An open letter to Disney… re: Pooh

Dear Disney,

 You’ve made a lot of Pooh movies and TV shows. Your interpretation of Pooh has become so intemingled with the books that we can hardly seperate the two. Sometimes, rereading the stories we’re surprised that such and such didn’t happen and sometimes we think .. maybe it should have. Sherman and Sherman’s songs, for instance, really feel like they’re part of the real Hundred Acre Woods.

 But, your imagineers have now made so much Pooh that you’ve left the books far behind and are making up things entirely. (Such as the Skullosaurus or Pooh & Co. dressing up like Tigger.) And surely you’ve noticed that the terrain of the Hundred Acre Woods now contains a few too many killer waterfalls, bottomless chasms and dangerous log bridges. If you make another Pooh movie — and I don’t see why you won’t — you’ll have to make up even more stuff like this.

But here’s a different idea. Why not go back to Page 1 and make a Faithful Rendition. I mean, film it like Milne wrote it.

Yes, I know that when you read the stories you sometimes think … this doesn’t make sense or this could be punched up. But it worked for Milne as it is, why not make THAT movie? Simple, practically soporific, calm, soothing, dripping with whimsy.

No thrills, a lot of Pooh poems, lots of Eeyore rants. (Okay, I’ll compromise and let you cut some of Eeyore’s endless whining.)

And let’s take another look at the original illustrations…


Roo is just a little lump. Tigger is a stuffed tiger. Rabbit is a rabbit.

And keep the stories seperate. Don’t pile them on top of each other to create a fast-pace. Slow-pace is what made Pooh a hit in the first place.

All this sounds improbable, but again I note that it worked for Milne the first time around.



4 Responses

  1. Just as I opened this blog post, “Winnie the Pooh” as performed by the Chieftains started playing.

  2. Well said, Sam.

    Like you, I’ll admit that the Sherman Brothers’ song has earned its place beside the original Pooh stories. But this need to keep adding characters and expand things … they’re really missing the whole point of life in the Hundred Acre Wood, I think.

  3. Yes. You are right.

    I have the second largest collection of Winnie-the-Poohs in America. (Or at least I did, I stopped collecting when I donated my Poohs to the White River Museum in Canada.) My love for Pooh began with Disney when I was a child, and it later lead me to Milne.

    I’ve travelled to England twice to visit Pooh Sticks Bridge and the Victoria and Albert Museum where Shepard’s original sketches reside.

    Though I am grateful to Disney for introducing me to Winnie-the-Pooh, I find what they are doing these days appalling.

    I urge people to go back to Milne’s original, witty, and somewhat subversive tales to discover the true meaning of Pooh.

    Okay. I’m done now.

  4. Alright, Disney, now there’s three of us, plus one person who apparently votes for the Chieftans to do the music.

    There will still be plenty of music in the sort of Pooh movie I’m suggesting and the Chieftans might be just the ones to back up, say, Pooh’s Respectful Pooh Song about Piglet and the Mail Slot.

    Sing ho for Piglet! [Piglet] Ho!

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