Winnie the Pooh: Children’s Idol or Children’s Nightmare?

The trailer for Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey was first released on Aug 31, 2022 and the movie was released Feb 15. The film follows the classic characters from the book and Disney film, namely Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh, and Piglet as they embark on yet another journey. This journey, however, is not like any other they have faced before.

Blood and Honey is a horror film centered around Christopher Robin abandoning his friends for adulthood. After returning to Hundred Acre Woods (the forest Christopher and his companions always played in) with a girl,  he soon realizes that his old friends do not want to come out and play.

Winnie the Pooh about to chase after people to kill | AugustMan Singapore

Pooh and Piglet have set their malicious hearts on revenge. The trailer depicts this revenge with gory scenes of blood, murder, and people running for their lives. It appears no different than a regular, zero-budget horror film.

What makes the movie so special is the fact that the antagonists are childhood icons and old friends to many adults. The controversy with the film was centered around this irony. If the film had a higher budget and was thought out more, the movie industry might have been revolutionized. However, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey has received some backlash. Many say the film feels half-written and the plot could have been better. Others say that the movie was unsatisfactory in general.

Winnie the Pooh trying to kill a girl | Photo Courtesy of Polygon

Another controversy is centered around how the creator and author of Pooh and Friends (A. A. Milnes) earliest stories are now out of copyright. Disney’s version of Pooh is still protected and the franchise still owns rights to some facets of the Pooh and Friends series; however, they do not exclusively own the rights anymore. That is the reasoning for only Piglet and Pooh starring in the movie, as Tiger is still protected by the copyright. Nevertheless, the movie contains a scene of Eeyore’s grave, due to Pooh and Piglet having eaten the sad donkey. Disney has given no comment, although the director of Blood and Honey, Rhys Waterfield, knows he must be careful not to base the movie too much off of Disney’s version. 

In the long run this helped Waterfield, as he did not want this film to be seen as too much of a comedy or a childhood story. 

“When you try and do a film like this, and it’s a really wacky concept, it’s very easy to go down a route where nothing is scary and it’s just really ridiculous and really, like, stupid. And we wanted to go between the two,” Waterfield said in an interview with Variety Magazine.

Due to the film’s bad reviews, it did not revolutionize the movie industry. There will not be a spark in childhood icon horror movies. The one thing the movie did was ruin a classic childhood icon for the many who watched it. Hopefully, not too many people were scarred from the moviegoing experience, and Winnie the Pooh can still be the classic, friendly, and thoughtful bear people know him to be.

Written by Sarah Strauss

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