The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Also known as "Pooh," "Winnie-ther-Pooh," "Sir Edward Bear," "Mr. Sanders," and "Baron Winslow Von Poohsticks." I have to admit a soft spot in my heart for Pooh, even through years of overzealous merchandising. He eats, he sleeps, he makes up dumb little songs. That's pretty much what'd I'd be doing if I lived in a tree trunk. A

A. A. Milne and his son seem to have had trouble coming up with interesting names for creatures. The rabbit is named "Rabbit," the piglet is named "Piglet," the two kangaroos have to divide a name up between them, and so on. At first, Eeyore appears to be a bright spot in the dull Hundred-Acre Wood roll call, until you realize that "eeyore" is just Brit-speak for the noise a donkey makes. Bonus points for effort, but C.

I know a lot of people who really really really like Tigger, and they tend to disturb and unnerve me. Actually, in the books Tigger's this kind of friendly odd exuberant carnivore with an inexplicable taste for Extract of Malt. But for the cartoon they gave him a lisp, a sproingy tail and a song-and-dance number, and I just can't stand him anymore. Another factor to support the old "Disney is the avatar of the Beast" theory. D

"Small?" I can hear many people saying. "What's a Small? I don't remember any T-shirts, thermoses, videos, jammies, plastic infant juice cups, porcelain bookends, stamps from the Virgin Islands, throw pillows, nightlights, or latex marital aids with this 'Small' on them." That's because Small is a beetle from the books, and as such, doesn't look good on collectible merchandise. But beetles are an integral part of the Milne oeuvre, as evidenced by such poems as "Alexander Beetle," and Small is a fine and shining example thereof. B+

Christopher Robin
Chris comes off as a bit of a milquetoast in the books, unfortunately. You can't blame him, really. It's the haircut and the outfit. Take Attila the Hun, give him a pageboy and slap him in some shorts and the rest of the Mongolian hordes are going to be pointing and laughing. But lest you take C.R. lightly, consider these two factors: First, Chapter One clearly states that he always carries a gun. Secondly, he took the only flood-proof ground in the 40.49-Hectare-Wood, leaving the rest of the residents to flail around like ants under a garden hose. Not a guy to mess with. B

I always kind of liked Owl. I mean, anyone who can get "HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY" out of "Happy Birthday" has got to be a great drug connection, if nothing else. He's also the only one of the gang besides Eeyore who seems to have mastered the art of sarcasm. The whole Wise Old Owl thing, of course, extends from Greek myth to Tootsie Roll ads, and while Owl doesn't exactly transcend the genre, at least he's got a tradition backing him up. B-

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