I have an incredible love and affection for Winnie the Pooh, in all forms – from the books to the movies and the TV show, to appearances in videos games or the various stuffed animal variety. 18 January has become known as Winnie the Pooh Day, as it falls on creator A. A. Milne’s birthday. Having been around for 90 years Winnie the Pooh has cemented himself in popular culture and in people’s lives and memories, both childhood and beyond. In doing so, Pooh has become famous for certain phrases and sayings, A. A. Milne often being credited as creating quotes that are often inspirational or motivating, things to cheer you up or about friendship and love. And while beautiful, poetic and inspiring these are, many of them are not actually from the original works.
There are so many quotes misattributed to Milne, sometimes these are from the Disney films, or misquotes from the books, but sometimes they are completely different altogether. But as JGunn points out, it is easier to attribute these quotes to Pooh or Milne because “Disney Inc” doesn’t sound that profound. Still, even just Winnie the Pooh and the movie reference is better than continually giving Milne incorrect credit in my opinion.
There is a wonderful website, Pooh Misquoted, that helps locate the original references of many misquotes. It’s here I learnt that the phrase, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”, the one from last year I was convinced wasn’t from Milne but couldn’t find a reference anywhere, was actually from a 1975 film called The Other Side of the Mountain, and is actually a misquote of that! Pooh Misquoted is an informative read, and for a bit of fun you can buy your favourite Pooh misquote as a wooden mounted rubber stamp so you can spread the misquote forever more.
Looking around there were a rare few articles about these misquotes that stood out amongst the dozens that list these inaccurate Winnie the Pooh and Milne quotes. “Misquoting A. A. Milne” is a wonderful one where JGunn discusses these misquotes, but also has compiled numerous sites that help clarify true origins of Milne misquotes. Many of the articles Gunn lists also look at the tampering and changes to Pooh over the years, all fascinating reading, but they’re not all about misquotes specifically. I think getting any real chance of changing these misquotes are slim, there are too many motivational images and pillows and art pieces that have these incorrect quotes that it’s probably stuck that way forever.
But away from the misquotes that can ruin a good Winnie the Pooh experience, one thing I adore about Pooh is the amount of fan art that has been created by people; everything from crossovers to realistic portrayals, or just fun little drawings. In honour of Milne’s birthday I am sharing a few of my absolute favourites (click image for source).
These ones below are not fan art, but they are my favourite pictures.
These came from my favourite episode of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Donkey for a Day.
You won’t regret watching it, it’s beautiful.
I could truly sit and write for page after page about what I love about Winnie the Pooh and how it has played a role in my life, but I won’t. Instead, I will leave with the hope that a little bit of Winnie the Pooh has brightened your day today, and maybe you’ve learnt something new; and certainly I am appreciating that even all these decades later, Winnie the Pooh and all of Milne’s wonderful creations are still loved, admired, and appreciated, misquotes or no misquotes.
So in the words of Owl, I say to Milne, HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY!
All Your Bits and Pieces Needs
50 Facts about Winnie the Pooh (scroll down a bit from the main article)