Some town councillors in Poland don’t want beloved storybook character Winnie the Pooh as a playground mascot — the so-called “bear of very little brain” apparently doesn’t have enough clothes. The tubby little cubby, based on an actual bear named after Winnipeg, was suggested at a meeting of the council in Tuszyn, a small town in central Poland, to be the face of a new public playground, according to media reports in the United Kingdom. That prompted anger from some councillors, who called Pooh “inappropriate”.
The problem with that bear is it doesn’t have a complete wardrobe. It is half naked, which is wholly inappropriate for children.
Ryszard Cichy, Polish councillor
Pooh made his debut in a collection of stories by A.A. Milne in 1926. At that time, he was completely in the buff. In 1961, when Walt Disney licensed the rights and made a series of cartoon films about him, Pooh was outfitted with his now familiar red shirt. Winnipeg illustrator Nyco Rudolf produced sketches of what Winnie the Pooh would look like with full outfits on. Rudolf said creating gender-based stereotypes about cartoon characters is probably worse for children than a pants-less fictional bear.
Clearly, Winnie is a cartoon bear who doesn’t wear pants, but I’d like to note that the beloved Disney characters Donald Duck and Chip and Dale are also pant-less, Mickey Mouse doesn’t wear a shirt, and Tony the Tiger is nearly nude.
Brian Bowman, Winnipeg mayor