The Art of Story Telling – The ROM’s Winnie the Pooh Exhibit

The art of story telling is revealed in this romantic history of the creation of the Winnie the Pooh character that is a cultural icon. The exhibit shows the early work of the writer Alan Milne and how he created a children’s story based on the real life adventures of his son Christopher Robin. Partnered with an illustrator, E.H. Shepard, they became what you can say the creative team.

The art of story telling has become important in content marketing programs for today’s digital age and the lessons we can learn from Winnie the Pooh’s Development will help you tell your company’s story in a meaningful and entertaining way. The need for words and pictures to work together to tell a story and to resist the urge to put out manufactured promo content that has very little appeal to readers. The exhibit will show you how the magic was created.

Winnie the Pooh Exhibits

Winnie the Pooh Cast: Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore. Kanga, Roo, Tigger, Rabbit and Owl.

The exhibit shows the use of pencil illustrations in the storyboards during the creation of the characters. The illustrations showed attention to detail using simplistic lines. The dry wit of English humour shows up in the wordsmithing by the writer. So when you put together a creative team for your marketing you will need art person and a writer to make the magic happen.

 A Short History of Winnie-the-Pooh

On August 24, 1914, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, a 27-year-old veterinarian from Winnipeg, Manitoba was among the first volunteers for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). En route to the CEF training base in Valcartier, Quebec, Colbourn’s train stopped to resupply in White River, Ontario. It was there that Colebourn purchased an orphaned female black bear cub and named her “Winnie,” after his adopted hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. A playful cub with a sweet tooth, Winnie was a favourite of the troops.

Colebourn documented the purchase in his diary: “Left Pt. Arthur at 7 A.M. Train all day, Bought Bear $20.” This would have been the equivalent of $500 today.

Colebourn brought Winnie with him to England, leaving her in the care of the London Zoo when he was deployed to France. There, she became a crowd favourite, delighting a generation of children. One of these children was Christopher Robin Milne, who visited the bear often and became so enamoured of it he named his favourite teddy bear Winnie.

The “Pooh” character is born

Born in 1920, Christopher Robin Milne was the only child of Alan Alexander and Daphne Milne. He received a teddy bear for his first birthday, bought from Harrods by his parents, and eventually named it Winnie. While Christopher’s mother Daphne played with her son and his teddy bear, Milne wrote down the stories.

A.A. Milne (1882-1956) and E.H. Shepard (1879-1976) worked together for five years and produced four of the best-loved books in the world. They first met through colleagues at Punch magazine. Both men had served in the First World War. Milne was already a successful playwright with a number of plays on the London stage.

The setting for Pooh and his friends’ home was created when the Milne family bought Cotchford Farm in Hartfield, East Sussex, next to Ashdown Forest in 1925. It was Christopher Robin’s regular exploration trips with his nanny that inspired the landmarks in the World of Pooh.

This forest, officially called 500 Acre Wood, was later visited by artist E.H. Shepard, whose sketch captured the beauty of the East Sussex countryside. Shepard’s initial sketches of Winnie-the-Pooh were based on Christopher Robin’s bear, but the final illustrations more resembled a Steiff bear named Growler, which belonged to Shepard’s son, Graham.

A Beary/Very Popular Bear

Around 5,000 copies of When We Were Very Young were initially printed and within three months the publisher had sold almost 44,000 copies. The success of this book opened the door for Winnie-the-Pooh, which has gone on to sell millions of copies worldwide.

Stories from Winnie-the-Pooh appeared in the Evening News, Eve Magazine and The Royal Magazine, and were also read aloud on the BBC Children’s Hour on Christmas Day, 1925.

In June 1961, Daphne Milne sold the film rights of the characters to Walt Disney, whose daughters, Diane and Sharon, were huge fans of Winnie-the-Pooh. The first of Disney’s Pooh features, Winnie the Pooh and the Honey-Tree, was released on February 4, 1966. Winnie the Pooh and the Honey-Tree brought to screen the chapters “Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees” and “Pooh Goes Visiting” from A.A. Milne’s book.

Winnie the Pooh Disney Animation

Winnie-the-Pooh is the world’s most famous bear and has been beloved by children around the world for over 90 years. Milne and Shepard’s Pooh storybooks include Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, and Pooh characters appear in two of their poetry collections: When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. With a rich storytelling heritage, the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood represent friendship, simple joys and the curious and gentle nature of a child’s imagination.

The lesson learned from the creation of the Winnie the Pooh story is that life inspires creativity. The best advice I ever got from a creative director is to get out and enjoy life to get inspired for your next great idea. (You can also read your kids a Winnie the Pooh story too!)