With the upcoming release of Christopher Robin, our minds turn to Winnie the Pooh and how the honey-snaffling, pants-avoiding bear has developed over the years. The lovable Pooh has continued to evolve and grow, touching the lives of not only new generations of children, but adults as well. An appealing blend of traditional and timeless, he evokes a feeling of nostalgia in grown-ups at the same time as being relevant to children today, planting the seeds for their own feelings of nostalgia as they look back on their youth in later years.
There is, of course, another bear — also associated with childhood — of similar standing. Think of Pooh, and thoughts usually turn to this equally adorable animated bear from Darkest Peru. A bear who has also recently enjoyed big-screen success. But, it seems, for some fans — including this writer — there’s just no room for both. Just as the Winnie the Pooh and Paddington bear brigades have a history of comparing the characters, so we’re pitching in. Here’s why Winnie the Pooh wins out over Paddington.
Pooh is Funnier
Simply put, Winnie the Pooh makes more people laugh. With his childlike sensibilities and curiosity, the humor revolving around Pooh and his adventures is a very specific style of comedy that characterises author AA Milne’s world and that fans have grown to love. Not only does Pooh have a vernacular that makes people laugh, with phrases such as “Oh, bother” and “Think, think, think”, Pooh also finds himself in adorably hilarious situations — such as getting stuck in the doorway of Rabbit’s house and regularly falling out of trees.
Pooh is Older
First appearing in 1924, Winnie the Pooh is 34 years older than Paddington. Although this doesn’t necessarily make Pooh better than Paddington, credit must be given where it’s due. Pooh was conceived first, and with age also comes more stories and adventures. More stories mean that people have a longer time to become acquainted with Pooh, to understand him, and to tag along on his fun and exciting adventures. After all, with age also comes credibility and if you’ve managed to hold onto — and even build — your strong reputation and enduring popularity for longer, that’s got to mean better, right?
Pooh is More Iconic
Yes, this might be a stretch. Icons do change constantly and it often depends on the individual’s perspective. However, Winnie the Pooh has a cult-like following that’s never waned. From baby decor to 3D collectible plates, Pooh memorabilia is all-encompassing and reaches all ages. Pooh also has iconic friends, of course, most of whom are just as well-loved as Pooh himself, which only serves to boost Pooh’s iconic status.
Pooh Wouldn’t Be Anything Without His Friends
Indeed, Winnie the Pooh wouldn’t be the success he is today without the help of his friends. We’re not just talking about Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore either — we’re talking about the sometimes overlooked characters of the Hundred Acre Wood such as Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo. Pooh is funny, wise and thoughtful in his own way, but the characters around him help highlight his traits even more. These idiosyncratic critters are also the source of a lot of humor and cuteness.
For instance, how many of your friends would literally make a decorative piece out of your backside when you were stuck in the doorway of their house? Rabbit did just that to Pooh. Those who love Winnie the Pooh aren’t just fans of the cuddly bear — they love all of the characters from Hundred Acre Wood.
When it comes to Paddington, however, he only really has the members of the Brown family. The Brown family and Paddington are a great match — but they’re really only there to serve Paddington’s story. There’s something missing. Paddington clearly needs more friends.
Pooh is Wiser (Though He Doesn’t Know it)
Although Pooh doesn’t realize how smart he can be, thanks to the help of Christopher Robin he can sometimes spread profound knowledge in just a few words. Some wise words from Pooh include:
- “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
- “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
- “Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
- “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
There are countless other inspiring quotes from Winnie the Pooh, but who can forget the following profound exchange that Pooh had with Piglet?
Piglet: “How do you spell love?”
Pooh: “You don’t spell it, you feel it.”
Location, Location, Location
Sure, the story of Paddington and his family is intriguing and the city setting adds a fun, fish-out-of-water (bear-out-of-the-woods?) element. However, when it comes to Winnie the Pooh and his friends, the location of the Hundred Acre Wood adds a certain depth to the Pooh universe, building a world that’s immersive and uniquely Pooh. With the Hundred Acre Wood, the possibilities are endless. Whether Pooh and his friends are searching for Heffalumps and Woozles or fighting through strong weather such as wind and floods, adventure is always around the corner.
Christopher Robin hits screens in the US on August 3, the UK on August 17 and Australia on September 13.