Winnie the Pooh Went Into the Public Domain, and Someone Already Turned the Story Into a Slasher Film: Watch the Trailer for Winnie-The-Pooh: Blood and Honey

Deep in the Hun­dred Acre Wood

Where Christo­pher Robin plays

You’ll find the enchant­ed neigh­bor­hood

Of Christo­pher’s child­hood days…

Those sweet­ly sen­ti­men­tal lyrics were penned not by A.A. Milne, cre­ator of Win­nie-The-Pooh but rather the Acad­e­my-Award win­ning song­writ­ing team of broth­ers Robert and Richard Sher­man, who also penned the scores of Mary Pop­pins, Chit­ty Chit­ty Bang Bang, and The Jun­gle Book.

If you are under the age of 60, chances are your con­cept of Pooh, Eey­ore, Piglet, Kan­ga, Roo, Owl, Rab­bit and Tig­ger is informed by Win­nie the Pooh and Hon­ey Tree, the 1966 Dis­ney car­toon that launched a suc­cess­ful fran­chise, not E.H. Shepherd’s charm­ing illus­tra­tions for the 1926 book, Win­nie the Pooh, which entered the pub­lic domain this year.

This means that Milne’s work can be freely repro­duced or reworked, though Dis­ney retains the copy­right to their ani­mat­ed char­ac­ter designs.

Jen­nifer Jenk­ins, direc­tor of the Cen­ter for the Study of the Pub­lic Domain at Duke Uni­ver­si­ty, told the Wash­ing­ton Post that the bulk of the inquiries she field­ed in the lead up to 2022’s pub­lic domain titles becom­ing avail­able had to do with Win­nie the Pooh:

I can’t get over how peo­ple are freak­ing out about Win­nie-the-Pooh in a good way. Every­one has a very spe­cif­ic sto­ry of the first time they read it or their par­ents gave them a doll or they [have] sto­ries about their kids…It’s the Ted Las­so effect.We need a win­dow into a world where peo­ple or ani­mals behave with decen­cy to one anoth­er.”


Judg­ing by the trail­er for their upcom­ing live action, low bud­get fea­ture, Win­nie the Pooh: Blood and Hon­ey, Jagged Edge, a Lon­don-based hor­ror pro­duc­tion com­pa­ny, is not much inter­est­ed in Ted Las­so good vibes, though they do man­age to stay with­in the lim­its of the law, equip­ping a black clad Piglet with threat­en­ing tusks, and dress­ing the tit­u­lar “sil­ly old bear” in a red shirt that doesn’t exact­ly scream Tum­my Song.

More like Texas Chain­saw Mas­sacre.

Pro­duc­er-Direc­tor Rhys Frake-Water­field whose as-yet-unre­leased cred­its include Peter Pan’s Nev­er­land Night­mare and Spi­ders on a Plane told Vari­ety that “we did as much as we could to make sure [the film] was only based on the 1926 ver­sion:”

When you see the cov­er for this and you see the trail­ers and the stills and all that, there’s no way any­one is going to think this is a child’s ver­sion of it.

Here’s hop­ing he’s right.

The trail­er traf­fics freely in slash­er flick tropes:

A biki­ni clad young woman relax­ing, obliv­i­ous­ly, in a hot tub.

A hand held cam­era track­ing a des­per­ate, and prob­a­bly doomed, escape attempt through the woods.

Unnerv­ing warn­ings writ­ten in blood (or pos­si­bly hon­ey?)

The child­ish scrawl on the sign demar­cat­ing the 100 Acre Wood is both faith­ful to the orig­i­nal, and unmis­tak­ably sin­is­ter.

Equal­ly dis­turb­ing is the let­ter­ing on Eeyore’s home­made grave mark­er. (SPOILER: as per Vari­ety, a starv­ing Pooh and Piglet ate him…and appar­ent­ly dis­card­ed a human skull near­by.)

The “enchant­ed neigh­bor­hood of Christo­pher’s child­hood days” has gone decid­ed­ly down­hill.

Direc­tor Frake-Water­field paints Pooh and Piglet as the pri­ma­ry vil­lains, but sure­ly the col­lege-bound Christo­pher Robin deserves some of the blame for aban­don­ing his old friends.

On the oth­er hand, when a col­lege-bound Andy tossed his beloved child­hood play­things in a give­away box at the begin­ning of Toy Sto­ry 3, Buzz and Woody did not go on a mur­der­ous ram­page.

As Frake-Water­field described Pooh and Piglet’s devo­lu­tion to Huff­Post:

Because they’ve had to fend for them­selves so much, they’ve essen­tial­ly become fer­al. So they’ve gone back to their ani­mal roots. They’re no longer tame: they’re like a vicious bear and pig who want to go around and try and find prey.

An inter­view with Dread Cen­tral offers a graph­ic taste of the vio­lent may­hem they inflict, even as Christo­pher Robin, as clue­less as a biki­ni clad inno­cent in a hot tub, bleats, “We used to be friends, why are you doing this!?”

Unsur­pris­ing­ly, the film’s tagline is “This Ain’t No Bed­time Sto­ry.”

View pro­duc­tion pho­tos, if you dare, here.

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo Her alle­giance has long been with the 1926 ver­sion. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

Relat­ed Con­tent 

What’s Enter­ing the Pub­lic Domain in 2022: The Sun Also Ris­es, Win­nie-the-Pooh, Buster Keaton Come­dies & More

Hear the Clas­sic Win­nie-the-Pooh Read by Author A.A. Milne in 1929

The Orig­i­nal Stuffed Ani­mals That Inspired Win­nie the Pooh

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Comments (5)
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  • Richie says:

    Real­ly ?
    What’s com­ing next ?
    Hump­ty dump­ty : EGGS AND GUTS ?

  • Harmony says:

    I so can’t wait. It looks like a blast.

  • Wendy says:

    I think this is absolute­ly dis­gust­ing and should be stopped, hon­est­ly the world is mad and evil already the vio­lence between humans is in a sadis­tic scale,our chil­dren are being changed before our eyes, every­thing that was once nice and fam­i­ly ori­en­tat­ed is turn­ing to evil and it’s all over our TV and peo­ple are act­ing films out already into our world and Fear is grip­ping minds of an already depressed sick soci­ety.
    Why take a film on friend­ship and love and turn it into sex­u­al sadis­tic vio­lence, Win­nie the Pooh was a pro­gramme I watch when I want to get away from the evil every­where, know this image is dis­turb­ing and I am so angry that this is being allowed.
    Chil­dren and adults will be affect­ed, there is enough sex­u­al abuse and vio­lence in this world from babies to chil­dren to teenagers to adults and to the elder­ly, I can see Hal­loween a Win­nie the Pooh and piglet being worn with the sick­en­ing image and peo­ple will use it for there own sex­u­al grat­i­fi­ca­tion.
    Absolute­ly heart­break­ing.
    Don’t we realise that what we watch feeds our already dis­turbed minds and inno­cent peo­ple suf­fer.
    What is so good about hor­ror and fear and vio­lence.
    Look at the state of our world already it’s sick and it’s get­ting worse.
    Leave our chil­dren’s pro­grams respectable and show­ing love and friend­ship and liv­ing togeth­er in safe com­mu­ni­ty beau­ti­ful and pure please.
    The world needs to watch and prac­tice more love and hope instead of revenge and hos­til­i­ty and ene­mies.

  • Norma says:

    @Wendy I agree with you com­plete­ly. Your post speaks for me and many oth­ers that are dis­gust­ed by the rabid and over­bear­ing amount of blood, gore and sex­u­al abuse that’s polar­ized soci­ety today. I nev­er had any chil­dren of my own but Win­nie the Pooh was a favorite that I watched over and over myself as a child and with many nieces and nephews. It’s heart­break­ing and a shame on who­ev­er came up with this filth!

  • Joseph says:

    I per­son­al­ly think that the peo­ple who made this and their upcom­ing movie that turns Steam­boat Willie into a hor­ror film, are try­ing to ruin the Dis­ney fran­chise as a whole, start­ing by tar­get­ing the parts that are used in King­dom Hearts to get it can­celled. They must have had a bad expe­ri­ence with Dis­ney­world or some­thing or been dropped on the head as a child to think that this is accept­able.

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