Hip-hip-hooray! Today is officially Winnie the Pooh Day!
That’s right! Pooh’s creator, A.A. Milne was born on January 18, 1882, and to celebrate the occasion, here are some facts you might not know about the willy, nilly, silly old bear!
Winnie the Pooh had a family connection.
Winnie the Pooh was created in 1926 and inspired by A.A. Milne’s son’s stuffed animals. Believe it or not, Milne’s son was actually named Christopher Robin! Born in 1920, Christopher Robin Milne received the teddy bear from his father for his 1st birthday. Milne purchased it the Harrods department store in London and originally called the bear Edward (the proper name for “Teddy” since he was a teddy bear!).
Christopher Robin received the rest of the stuffed gang as gifts between 1920 and 1928 with the exception of Owl and Rabbit, who Milne created from his own imagination. Gopher was later added by Disney who acquired the motion picture rights to Winnie the Pooh from the estate of A.A. Milne in 1961.
Winnie wasn’t the first bear named Winnie!
The Milnes renamed the stuffed toy “Winnie” after a black bear that lived at the London Zoo. The real-life bear had been donated to the zoo by a soldier from Winnipeg who returned to Canada after the war (hence the name Winnie). A.A. Milne himself also served in both WWI and WWII. Another fun fact: the original Winnie was a female bear!
Pooh and Hundred Acre Wood were inspired by real things, too.
The “Pooh” part of Winnie the Pooh’s name came from a swan the family met while on holiday. And the Hundred Acre Wood is an actual place in Sussex, England, although it’s commonly known as the Five Hundred Acre Wood!
Pooh’s voice is a familiar one.
The actor who lent his voice talent to Winnie the Pooh for Disney’s animations until 1977 was Sterling Holloway. His voice may sound familiar if you’re a Disney fan — he also portrayed the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, Sleepy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Kaa the snake in Jungle Book and the stork in Dumbo!
The writers and composers of Tigger’s theme are Disney treasures.
The Sherman brothers wrote and composed “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers” and were also the musical geniuses behind Disney’s Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang — just to name a few!
Pooh and Piglet have a philosophical side… sort of.
And even though Milne has described Winnie the Pooh as “a bear of very little brain” (ouch), he and Piglet have been the source of a couple of philosophical books including The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet to explain Taoism.
You can visit the original stuffies!
If you wish to see the original Winnie the Pooh or any of his friends, they’re on display at the New York Public Library where they’ve resided since 1987!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this little dose of Winnie the Pooh trivia — almost as much as a Pooh bear loves his honey!
Do you know any Winnie the Pooh facts? What’s your favorite Pooh memory or story? Share them with us in the comments below!