Winnie the Pooh is one of the most beloved Disney characters there is. The honey-loving bear has captivated hearts and minds for decades. A.A. Milne’s Pooh and friends have become some of the most popular character interactions at the Disney Parks and also have an enormous nostalgia factor. Because of all of this, many fans have been notably unhappy at Disney losing the official copyright to Pooh-bear, Christopher Robin, and co. and the consequent (very successful) horror adaptation that recently released. So while it sounds a bit out there—we know—there’s a very good chance that this Winnie the Pooh horror movie adaptation actually turns out to be one of the best things that ever happened to Disney.
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A recent Screenrant article argues that while the new Winnie the Pooh horror adaptation “completely twists the classic Disney characters into horrifying animals, its success could be great for Disney.”
The movie, directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, on its release and leading up to it, received a lot of backlash from fans because of how it turns these beloved characters into murderous counterparts. It’s even been successful enough at the box office, resulting in its one-off December release being changed to a more widespread theatrical distribution.
So why could this possibly be good for Disney?
As the article argues, this version of the film—while arguably bastardizing beloved characters—could result in fans and audiences flocking back to the original series for a fix of the familiar. While it’s certainly not an ideal depiction of these characters, in a sense, it might serve as a nostalgic reminder of what contemporary audiences missed in the beloved character.
To add to that, as the article rightly points out, horror is not a Disney genre; it’s distinctly out of Disney’s brand—just think of what happened to the Alien ride at Walt Disney World Resort—so this might fulfill those fans who have a taste for thrillers without Disney compromising its own brand. And make no mistake, there are a ton of fans who want that particular ride back (though it’s unlikely Disney will ever acquiesce).
Blood and Honey might pour a little cold water over our childhoods, but it might work out incredibly well for the Mouse House! (And perhaps might make fans feel a little better about the upcoming horror adaptation of Peter Pan and Bambi courtesy of director Rhys Frake-Waterfield!)