Wow! A blast from the past! Seeing Winnie the Pooh instantly took me back to my second grade classroom where I celebrated my birthday with my classmates. My mom made this cake for me of Winnie holding onto his red balloon and being lifted off the ground. My dad took this picture at home before school:
Mom brought the cake to class for the party, and my classmates loved it! I was so proud of her and this cake—still my favorite birthday cake EVER. It is one of my favorite childhood memories, and I even remember what I got for my birthday that year: KerPlunk. For some reason, I really wanted that game, and it was at the top of my wish list. I was one happy kid!
When I was a child I loved teddy bears, so Winnie was naturally one of my favorite cartoon characters. What’s not to like? Pooh is absolutely adorable!
Although Walt Disney Productions licensed certain film and other rights to the Winnie the Pooh characters in 1961, the cuddly fictional teddy bear was created by English author A.A. Milne. Early animated films, from the 1930’s to the 1960’s that Disney produced were based on several of the original stories my Milne and artwork by E.H. Shepard.
In 1977, Winnie made the big screen starring in Disney’s animated feature film The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh. The movie included three separate stories that were originally produced as 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). Those were classics!
Winnie went on to star in more Walt Disney Productions, including a live-action TV series, an animated series, and more films. The bear is also a common sight at all of the Disney Parks, but he is usually seen with his pals Tigger (the tiger) and Eeyore (a donkey). Occasionally, Piglet tags a long, and he’s quite the cutie!
The friendly bear is a real kid-pleaser, especially at Disney Paris where he has his own show called “Winnie the Pooh and Friends too!” Winnie also has his very own float in Disney Magic on Parade.
Like several of Winnie’s pals at Disneyland, he earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and he was the fourth Disney character to do so after Mickey Mouse, Snow White, and Donald Duck.
To know Winnie is to love him. Pooh is stuffed with fluff, and due to his obesity, he bursts at the seams every now and then. That’s no biggie to the bear though; he just fixes himself up and moves on—mostly to collecting honey. His tree house in Hundred Acre Wood is filled with jars and jars of honey, which he harvests from beehives throughout the day.
When Pooh’s “Poo-koo-clock” rings in the morning, the rotund bear rises and shines, ready to do his “stoutness exercise,” which is an ironic attempt to gain weight, rather than loose it. The remainder of his day is spent collecting honey or paling around with his buddies. His favorite friend is Christopher Robin, and they have a very special bond.
Winnie (named after Winnipeg, Canada) isn’t the brightest bear, and he can be quite naïve and absent-minded, but he is a sweetheart with a heart of gold. That’s what I loved most about him!