Winnie the Pooh Day
Winnie the Pooh Day is January 18th
Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated on the birthday of A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh. Milne was inspired to write Pooh's story by his son, Christopher Robin, who carried his teddy bear with him everywhere. Christopher Robin named his bear after a black bear at the London Zoo named Winnie and a swan named Pooh. The Winnie-the-Pooh stories were already considered children's classics, but they became even more popular when Disney bought the rights to them in the '60s.
“Winnie the Pooh (Pooh!), Winnie the Pooh (Pooh!)
Tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff
He's Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh
Willy nilly silly old bear…” by the Sherman Brothers
We all know who that yellow bear who loves honey is, the one, the only, Pooh Bear.
Winne-the-Pooh’s About Me
Winne-the-Pooh is known from A.A. Milne’s original bodies of work, the Winnie-the-Pooh book written in 1926, followed by The House at Pooh Corner written in 1928.
Milne started writing these stories after serving in WWI and decidedly uprooting his family from London to Crotchford Farm. The Winnie-the-Pooh books were originally created around Milne’s son Christopher Robin and his son’s real life experiences during his childhood and exploration of the woodlands in Ashdown Forest (hundred acre forest), along with his stuffed bear named Winne that was originally named Edward Bear. The story collection, Winnie-the-Pooh was a huge hit, selling 150,000 copies in the United States in 1926.
How Winne-the-Pooh Got His Name
Christoper Robin would frequent the London Zoo as a child, loving the bear exhibit, and later renaming his stuffed bear after Winnie the black bear. The London Zoo was home to a black bear named Winnie. This bear originally was bought by a man named Harry Colebourn who was a lieutenant in Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada) during WWI naming the bear Winnipeg, or Winnie for short. Winnie became the mascot of the Brigade and went to England with the unit. When the Brigade was sent to France, Colebourn took Winnie to the London Zoo in 1919, living there until 1934.
Pooh later became a household name when, in 1930, Stephen Slesinger Inc. brought the rights from A.A. Milne and licensed the name, bringing it into pop culture mass marketing and adding color to the body of work. After Slesinger’s death, his wife continued the production until in 1961, when she licensed the rights over to Walt Disney Productions. Disney adapted the Pooh stories (the household name no longer hyphenated), releasing their first animated Pooh short in 1966. Several movies, television shows, and amusement park rides later, Pooh is still around - and the glitz and glamour of the character’s post-Milne age hasn’t lessened.
Fun Facts About Pooh
- The original manuscripts for “Winnie the Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner” are held at The Wren Library at Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in England, A. A. Milne’s alma mater.
- You can visit some of the real stuffed animals that inspired beloved Pooh characters. Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Kanga, and Tigger are on display at The New York Public Library in New York City.
- Jim Cummings, an American voice actor, has been voicing Pooh since 1988, when the animated series "The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" began. He is the current voice of Tigger, too.
- Pooh got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006, joining other Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Snow White, and Donald Duck.
- The most recent Pooh movie was the live-action “Christopher Robin,” released in August 2018. It starred Ewan McGregor and grossed more than $197 million in worldwide box office sales, according to Box Office Mojo.
Celebrating Winnie the Pooh
This day is celebrated on A.A. Milne’s birthday. The best way to celebrate is to dig out the old classics or watch all of the movies