A Bear Named Winnie

A Bear Named Winnie

DVD - 2004
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Millions of people know the stories of A.A. Milne, but few people are aware that a real bear inspired them. Milne and his son Christopher met the real Winnie at the London Zoo in 1926: At the beginning of WWI, in 1914 in White River, Ontario, en route to a training camp with the Winnipeg section of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, Army Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, who has a natural rapport with animals, saves a black bear cub from being killed by a hunter, who killed the cub's mother. Harry brings her along to camp to act as the unit's mascot, who he names Winnie - short for Winnipeg. Over time, Winnie becomes completely tame, craving human companionship, which Harry realizes is a problem as the unit is scheduled to get shipped overseas to England and to France to fight on the front lines. He finds a home for her with the zookeeper at the London Zoo, promising to return as soon as the war is over. Winnie becomes the star attraction for the children of London, living in the shadow of a frightening war, and becomes a symbol of friendship and hope.
Publisher: CBC, 2004.
ISBN: 9781552595503
Branch Call Number: DVD FICTION BEA
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.


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Jun 07, 2017

Is BPL going to showcase some of the best films for Canada 150 ? Winnie is named after Winnipeg, a leading lady (played by black bears of different age/gender) to Michael Fassbender (young and skinny, a bit O'Toole), Stephen Fry (the kindly London zoo-keeper), Aaron Ashmore (little brother of Shawn A, of X-Men), and a very drunk and comical David Suchet. DVD cover featured a grizzly bear? DUH! Actually, the DVD that BPL lost had Fassbender and Winnie on the cover.

Aug 30, 2014

Production values aren't great, and it is easy to figure out that a fair amount of licence has been taken with the facts, but having something telling close to the real story is nice. (David Suchet, as always, plays a complex and nuanced character and makes it look easy.)

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