Wednesday, February 09, 2005

On Winnie-the Pooh

The release of the new Disney movie about Winnie-the-Pooh and the Heffalump prompts me to render a much-needed public service; namely, to remind said public that the Disney film versions of Pooh Bear and his pals are poor substitutes for the richness, warmth and imaginative magic of the characters brought to literary life by A.A. Milne. And please note -- I'm not saying this because I oppose the nefarious activities of the present Disney Corporation (though I do oppose them -- things like homosexual celebrations and lousy safety records at Disney World and the trashy, irreligious films put out by their subsidiary companies).

No, my purpose here is simply to hold high the banner for the real thing...the real Pooh...the real Piglet...the real Tigger, and so on. Readers of the stories know exactly what I'm talking about and not only the qualitative difference between the experience of watching a movie and reading (or, even better, being read to) about the real Pooh, but even in the quantitative differences, i.e., the Disney "re-invention" of basic facts in the story. An example: the Tigger of the Disney corporation is certainly comic and cute in his own way but there's nothing even faintly similar between him and Milne's portrayal. ("Mr. Eisner. I knew Tigger. I sat alongside Tigger when we were kids. Tigger was a friend of mine. And, Mr. Eisner, your cartoon is no Tigger!")

Another instance more germane to the new flick is that the star of the new Disney movie is nothing but an imposter, a fraud. There was no Heffalump in the real story. The creature was merely a figment of Pooh's and Piglet's frightened imaginations. The new cartoon may be fine as those things go. But it isn't Pooh.

So, how about it? Instead of trooping down with the fam to the local theater where someone else's imaginative creations will be thrust upon you, why not pop the corn, pour the lemonade and read the real Pooh adventures aloud together. Really...its a better deal.

And, to stimulate you further and perhaps make the Pooh experience more of a fun campaign than a single event for your family, check out the Pooh FAQs from the web page listed below. There you can find out plenty to inform, entertain and deepen your literary experience. After all, do you know the answers to such questions as the following?

What does "ther" Mean, as in "Winnie-ther-Pooh"?
What's the Best Way to Win at Poohsticks?
Does Rabbit Live in a Tree or a Hole?
If Poohs Can Build Heffalump Traps, Can Heffalumps Build Pooh Traps?
What does the "A. A." stand for in A. A. Milne?

The answers and a lot more fun awaits you at