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Winnie The Pooh
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Winnie The Pooh
Information about Winnie The PoohWinnie-the-Pooh, commonly shortened to Pooh Bear and once referred to as Edward Bear, is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926, 87 years ago), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928, 85 years ago). Milne also included a poem about the bear in the children’s verse book When We Were Very Young (1924, 89 years ago) and many more in Now We Are Six (1927, 86 years ago). All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard.
The hyphens in the character's name were later dropped when The Walt Disney Company adapted the Pooh stories into a series of Winnie The Pooh featurettes that became one of the company's most successful franchises worldwide: see Winnie The Pooh (Disney).
The Pooh stories have been translated into many languages, notably including Alexander Lenard's Latin translation, Winnie ille Pu, which was first published in 1958 (55 years ago), and, in 1960 (53 years ago), became the first foreign-language book to be featured on the New York Times Best Seller List, and is the only book in Latin ever to have been featured therein.
OriginOriginal Winnie The Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwise from bottom left: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear ("Winnie The Pooh"), Eeyore, and Piglet.Milne named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who was the basis for the character Christopher Robin. His toys also lent their names to most of the other characters, except for Owl and Rabbit, as well as the Gopher character, who was added in the Disney version. Christopher Robin's toy bear is now on display at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library in New York.
Christopher Milne had named his toy bear after Winnie, a bear which he often saw at London Zoo, and "Pooh", a swan they had met while on holiday. The bear cub was purchased from a hunter for $20 by Canadian Lieutenant Harry Colebourn in White River, Ontario, Canada, while en-route to England during the First World War. He named the bear "Winnie" after his hometown in Winnipeg, Manitoba. "Winnie" was surreptitiously brought to England with her owner, and gained unofficial recognition as The Fort Garry Horse regimental mascot. Colebourne left Winnie at the London Zoo while he and his unit were in France; after the war she was officially donated to the zoo, as she had become a much loved attraction there. Pooh the swan appears as a character in its own right in When We Were Very Young.
In the first chapter of Winnie-the-Pooh, Milne offers this explanation of why Winnie-the-Pooh is often called simply "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."
Crotchford Farm, Milnes' home in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England, was the basis for the setting of the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. The name of the fictional "Hundred Acre Wood" is reminiscent of the Five Hundred Acre Wood, which lies just outside Ashdown Forest and includes some of the locations mentioned in the book, such as the Enchanted Place.
The origin of the Poohsticks game is at the footbridge across a tributary of the River Medway near Upper Hartfield, close to the Milnes' home at Posingford Farm. It is traditional to play the game there using sticks gathered in nearby woodland. When the footbridge required replacement in recent times the engineer designed a new structure based closely on the drawings (by E H Shepherd) of the bridge in the original books, as the bridge did not originally appear as the artist drew it. There is an information board at the bridge which describes aspects of how to play the game.
First PublicationWinnie-the-Pooh's début in the Dec. 24, 1925 (88 years ago) London Evening NewsThere are three claimants, depending on the precise question posed. Christopher Robin's teddy bear, Edward, made his character début in a poem in Milne's book of children's verse When We Were Very Young (1924, 89 years ago). Winnie-the-Pooh first appeared by name on 24 dec. 1925 (88 years ago), in a Christmas story commissioned and published by the London newspaper The Evening News. It was illustrated by J. H. Dowd. The first collection of Pooh stories appeared in the book Winnie-the-Pooh. The Evening News Christmas story reappeared as the first chapter of the book, and at the very beginning it explained that Pooh was in fact Christopher Robin's Edward Bear, who had simply been renamed by the boy. The book was published in Oct. 1926 (87 years ago) by the publisher of Milne's earlier children's work, Methuen, in England, and E. P. Dutton in the United States.
In Jan. 2009 (4 years ago) it was announced that David Benedictus, a novelist who has written some "Pooh" dramatisations, had received approval from the estates of A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepherd to write a sequel to the stories: Return to the Hundred Acre Wood will be published simultaneously in Britain and the U. S. on 5 Oct. 2009 (4 years ago). The pictures (wallpaper) will be from children's illustrator Mark Burgess.
Stephen SlesingerStephen Slesinger, Inc.'s Winnie-the-Pooh in his distinctive red shirtOn Jan. 6, 1930 (83 years ago), Stephen Slesinger purchased US and Canadian merchandising, TV, recording and other trade rights to the "Winnie-the-Pooh" works from Milne for a $1000 advance and 66% of Slesinger's income, creating the modern licensing industry. By Nov. 1931 (82 years ago), Pooh was a $50 million-a-year business. Slesinger marketed Pooh and his friends for more than 30 years, creating the first Pooh doll, record, board game, puzzle, US radio broadcast (NBC), animation and motion picture (wallpaper) film. In 1961 (52 years ago), Disney acquired rights from Slesinger to produce articles of merchandise based on characters from its feature animation.
Red Shirt PoohThe first time Pooh and his friends appeared in color was 1932 (81 years ago), when he was drawn by Slesinger in his now-familiar red shirt and featured on an RCA Victor picture (wallpaper) record. Parker Brothers also introduced A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh Game in 1933 (80 years ago), again with Pooh in his red shirt. In the 1940s, Agnes Brush created the first plush dolls with Pooh in his red shirt.
DisneyDisney's adaption of Stephen Slesinger, Inc.'s Winnie-the-Pooh.After Slesinger's death in 1953 (60 years ago), his wife, Shirley Slesinger Lasswell, continued developing the character herself. In 1961 (52 years ago), she licensed rights to Walt Disney Productions in exchange for royalties in the first of two agreements between Stephen Slesinger, Inc. and Disney. The same year, Daphne Milne also licensed certain rights, including motion picture (wallpaper) rights, to Disney.
Since 1966 (47 years ago), Disney has released numerous animated productions starring Winnie The Pooh and related characters. These have included theatrical featurettes, TV series, and direct-to-video films, as well as the theatrical feature-length movies The Tigger Movie, Piglet's Big Movie, and Pooh's Heffalump Movie.
In dec. 2005 (8 years ago), Disney announced a Disney Channel animated TV series, My Friends Tigger & Pooh, focusing on adventures had by 6-year-old Darby and the Pooh characters, with the occasional appearance from Christopher Robin. The show was cancelled after two seasons.
The Disney version of Winnie The Pooh was featured in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, the Kingdom Hearts videogames and the TV series House of Mouse
Pooh also appears at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meet-able and child friendly character.
Merchandising revenue disputeWinnie Pooh with Stingo from Fifi & the Flowertots in Zagreb, CroatiaPooh videos, teddy bears, and other merchandise generate substantial annual revenues for Disney. The size of Pooh stuffed toys ranges from Beanie and miniature to human-sized. In addition to the stylized Disney Pooh, Disney markets Classic Pooh merchandise which more closely resembles E.H. Shepard’s illustrations. It is estimated that Winnie The Pooh features and merchandise generate as much revenue as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto combined.
In 1991 (22 years ago), Stephen Slesinger, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Disney which alleged that Disney had breached their 1983 (30 years ago) agreement by again failing to accurately report revenue from Winnie The Pooh sales. Under this agreement, Disney was to retain approximately 98% of gross worldwide revenues while the remaining 2% was to be paid to Slesinger. In addition, the suit alleged that Disney had failed to pay required royalties on all commercial exploitation of the product name. Though the Disney corporation was sanctioned by a judge for destroying forty boxes of evidential documents, the suit was later terminated by another judge when it was discovered that Slesinger's investigator had rummaged through Disney's garbage in order to retrieve the discarded evidence. Slesinger appealed the termination, and on sep. 26, 2007 (6 years ago), a three-judge panel upheld the lawsuit dismissal.
After the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (15 years ago), Clare Milne, Christopher Milne's daughter, attempted to terminate any future U.S. copyrights for Stephen Slesinger, Inc. After a series of legal hearings, Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the United States District Court for the Central District of California found in favor of Stephen Slesinger, Inc., as did the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On Jun. 26, 2006 (7 years ago), the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, sustaining the ruling and ensuring the defeat of the suit.
On Feb. 19, 2007 (6 years ago), it was reported Disney lost a court case in Los Angeles which ruled their "misguided claims" to dispute the licensing agreements with Slesinger, Inc. were unjustified.
In doing so, the claims by Slesinger, Inc. can now be tackled without any argument over who owns the rights. Though the ruling was downplayed by a Disney attorney, the outcome of the case could affect Disney's revenue, since Pooh-related merchandise has been reported to bring the Walt Disney Company approximately 1 billion dollars a year.
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