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The Hundred Acre Wood is home to the most famous group of friends. The main character within this wonderful group is Winnie the Pooh. An English author, A.A. Milne, created him in the 1920’s. Originally named Edward Bear, the character had a name change due to the son of the author, Christopher Robin. The boy loved the animals in London Zoo and particularly a black bear cub that had arrived there in 1919. The cub had been loaned to the zoo by a captain in the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade who in turn had rescued her from a hunter who had killed the bear’s mother in Canada. The bear had been named after his hometown of Winnipeg and after becoming the brigade’s mascot, she was often called Winnie for short. The lovable characters of Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, Roo and Piglet are named after the stuffed toys that Christopher Robin loved so much and because of his favourite animal in the zoo, he changed the name of his teddy bear to Winnie. The wiser animals that can be found in the Hundred Acre Wood, Rabbit and Owl, are based on creatures that lived in the countryside around the author’s home.
The four books featuring these characters, that were written and published by A.A. Milne and beautifully illustrated by E.H. Shepard, were favourite stories of the daughters of Walt Disney. Inspired by his children’s love of the tales, Disney brought Pooh to life in film in 1966 and the first feature length animated film, The Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh, was released in 1977. The Disney version of the character is the one that most people visualise when they think of Winnie the Pooh and his colourful friends. He is certainly one of the most popular Disney characters alongside Mickey Mouse. Following this success, other movies have been released which put the other characters to the focus of the plot such as The Tigger Movie in 2000 and Piglet’s Big Movie in 2003.
Pooh, a golden bear, is a very faithful friend to have as he always tries to help everyone out, but he's always looking for snacks, such as honey, as his tummy is always rumbling. As a bear of very little brain, he struggles to find the answers to any problems that might occur. A popular and memorable image is of Pooh stood, tapping his head with a pained expression, urging himself to “Think, Think.” Tigger is a very friendly tiger with an extremely bouncy tail. He is so excitable and is always rushing to tell his friends what he’s been doing and what he has seen. He often acts on impulse and bounces before he thinks causing all kinds of chaos! Piglet, a young pig who speaks with a stutter especially when he is nervous, is always seeking reassurance from his friends in the woods. Rabbit likes to think that he is the smartest creature in the wood but he often over reacts when something doesn’t go quite to plan. Little Roo, the kangaroo, lives with his mother Kanga. Unfortunately his role model is Tigger and he would like to be able to bounce as high as him. Last, but certainly not least, is old Eeyore, the donkey. He always looks dismal and gloomy but the truth is that Eeyore just has very low expectations of the world and thinks that nobody cares about him. He just doesn’t realise how wrong he is!
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