Mudcat Café message #3161014 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #72089   Message #3161014
Posted By: Valmai Goodyear
26-May-11 - 05:01 PM
Thread Name: Winnie the Pooh
Subject: RE: Winnie the Pooh
Doesn't Winne the Pooh mirror The Jungle Book? Kipling has a child raised by animals in the forest in India; Milne has a child in charge of animals in a forest in Sussex. Adult humans do not appear as proper characters in either.

There is a lot of fine detail in the way the characters are drawn in WtP, and it isn't all nice. For example, the resident creatures set out to bully Kanga (an immigrant single mother) and steal her baby in the hope of forcing her to leave; fortunately she stands up to them because she trusts Christopher Robin not to let anything bad happen, and they become fond of Roo and accept both newcomers. They also try to bully Tigger, who is new and disruptive, by taking him into a remote part of the Forest and leaving him to get lost; fortunately this again misfires and the residents (nearly wrote rate-payers there) come to realise that he's kind-hearted and useful. Even Pooh gets drawn into both nasty schemes, not because he's malicious but because he simply doesn't believe he can think.

Owl is actually rather dim but everyone thinks he's wise because he looks it, so he has to pretend; Eeyore is very dim but is convinced that he's brilliant, resents people who are cleverer than himself, and is constantly trying to make people feel guilty about ignoring him; Pooh thinks he's dim but is in fact the only one who comes up with workable ideas from time to time. The interplay between the characters is subtle, and observing it should help to prepare anyone for the social dynamics of schools, offices and societies.

Disney got it wrong for both books by leaving out the subtleties and substituting jolly music - fun in its way, but very different from the originals.

Valmai (Lewes)