‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’: Ironically Iconic?

New slasher horror movie ‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’ takes a frightful spin on one of Disney’s most lovable characters



A stark contrast from his loveable, cuddly appearance, Winnie the Pooh is now a menacing, revenge-seeking killer.


“Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” a slasher film based on A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard’s children’s book series “Winnie-the-Pooh,” hit theaters on Feb. 15 and earned a $1.58 million gross in its opening week despite a total budget of less than $100,000

The movie opens with a cartoon representation of young Christopher Robin spending his childhood playing with the strange “crossbreeds” Pooh, Owl, Rabbit, Eeyore and Piglet within the deep Hundred Acre Wood. Christopher Robin keeps them company and feeds them, making a promise that he would never leave his friends behind. 

As time passes and Christopher grows up, he moves away to college, forcing the crossbreeds to fend for themselves. With no one to care for them, a harsh winter brings them to the brink of starvation, forcing them to eat Eeyore in order to survive. The trauma from this abandonment and eating one of their own warps the group’s minds and changes them forever. They become murderers, vowing to never speak again as they seek revenge on Christopher Robin and develop a hatred for all of humankind. 

Pooh and his friends are depicted in an unsettling black-and-white tone as their bodies appear hollow, with soulless, sulking black eyes and a hunched-over posture.

The movie is impressive given its small budget and 10-day shooting schedule in Ashdown Forest in England, which was the original inspiration for the Hundred Acre Wood. Its title is creative and eye-catching, making me eager to see the film. The spooky masks of Pooh and Piglet evoke the discomfort one would expect from a horror version of “Winnie-the-Pooh.” However, Pooh’s outfit — a red flannel with overalls — did seem a bit too farmerlike for the movie, but his questionable outfit can be explained by Disney’s trademark on Pooh’s iconic red shirt.

The film contains a decent amount of gore and creative kills. The camera shots mimic the body movement of Pooh and Piglet as they approach their victims and are accompanied by an impressive score, inducing an exhilarating feeling. There is a symbolic use of flickering lights, portraying Pooh and Piglet’s quiet but deadly approach toward their victims. The ending includes a cinematic scene with fire that serves as a thrilling conclusion to the film. 

The introduction ended up being one of my favorite scenes, due to the directors mixing in cartoon illustrations to portray the crossbreeds’ origin story with Christopher Robin. The illustrations are far from the usual Disney-fied cuteness one to which one is accustomed. Pooh and his friends are depicted in an unsettling black-and-white tone as their bodies appear hollow, with soulless, sulking black eyes and a hunched-over posture. The progression in illustrations illuminates the crossbreeds’ psychological change; the drawings get darker as more trauma is endured. Aside from the cartoon illustrated introduction, only Pooh and Piglet make an appearance in the movie, leaving fans to question what happened to Owl and Rabbit. 

It is worthwhile to mention that not all of the characters in the original Disney bunch are included due to licensing issues. While the licensing of Pooh and many of his friends expired in January of 2022, Tigger is still owned by the Disney company.

Additionally, one of the main critiques I have is the acting, which was mediocre at best. It felt as if the developers of the movie selected random people off the streets to act for the first time in their lives. Regardless, one must consider that the movie had a low budget, making the movie’s poorer qualities slightly understandable. Perhaps if the idea of a “Winnie-the-Pooh” horror film was pitched to filmmakers with better writing and directing skills and significantly better actors, the movie would have been more successful. 

It was quite fast paced, with a runtime of one hour and 40 minutes that truthfully felt a lot shorter. The storytelling could have focused more on the development of its individual characters, as the majority are poorly written with random storylines added, allowing no time for the audience to develop an attachment to them. 

However, the mediocre acting and writing gave the movie a slight comedic and campy slasher vibe. I can’t help but wonder if elements of the movie, such as the acting and use of stereotypical horror tropes, were intentional and meant to be humorous. Nonetheless, it is up to fans to interpret them as they wish. One thing that I can say for sure is that viewers going into this movie with the intention to consume a serious horror film such as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” will come out utterly disappointed. 

Overall, Pooh proved to be quite a brutal slasher and is confirmed to be coming back for another installment. This film certainly is not the best horror movie you will ever lay your eyes on, but it’s worth a watch if you’re interested in a fun time watching a “so bad that it’s good” movie or in fueling a love for camp-like horror — or merely seeking a good laugh. 

Along with a sequel, director Rhys Frake-Waterfeild has also teased the making of two more horror films based on the characters Bambi and Peter Pan, expressing his aims in creating a universe of characters in which he can do crossovers, such as Pooh versus Bambi. 

With the box office earnings of “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” cashing in at $3.4 million — way past its budget — I am hopeful that the creators will take into consideration viewers’ criticism and come back with even stronger movies in the future.