Be warned. The upcoming Winnie the Pooh trailer doesn’t feature the cuddly, honey-loving bear from your childhood.
Winnie the Pooh: Honey and Blood is a horrific slasher movie apparently designed to chase your dreams.
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You might be wondering how a movie like this can even be legal. Doesn’t the family-friendly Disney own the rights to this beloved character?
The Origin Story of Winnie the Pooh
Writer AA Milne wrote the book Winnie the Pooh in 1926. The collection of short stories about Pooh Bear and his friends Christopher Robin and Piglet features cute illustrations by EH Shephard.
Disney licensed the rights in 1961 and has since released numerous productions featuring Pooh and his merry group of friends, including Christopher Robin, Piglet and their original characters, Tigger and Eeyore.
A twisted adjustment
But in the very un-Disney-esque Winnie the Pooh: Honey and BloodPooh and Piglet become unhinged, rampaging killers after Christoper Robin abandons them for college.
“Christopher Robin is being pulled away from them, and he’s not” [given] eat them, it’s made Pooh and Piglet’s life pretty hard,” explains director Rhys Waterfield in an interview with Variety. “Because they’ve had to fend for themselves so much, they’ve essentially become feral.”
How did Disney make this movie happen?
If you’re wondering how the filmmakers got away with using such sacred intellectual property, you’re not alone. Twitter is flooded with questions and indignation.
But last January Winnie the Pooh-the AA Milne book, not the Disney movies—has entered the public domain, meaning it is not subject to copyright laws. Disney still owns the exclusive rights to their interpretations of Pooh and full rights to their IP Tigger and Eeyore.
For this reason, the horror version of Pooh Bear doesn’t wear a red t-shirt, Piglet is dressed in black, and Eeyore the donkey doesn’t show up, because he’s been eaten by the starving Pooh and Piglet.
“No one will do this wrong” [for Disney]Waterveld said.