Table of contents
2. The original toys
2.1. Pooh’s story
2.2 The toys
2.2.1 Winnie Pooh
3. The characters in the book
3.1 Winnie the Pooh
4. What Disney made of them
4.1 Winnie the Pooh
The following piece of work will be about the characters in A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. The stories in his book deal with the adventures that his son Christopher Robin has with his friends, the animals in the one-hundred-acre-wood.
Except Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger und Kanga, who can be found as original toys in Christopher Robin’s room, Roo, Rabbit, Owl, some bees and some of Rabbits friends and relations turn up either, but as they are no toys I will not talk about them.
With this paper I will try to describe the original toys of Christopher Robin Milne and then look how far the items represented by their look can be found in the characterisation in the story and in the illustrations of E.H Shepard.
The third thing I will look at is how Walt Disney, who made many movies about Pooh drew them and characterized them for his needs.
2. The original toys
In this part I will start with a short history of the original toys. Then I will describe them, which was not quite difficult, as I did not have the toys and I only got pictures of them where they can be seen grouped.
2.1. Pooh’s story
On August 21st, 1920, A.A. Milne became father of Christopher Robin Milne (www.teddybear.uk.co). On his first birthday Christopher Robin received a teddy bear from Farnell, one of many they produced. His mother named it Edward. In the following years Edward Bear got accompanied by a donkey, a tiger and a kangaroo and her baby, one of the neighbours gave Christopher Robin a little pig. Being Christopher Robin’s favourite he also got a personal name: He was called Winnie-the-Pooh, after Winnie, an old bear, living in the zoo of London and ‘Pooh’, a swan, living on a manor in Sussex that Christopher Robin was feeding on their joyrides (Grieser 1991, 172 - 176).
When Christopher Robin grew older, he was very unhappy with his famousness and left his old toys on the attic of Cotchford Farm, where they stayed for a long time. In 1947 they were given to E.P. Dutton who sent them from one public library to the other, thousands of children coming to see them. When A.A. Milne died in 1956 they are sold to E.P. Dutton, and for the next 30 years they could be seen in a glass cabinet in the entrance hall. In 1987 they were finally given to the New York Public Library, where they now ‘live’ in the shop window of the ‘Rare Book Collection’ section (Grieser 1991, 181- 183).
2.2 The toys
Pooh, or Edward Bear, is a bear. His fur is fair and shimmering slightly golden, but looking quite hackneyed. His nose and mouth are embroidered to his face; his eyes are made of brown glass. His proportions are quite unrealistic, his limps are longer than the body an a good deal slenderer than in nature. The bottom sides of his paws are made of smooth material and of the colour beige. His head is smaller than his body and the proportion of his half-round ears to his head seems normal, too. His bearing is the one of a human: Pooh can sit or stand on two legs, but standing on all fours, like a real bear, is impossible for him. His facial expression appears kind of earnest, but not sorrowful or sad or something of that kind.
Piglet is pretty small. His colour is bright and brownish. He is standing upright, looking quite human. His body is made of an oval tummy with very shirt limbs on it. His legs even seem shorter than his arms. On his tummy there are two buttons embroidered. His head is round with two triangle ears that look quite big in comparison to his head. His eyes seem to be only embroidered dots, the small nose is sewed to it. Trunk and head are almost of the same size. Piglet is also looking quite used.
Eeyore, the donkey, is grey. He is looking most used of all the animals. His fur is quite short and much worn out, even ragged in some places. His toes are light brown at the front, just as a part of his neck. His trunk is round and flat and the part of his body that looks most used and even ripped. He is standing on all fours; his head is a little down. Down to the beginning of his neck he has a short dark mane, his triangle ears are proportional big and hanging down.
His eyes are made of glass; his mouth, hinting at a smile is embroidered. The hanging head and ears remind of someone gloomy, though his mouth seems to be smiling as mentioned above.
Tigger’s (the tiger’s), fur is a kind of orange brown with black stripes; his whole body, head, trunk limbs etc. is made of the same material. Although he is standing on four legs his posture is untypical for animals. His head is very round, reminding of a young tiger and made of three pieces, two rounded for the cheeks on the left and the right side and in the middle a broad stripe for the forehead which gets narrower near the nose section. The nose itself can not be seen on this photo, but as there is no bump, what would hint at a plastic or glass nose, I guess that it is embroidered. His eyes are made of green glass. His ears are half round and of the right size to keep the proportions of a real tiger. His front legs are much longer than his hind legs and he seems to have no tail.
His facial expression looks a little puzzled or surprised, due to the position of his eyes and the fact that they are very round and bigger as one would have expected. That also underlines the impression of him being a young tiger, which has been hinted by his round head and limbs and kind of biggish, round paws. He also calls the impression of being a little clumsy sometimes.
Kanga’s backside is grey, in the front view her tummy and her arms and legs are white.
Her trunk appears triangular or trapeze-like, her limbs do not have real toes or hands, they are just tunnels, her legs triangles. The white fur of her tummy, throat and limbs seems to be made of one piece of cloth, the grey for back, tail and head obviously, too. Her head has a snout that tapers off and triangle ears, whose backside are also grey, but the fronts are pink. Her eyes are made of glass, the nose is embroidered. She is standing upright, what reminds of a real kangaroo, but she lacks the bag.
Kanga is also in quite good shape. Her fur seems to have been not that fluffy from the beginning, so that the signs of usage can not be seen that much.
It is said, that she was given to Christopher Robin with her baby, but he is obviously missing.
- Quote paper
- Katharina Grafmüller (Author), 2006, Toys in Milne's "Winnie the Pooh", Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/122350