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“Not My Winnie the Pooh” Disney Angers Fans of the Beloved Bear

Play Date with Winnie
Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company is known for taking many of its classic intellectual properties and changing them over time. It also has a long history of retheming characters in its collection for young audiences via Disney Junior. However, modern fans are much more vocal about any changes to their beloved favorites lately.  Winnie the Pooh is now the most recent character whose transformation is annoying passionate admirers.

Winnie the Pooh

Credit: D23

Play Date with Winnie the Pooh

Disney recently unveiled a first-look trailer for their upcoming Disney Junior project, Play Date with Winnie the Pooh. The new series, set to premiere on August 18, has garnered mixed reactions from devoted followers of the beloved bear and his Hundred Acre Wood companions. Twitter/X has had some thoughts, with some exclaiming, “This is not my Pooh Bear!”

The source of fans’ frustrations stems from several alterations to the iconic character’s appearance and, more specifically, his new voice for the series. Pooh dons rosy cheeks and expressive eyes, straying far from the traditional design that audiences have grown accustomed to since Winnie the Pooh’s inception. This modernized visual rendition has caused some bitterness among fans, many of whom fondly remember Pooh with his classic black-dot eyes and simple charm.

However, the most significant source of contention arises from the decision to portray Pooh and his friends as children and voiced by child actors. This means they have replaced the adult actors who have lent their voices to the characters in the past for this series. Jim Cummings, who has become synonymous with Pooh’s endearing voice, will notably not be reprising his role for Play Date with Winnie the Pooh. This dramatic departure has led to Pooh sounding more like a stereotypical Disney Junior child character than the familiar and beloved bear with the timeless, gentle tone. This also extends to the other characters from the Hundred-Acre Woods too.

That is NOT Winnie the Pooh! His voice is wrong (way too high), he NEVER wore a hoodie, eyes are wrong and he NEVER had blushed cheeks. He has been ruined by Disney. I live where Winnie the Pooh was created and I know what he should look like- and that is not it!.

A Series for Children

Obviously, one Disney Junior project does not mean Cummings is out as the famous bear forever, but that hasn’t stopped some fans from criticizing it anyway. Some pick on the animation style, while others can’t imagine Winnie the Pooh without Jim Cummings’ voice. To be frank, it does feel a little strange seeing Pooh talk like a child, but the series is a spin-off made for young children and not how the character will be portrayed moving forward permanently.

While many tweets criticize Disney for not using the iconic voice in this series, most of them are similar in their disdain. However, many people have also called attention to the fact that the show is for babies and shouldn’t have to answer to angry adults.

People complaining about Pooh’s voice when this show is made for literal babies.

https://twitter.com/FunkloJunk0/status/1690184731902496769?s=20

Disney Draws Criticism for Modern Remakes

Outside Winnie the Pooh, the company is receiving heat for its upcoming Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs live-action remake. Its star, Rachel Zegler, has been criticized for her Latin American background and comments on the movie. Disney has also hinted at narrative changes to be more reflective of a modern era.

rachel zegler snow white

Credits: Disney / Canva

In the age of social media, people tend to voice their opinions on everything they see. Disney, in particular, has been increasingly held to the fire over a ton of its latest content. Winnie the Pooh is just the newest addition to a growing list of discrepancies some fans have with the company as it reimagines its characters over time.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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