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This entire article flew right over my head, mostly because, as a kid, I found the Pooh cartoons insufferable. I'm not going to pretend to have been a kid of high standards, considering I lapped up other Cartoon cum Toy Commercials, e.g. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as other mindless Disney dreck (e.g. Duck Tales).

However, Winnie the Pooh just never did it for me. Whatever comedy existed seemed lame and the whole production came off as more saccharine than the Berenstain Bears. For the most part, I tended to prefer the Warner Bros. cartoons over the Disney cartoons, save for their movies.


But Pooh wasn't a cartoon character really. He was the protagonist in a series of funny stories. Just two days ago my brother and sister and I had our 50+ year old copies of the Pooh books out to look at the illustrations. We needed to answer the question of whether Tigger and Piglet looked alike in the Ernest Shepard illustrations which is how my sister, wrongly, remembered it.
I did enjoy Edgar Allan Pooh this morning when I read my newspaper.

Brian Fies

Well, Mat, my sister and I liked the literary Pooh just fine when we were the right age for it, but you're not alone. Dorothy Parker reviewed "The House at Pooh Corner" (under her alias "Constant Reader") when it was released and hit her limit when Milne had Pooh use the word "hummy" (as in, describing something that is hummed):

"And it is that word 'hummy,' my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up."

To Mike's larger point, Price is one of the smarter cartoonists around and this strip is a good example of it. It works even if only one reader out of 20 gets the Eeyore/Lenore (which I confess I didn't). And hip-hip-hoorah for Williams and Shepard, two of the greats whose work you just don't mess with or try to improve upon. If you're smart.

Mike Peterson

Not sure I'd assign Dorothy Parker to review a book intended to be read aloud to tiny children, rather than savaged around a table of professional wiseasses. Much as I enjoy the comments of professional wiseasses in the abstract, they aren't generally very good company in reality and not terribly well-informed when the topic is healthy families.

I enjoyed True Pooh as a child but only as an adult realized it had a Rocky-and-Bullwinkle element in that it was fun for the kids but really fun for parents, with constant winks and inside jokes to keep you going while it was amusing the little ones. The Alice books are that way as well, though Lewis Carroll pitches his inside jokes more high-and-inside, constantly dusting off parents who aren't paying enough attention.

Disney screwed up "Alice in Wonderland," too. There was very little in the way of children's literature that studio couldn't ream all the substance out of.

Geoffrey Cubbage

If you've never happened on it before, take the time to grab Frederick Crews's "The Pooh Perplex" from the library. A literary critic in his own right, Crews put together a satirical"Freshman Casebook" of critical essays on that great literary classic, Winnie-the-Pooh.

It's old-fashioned satire, a generation removed from things like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," and Crews never breaks the straight face as he goes through the Marxist, Post-modern, Christian Apologist, and various other critical explanations of Pooh. Well worth the hour or two it takes to read.

If you like Pooh, of course. I suppose it would be pretty meaningless to people only familiar with the Disney knock-off.

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