A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh has entered the public domain and many are celebrating Winnie the Pooh Day with a little creativity.
Winnie the Pooh has been a beloved character in many children’s books and movies since his creation in 1926. Over the years, Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Woods have shared their adventures with audiences all over the world.
In 1961, Disney licensed copyrights to Milne’s original books and characters, as well as motion picture rights. Disney helped develop the characters into the ones we know today, the most prominent addition being Pooh’s classic red shirt.
On January 1st, 2022, Winnie the Pooh’s original 1926 copyright became public domain. Disney still holds onto the iconic red-shirt version of Pooh, but the original art style is now available for use in any creative or public projects such as films, plays, novels and more.
Many artists did not hesitate to take advantage of the newly available characters. Comic artist Luke McGarry posted a four-panel comic the day after the copyright was released, poking fun at Disney and their inability to protect the original copyright from going public.
McGarry received so much praise for his comic that he began selling prints of it, a creative liberty he now has access to.
Other artists have also begun using variations of the character. Actor Ryan Reynolds even used a distorted version of Pooh in a commercial for his company Mint Mobile.
Now that Pooh and his friends are available to the public, they are being remembered and celebrated by many just in time for National Winnie the Pooh Day on January 18th.
The Hancock Park District is hosting a family-friendly film event at the Oakwoods Nature Preserve at 6:30 pm. They will be showing an old-time Winnie the Pooh film and providing popcorn at the Discovery Center.
Registration for the free event is available here!