Disney has produced quite a number of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time. These characters with their stories have made us laugh and touched our lives one way or another. One of them is this beloved bear named Winnie the Pooh. He is one of the most popular fictional characters for being a fun-loving and caring bear in his story. Winnie the Pooh is also popular for his signature catchphrase, “Oh, bother.' He has an obsession with honey, which makes him willing to do anything to get honey even if it means putting himself in danger. According to an article by Mental Floss, since Winnie the Pooh was introduced decades ago, he has become of one the most favorite and beloved by children across many generations. Thus, a person's childhood will not be complete without the presence of this cute little bear. The popularity and influence of Winnie the Pooh have been alive over the past decades. It is no surprise then that even museums are hosting exhibitions to feature this beloved character not only for children but also for children by heart. In fact, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London is currently having a playful exhibition that explores the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. But before we get into that, let's get to know the fictional character more. Brief History of Winnie the Pooh A lot of people would know that Alan Alexander Milne created the fictional character Winnie the Pooh. But the character was actually inspired by a real-life bear owned by a Canadian soldier serving in World War I. This prompted the creation of the popular children's book.
It all started when Lieutenant Harry Colebourn saw a black bear cub in the station platform of White River, Ontario, on August 24, 1914. The cub was only more than seven months old when the soldier found him being sold by a trapper, and since Colebourn had always loved animals, he decided to buy the bear for $20. Colebourn then named the bear 'Winnipeg' to pay tribute to his hometown. According to the History, Colebourn brought the bear, which he nicknamed 'Winnie' to his training in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Valcartier. Winnie would sleep under his coat and followed him almost anywhere he went. He trained the cub by giving it rewards of a mixture of condensed milk and corn syrup, as well as apples. However, times hadn't been good for both of them. Colebourn decided to bring Winnie to his new home at the London Zoo since he could not bring the bear to France where he would be stationed next. Colebourn promised Winnie that he would come back for him once the war was over. He would visit the bear in his new home whenever he received a coveted leave from the front. Over the years, Winnie remained as gentle as ever. In fact, zookeeper Ernest Sceales stated that the bear was “quite the tamest and best-behaved bear we have ever had at the zoo.” Winnie was adored by the people who visited him. By then, Colebourn decided that his pet no longer belonged to him, but to the people of London. Colebourn finally said goodbye to Winnie and returned to his home in Winnipeg. The Creation of Winnie-the-Pooh Character Author A.A. Milne was one of the many people who got interested in the story of the famous bear.
Thus, he created the character Winnie the Pooh in his book of children’s poetry entitled 'When We Were Very Young' in 1924. In 1926, it was followed by the publication of a full volume of stories, “Winnie the Pooh.' After two years, it was followed by a sequel titled “The House at Pooh Corner.' Since then, Milne’s books have become more successful than ever, making Winnie the Pooh more famous. Moreover, an article by Military stated that Milne got interested in Winnie because he saw himself in the bear. At the same time, his son Christopher Robin Milne also loved the bear for being cute and cuddly. Robin loved the bear so much that he decided to name his teddy as Winnie the Pooh. 'Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic' Exhibition Throughout the years, the humorous and witty world of Winnie the Pooh remains loved by millions of people around the world. The Victoria and Albert Museum has been hosting an exhibition dedicated to Winnie the Pooh since 1973. This is after E.H. Shepard, the illustrator of the famous character, donated over 270 objects to the museum including his original drawings. The museum has been organizing an exhibition tour for many countries, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and in Japan. According to an article by Amuzen, the exhibition titled 'Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic' shines the spotlight on the creativity of both Milne and Shepard in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. It features original drawings, proof and early editions, manuscripts, photographs, letters, cartoons, fashion, and ceramics.
The official website of Victoria and Albert Museum stated that they also included Winnie the Pooh's friends, such as Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore and, of course, Christopher Robin, in the exhibit. Some of the most popular pencil drawings are 'Bump, bump, bump,' 'Christopher Robin the bath,' a map of the Hundred-Acre Wood, and many more. The exhibition also shows how creative genius Shepard had interpreted the written stories of Winnie the Pooh. It brought the characters to life with his delicate drawings, which are undoubtedly the key to the success of the bear's storybooks. Most importantly, the exhibition offers nostalgia to its visitors. It reminds people of the reason why they have loved the character throughout the years.
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