New Winnie the Pooh film imagines bear as a violent horror figure

·1 min read

A new film will apparently transform the much-loved children’s character Winnie the Pooh into a horror figure.

The animated bear, who is usually portrayed as cuddly and kind, receives a sinister makeover in the forthcoming picture Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey.

Pooh Bear, created by AA Milne, entered the public domain earlier this year on 1 January when the copyright on the book, initially issued in 1926, expired.

This means that the character is available for use without permission of the author’s estate and can be interpreted in any creative work, such as movies, musicals and plays.

Previously, the rights to Winnie the Pooh were held exclusively under Disney licensing, which gave the character a red T-shirt and is the version recognisable to most.

According to film site IMDB, the dark take on the honey-loving bear will be directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield.

As well as familiar characters such as Pooh and Piglet, Blood and Honey is also poised to feature roles so far described as “Mauled Woman” and “Caged Man”.

Winnie the Pooh in ‘Blood and Honey' (Jagged Edge Productions)
Winnie the Pooh in ‘Blood and Honey' (Jagged Edge Productions)

According to Jennifer Jenkins, director of the Centre for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University, the rights to the Winnie the Pooh stories and characters after 1926 still belong to Disney.

The character of Tigger will not feature in the film, as he wasn’t introduced until 1928 so remains under Disney copyright.

Some fans have shared their excitement for the film on social media, praising the use of the character now that it is no free for creative usage.

"This is why public domain is a good thing," wrote one supporter.

Elsewhere, others have had a less positive reaction to the interpretation; some have claimed that the images will "ruin their childhood".

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