The Dysfunctional Psychology of Winnie The Pooh Cartoons
In 1966 Disney had a featurette called “Winnie The Pooh and the Honey Tree” which in short told of Pooh’s quest to get some honey because he had no more. On this quest we meet all of the characters of the Hundred Acre Wood, Rabbit, Piglet, Tigger (Tee-eye-double-gerr-err) Kanga and Roo, Eeyore, Owl and Gopher (the only character added by Disney). So, in a bit of light humor, here’s the psychology of the characters of Winnie The Pooh.
Winnie The Pooh — He has an eating disorder, and Freud would automatically recognize it as an oral fixation. Pooh Bear’s constant quest for food and eating with his hands is unhealthy. Aside from the weight issues, which cause him to get stuck in Rabbit’s hole (wow! no pun intended) leading out of his warren, Pooh is trying to fulfill the loneliness as well. His food is acting as a comforter. Some people shop compulsively, some people drown their sorrows, Pooh eats compulsively. Just a cursory look at his house, you’d see nothing but discarded honey pots all around; they stand as a memorial to his disorder.Rabbit — Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Rabbit throughout the featurette and even when I was a kid in the late 80s and early 90s in the Saturday morning cartoon “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” has always been a nag! Rabbit was always worried about how things looked and would go back and back and back again to make sure things were in order. From how the carrots were lined up and to how the house was ordered. And Rabbit would get totally bent out of shape if things weren’t in order.
Tigger — Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Tigger couldn’t sit still. He was always bouncing from one thing to the other. He was always distracted, and above all didn’t care. Tigger would mess up Rabbit’s garden and bounce all the way down the road, and not care. Tigger needed to be on ritalin or some type of psychostimulant drug. His ADHD was destructive because he always found himself in trouble. This got more fleshed out in the subsequent cartoon series, but even still, he was a nuisance to the people around him and it resulted in a near alienation from the group.
Piglet — General Anxiety Disorder. In lamens terms, Piglet was a pussy. He was a wimp and was always scared. His fear result in him being anxious about everything. Piglet could barely function. This anxiety disorder almost manifests itself in paranoia having irrational and delusional fears about everything. Piglet has made up fantastic creatures such as “Jagulars” and “Hefflaumps” in his own mind (by the way, how is an imaginary creature going to have imaginary friends?). Piglet’s main statement is “Oh d-d-dear” and is especially scared of Tigger because he doesn’t know what Tigger is going to do next.
Owl — Narcissitic Personality Disorder. Owl was quite clear that he had all of the right answers. He was even given a British accent that seems to speak to his know-it-allness. Owl was so full of himself that he barely did any work. He was even a character, owls, associated with wisdom and knowledge and being a flying creature, he always hovered above everyone else.
Eeyore — Major Depressive Disorder. Frankly speaking, Eeyore was borderline suicidal. He didn’t much care about anything one way or the other. To say that he was gloomy was an understatement. He wasn’t bipolar or manic depressive because he never had any bouts of mirth mixed with fits of melancholy; he presented chronically as always being depressed.
Christopher Robin — Schizophrenia. This boy is talking to animals. Well, that’s one thing, but these animals are actually speaking back, therein lies the problem. Not just that, these animals have distinct personalities, and psychological disorders to boot.
And in the midst of all of this, these animals don’t wear any clothing. And the older you get, the fact that Winnie the Pooh wears a shirt with no pants makes it even the more weird and astonishing.
But the apparent benign messaging of cartoons of old may really be shaping the future consciousness of children. These cartoons are art not just in the sense of creating something for entertainment purposes, but art in the way that an artists pours their emotions into their creation for the public to give their own feedback. These cartoons don’t exist in a vacuum of vapid childhood entertainment; they are instrumental in creating and fashioning a set of ethics and morals that these children will inevitably carry with them into adolescence and possibly even adulthood.
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