Kitty outgross Winnie the Pooh.) Even better in that Disney still has to pay the licenses!
  • Channel Hop: Disney wasn't the first studio to adapt Winnie the Pooh. The year before Disney got the movie rights, an adaptation was produced for television by Columbia Pictures for its children's series Shirley Temple's Storybook.
  • Character Outlives Actor: John Fiedler passed away during late production of Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie, leading Travis Oates to fill in for him in odd scenes. Oates would take over the role from this film onwards.
  • Children Voicing Children: Christopher Robin has always been voiced by actual young boys, and in many cases, Roo has as well, with a few exceptions (see Cross-Dressing Voices below...)
  • Creator's Favorite: Alongside Optimus Prime of course, Eeyore became Peter Cullen's favorite voice role.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Roo was voiced by Dori Whitaker in Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger Too and by Kim Christianson in Welcome to Pooh Corner.
    • In some languages (such as Hungarian), Piglet is voiced by a woman.
  • Fake Brit: It's pretty much a prerequisite for Rabbit's voice actors to affect at least a mild British accent.
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  • The Merch: Throughout the years, Pooh has been placed on numerous features and had his face slapped nearly every possible form of toys and merchandise. That said the majority of it is at least considered better handled than Disney's usual attempts at rehashing a success.
  • Non-Singing Voice:
    • John Fiedler near consistently voiced Piglet throughout his lifetime, though often another actor such as Jeff Bennett provided his singing voice. This was often hidden well since, prior to The Book of Pooh, Piglet rarely sang numbers besides as a chorus.
    • In projects where Brady Bluhm would voice Christopher Robin (Pooh's Grand Adventure, A Winnie The Pooh Thanksgiving, and A Valentine For You, his singing voice was done by Frankie J. Galasso. These three specific specials all share other examples: Tigger was voiced by Paul Winchell, but his singing voice was Jim Cummings (this was before Cummings would take on Tigger's speaking and singing full time), and Piglet was voiced by John Fiedler, but his singing voice was Steve Schatzberg.
    • Inverted with Sing a Song For Pooh, Cummings took over as Tigger's speaking voice by this point, but all the songs using stock audio are provided by Tigger's original actor Winchell.
  • The Other Darrin: Jim Cummings and others were Other Darrins to the original voices way before 2011, but the 2011 film brings in Craig Ferguson as Owl, Tom Kenny as Rabbit, Bud Luckey as Eeyore and John Cleese as the Narrator.
    • Before Jim Cummings, Hal Smith took over as Pooh for "...and a Day for Eeyore" and "Welcome to Pooh Corner" after Sterling Holloway had retired in addition to his usual role as Owl, with Will Ryan officiallynote  taking over the voice of Rabbit from Junius Matthews.
    • After John Fiedler's death, Travis Oates took over the role of Piglet.
    • Due to often having child actors, Christopher Robin and Roo went through a long string of voices that rarely stayed for more than one or two projects. Nikita Hopkins is a rare case of an actor that became tied to Roo for a long period of the franchise, though Jimmy Bennett still filled in for him a couple of times between then.
    • Less expectedly, Kanga rarely kept a consistent actor for very long either. Barbara Luddy voiced her in the original shorts and film. Following her death, Julie Mc Whirter voiced her in A Day For Eeyore, then Patricia Harris in New Adventures. Tress Mac Neille and Kath Soucie took turns with the role for a long duration afterwards, with Kristen Anderson-Lopez taking over for the 2011 film.
    • In the 90s, they would often have substitute voice actors for smaller Pooh projects, such as CD-ROM and video games, commercials, and the new material for Sing A Song With Pooh Bear and Seasons Of Giving. For these, Gregg Berger (and for one CD-ROM, Brad Garrett) would often fill in as Eeyore, and Steve Schatzberg would fill in as Piglet (he also did Piglet's singing voice for quite a few projects during this time.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Roger L Jackson, best known for villainous roles, plays the peaceful Interactive Narrator in Book of Pooh.
    • An odd subversion happens in the Japanese dub: Tigger is voiced by Tessho Genda, a voice actor normally associated with voicing Hot-Blooded heroes like Optimus Prime, big guys or outright vicious beings like Kurama or Kratos in Japanese. Keep in mind he's one of the few voice actors from that version that voiced Tigger from day one in Japan, when he was much younger and possibly he wasn't yet typecasted into a specific kind of role.
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  • Recycled Script: A Valentine for You is by and large a smaller, Lighter and Softer version of Pooh's Grand Adventure. Owl misleads the group to believing Christopher Robin is in danger from a malicious creature note , forcing the group to go on an adventure in a more intimidating area of the Hundred Acre Wood to save Christopher Robin. The special and the movie also share David Warner as the narrator, and some of the score of Pooh's Grand Adventure is reused as well.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: For a long run in the early 2000s, Kath Soucie took over as Kanga, joining fellow Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) voice actor, Jim Cummings among the Pooh cast.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • Jim Cummings is currently Tigger and Pooh.
    • Before that, Hal Smith, who played Owl, also played Pooh throughout the early to mid-80s.
    • However, in France, Roger Carel was the voice of Pooh and Rabbit until he retired in the 2000s. He was also Piglet until the late 90s.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Piglet was intended to be Adapted Out, with Gopher serving as a replacement. Since the change was not accepted well, Blustery Day onwards introduced Piglet as a main character.
    • Sterling Holloway was considered to reprise Pooh in The New Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, but the then-83 year old actor was deemed unable to replicate the voice properly after an audition. Given Jim Cummings would step in as Pooh starting from New Adventures in what was arguably his Star-Making Role, who knows how differently his career may have went otherwise.
    • Paul Winchell was intended to reprise his role as Tigger in The Tigger Movie, however Disney decided his voice had become to worn from age so opted for his replacement Jim Cummings instead. Winchell's final performances as Tigger before his death of natural causes on June 24, 2005 note  was in 1999 for Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You and the Pooh attraction at Walt Disney World. Following his retirement, Cummings permanently took over the role of Tigger starting with Sing a Song with Pooh Bear in 1999 (though some of Winchell's vocals from previous Pooh animations were included).
    • Post 2002 prints of A Day For Eeyore feature credits listing a few of the then-current voice actors, such as Jim Cummings, Ken Samson, and Tress MacNeille (Pooh, Rabbit, and presumably Kanga even though Kath Soucie was her main voice actress at this time) alongside some of the original ones, but the featurette itself features all the original voices. This implies that a redub was attempted with those actors, but ultimately scrapped.