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Every Theatrically Released Winnie The Pooh Movie, Ranked

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Winnie the Pooh characters Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, and more

Winnie the Pooh is one of the most recognizable pop culture figures in the world, alongside Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and Superman. Created by author A.A. Milne, the character has appeared in a number of stories, and to audiences outside the United Kingdom is most commonly associated with Disney. Disney acquired the licensing rights to Winnie the Pooh in 1961 and released a series of short films about the character. Since then, Pooh Bear and his friends have become some of the most recognizable characters in the Disney library, and Disney has capitalized on their popularity. The studio has released six films theatrically and several television series directly based on the characters’ adventures. Merchandise for Winnie the Pooh is everywhere and still sells after all these years.

The U.S. copyright on Winnie the Pooh expired at the end of 2021 meaning the character Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain, ending Disney’s exclusivity on the character (although they do own their specific artist depiction). Following the announcement, a low-budget slasher film titled Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey was put into production. It is likely there will be a number of Winnie the Pooh feature films in the near future following the character entering the public domain (though it’s worth noting the UK copyright does not expire until 2027, 70 years since Milne’s death). With that in mind, these are all the current theatrically released Winnie the Pooh

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Released in 2003, Piglet’s Big Movie is one of three theatrically released Winnie the Pooh films by Disneytoon Studios, a former animation division that specialized in direct-to-video animated projects, some of which occasionally got a theatrical release. After the box office success of The Tigger Movie, the studio opted for another big-screen movie based on a Winnie the Pooh supporting character, this time Piglet.

Related: Winnie the Pooh: Every Character in the Disney Franchise, Ranked by Relatability

While maintaining the cute charm in the Disney Pooh stories, the film does feel more like a direct-to-video movie than a theatrical story, as a bulk of the film tells different stories about Piglet, giving the movie the feeling of various episodes of the popular New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh series strung together with a framing device. While this was likely an attempt to go back to the roots of the franchise in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, it comes off more as an attempt to hide the fact they couldn’t find a whole narrative as they did with Tigger. This was a trick Disneytoon Studios often employed with direct-to-video films like Tarzan & Jane and Atlantis: Milo’s Return, which were just episodes of the animated series strung together. Still, after so long as a supporting character, it is nice to see Piglet get the spotlight and to highlight that Piglet is braver than he or even the audience might think.

The only film on the list not produced by Disney (although technically now is, due to Disney’s acquisition of distributor Fox Searchlight), Goodbye Christopher Robin is a biographical film about author A.A Milne (Domnhall Gleeson) and the story of how the author came up with the Winnie the Pooh story and the relationship between the author and his son, the real-life Christopher Robin. Directed by acclaimed English filmmaker Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn), Goodbye Christopher Robin is less a movie about the creation of Pooh Bear and more an exploration of the complicated parent-child relationship that stems from building one’s popular character of a real-life child and the impact it has. While it may not get as deep into the conflict as the real-life story, it does touch upon how the books impacted the real-life Christopher Robin. Similar to Disney’s own Saving Mr. Banks, which featured a reference to Disney’s depiction of Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, both films are about how these simple creations can have large impacts on the world.

The last Winnie the Pooh movie released in theaters by Disneytoon Studios and the last theatrically released film until Winnie the Pooh six years later, Pooh’s Heffalump Movie might not be a groundbreaking film, but it does spotlight a long-overlooked element of the series. The Winnie the Pooh franchise is one of the few without a villain, although the imaginary threat of Heffalumps and Woozles has hung over the series with a fun sense of danger. However, with Pooh’s Heffalump Movie the franchise finally introduces a new character to the series (a first since Jessie the bluebird in The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) in the form of the baby Heffalump Lumpy and attempts to show that this creature the franchise has used as a monster is just misunderstood.

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