For a lot of people I know, the Disney version of Winnie the Pooh is the definitive version. However, growing up, I was really only exposed to the franchise as a child through Milne and Shepherd. I am sure that I saw the original movie at least once as a child but it was a shock when I saw it as an adult.
(Three shocks: one, what is this gopher business?! Two, hey, other than the gopher, this is pretty close to the stories. Three, this version of Tigger is better :D)
Frankly, despite being something of a recovering literary snob, I have come to the conclusion that if the Disney version with the red shirt is your Winnie the Pooh, that’s just fine. You go, you. But I did wonder why my early exposure was so light even though the movie had come out in 1977. (Oh dear Cthulhu, I’m older than the movie)
Okay, that was part of it and also explains why my parents read When We Were Young and Now We Are Six more than the Pooh books. But I also think that my years of being a primary demographic was before VHS really got rolling while a lot of (sigh, younger) folks I knew grew up with Disney movies on tap, thanks to the power of VCRs.
Now we live in a streaming world and I am in the science fiction dreams of my childhood. It’s cool. But it takes something like Winnie the Pooh to realize just HOW different the media dissemination has changed and over a relatively short period of history. It was bad enough for me to realize how the internet made Gary Gygax’s N not just obsolete but positively prehistoric. But realizing that my Pooh is Shepherd’s Pooh simply by the limitations of exposure is pretty startling.
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