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Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. He appears in Winnie the Pooh (1926) and The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also wrote two books of children's poetry which include several poems about Winnie the Pooh: When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. E. H. Shepard illustrated all four volumes.

Winnie the Pooh, who is described as F.O.P. (Friend of Piglet), R.C. (Rabbit's Companion), P.D. (Pole Discoverer), E.C. and T.F. (Eeyore's Comforter and Tail Discoverer), is an unassuming "Bear of Very Little Brain" who is fond of composing poetry and eating honey. His best friend is a piglet called Piglet who is not very brave.

The character was named after a bear named Winnipeg, brought to England from Canada and whom Milne and his son often saw at the zoo.

In 1961, the Walt Disney Corporation bought film and other rights to the character and made a series of cartoon films about him. The early cartoons were based on several of the original stories. However this is not true of the more recent films and television series which Disney have made. The style of drawing used in the cartoons is similar to that of Shepard's drawings although the storytelling style and characterisation has less in common with Milne's tales.

More recently, 1977, Disney has released the animated feature The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, introducing a new character named Gopher. This movie features four segments which include Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, and Winnie the Pooh and a day for Eeyore. This film does not enter the public domain until 2073.

In 1991, Shirley Slesinger Lasswell, the widow of Milne's literary agent, who inherited the rights to Pooh, has filed a lawsuit against Disney, claiming that she was being cheated out of merchandising rights to the characters. Although she has collected $66 million, she claims over $200 million more. The suit has been sitting in the American legal system since that time, but is set to come to trial in March, 2003.

The Tao Of Pooh and Te Of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff[?] uses AA Milne's characters in a very accessible way to explain Eastern philosophies such as taoism.

Characters in the Winnie the Pooh stories include:

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