Winnie The Pooh

winnie the pooh 1

“I’m not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”

The one place we all loved to get lost in was the 100 acre wood- the land of Winnie The Pooh. The bear who loves honey was a part and parcel of everyone’s bookshelf and toy shelf. As we celebrate the 130th anniversary of Alan Alexander Milne this year, I can’t help but look back at his most popularly received work, the Pooh bear. He has made an attempt, a very successful one at that, to impart values that will help us see life in different perspectives through the yellow big fat bear.

“People say nothing is impossible. But I do nothing every day.”

According to Winnie The Pooh today is synonymous with his favorite day and “What’s going to be exciting today” is the same as saying “What’s for breakfast?” Winnie is a rather dull witted bear who is extremely warm hearted. He was happy with himself and considered his friends to be his greatest treasure. He always did all he could to turn his rather pessimistic friend Eeyore to a happy Donkey celebrating what he calls “The Pooh kind of day”.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Ignorance may not always be bliss when your world is larger than a 100 acre forest, but when intelligence is getting you into more trouble something is definitely wrong with the way our system works. Named by Milne after the Teddy of his son (Winnie) and the swan they met during a summer vacation (Pooh) the name stuck I our heads, but unfortunately the character did not. Endangered are these qualities of kindness and self-satisfaction. It probably time we look back at those cartoons and remind ourselves the qualities we were taught to grow up with. “Think it over, Think it under.”

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Revisiting A Forgotten Universe

There comes a point of time in the life cycle of any person or concept when it is clutched tightly by the grubby hands of self-doubt and consequently finds itself stranded in an identity crisis. A decade ago, Cartoon Network had been thriving under the very same mask - Quietly experimenting and rehashing it’s programs to fit itself into the lives of a newer, younger generation of people. However, what it has effectively done is alienate it’s older fanbase and administer a weirder grade of programming for the newer ones.

Let’s have a look at a few of the current set of programs :

The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange :

What began as a web series is now mainstay on regular programming. The show follows the surreal adventures of Orange his fruit companions : Pear, Passion Fruit, Midget Apple, Marshmallow, and Grandpa Lemon. The supermarket where the show has it’s main setting is named after the cybernym of the creator of the show - Dane Boedigheimer.

 

 

Regular Show

Surreal being the theme of the channel, the Regular Show gives credence to the same. The show revolves around an anthropomorphic raccoon and blue, respectively,  Rigby and Mordecai, both employees at a local theme park, and their various attempts at slacking off from work. Later in the series, they befriend an intern named Thomas and help him adjust to life at the theme park.

 

 

Secret Mountain Fort Awesome

As the name would indicate, this particular show would’ve been best kept a secret. By far, the worst of the bunch has been heavily panned by critics ever since it’s inception. The show involves five monsters, called “Disgustoids”, who are unleashed into the earth through a freak magic portal. The bulk of the story contains their vain attempts toward finding a way for peaceful coexistence with humans.

 

Adventure Time

The one outlier in a sea of mediocrity. Adventure Time is the one series that has precisely tapped it’s potential in terms of experimental beauty and imagination. Created by Pendleton Ward and set in post-apocalyptic world, albeit subtle hints are made towards the same, the main protagonists of the show are Finn the Human and his best friend Jake, a talking dog with a multitude of magical prowess, including the ability to shape shift at will. Together, they set out on their adventures interacting with all the mystical forces and events in the Land Of Ooo.

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The Magical World of Calvin and Hobbes

<h1>“It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…lets go exploring”</h1>

What followed this touching epigraph of Calvin and Hobbes will perhaps never reach the same heights of the comic’s unique amalgamation of fantasy and socio-political commentary. As Charles Solomon so succinctly describes the terminal strip, “Calvin and Hobbes put aside their conflicts and rode their sled into a snowy forest. They left behind a hole in the comics page that no strip has been able to fill.”

Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes, an extremely successful comic strip ran for ten years during the late 80’s to the early 90’s. Featuring an unnaturally inquisitive boy and his pet tiger in suburban America, the strip exponentially grew in popularity and was syndicated in 250 newspapers (2400 newspapers as of 2010).

Calvin, whose name was derived from 16th century theologian, is a six-year old with an extremely vivid imagination whose constant mischief and tomfoolery earns him a negative perception by almost everyone. Weak in academics but blessed with acute sense of irony and a wide vocabulary, Calvin unsurprisingly imagines his class as a prison or a setting for a space battle; with his teachers and his classmates as the antagonists. A minor misanthrope, he limits his interactions to his parents and Susie Derkins, he says, “I wish I had more friends, but people are such jerks.” Most of his interactions take place with Hobbes, his anthromorphic pet tiger.

Like Calvin, Hobbes’ name is also derived from Thomas Hobbes, a philosopher. He is Calvin’s stuffed tiger and best friend. While Calvin considers him as a live, anthromorphic tiger that has the ability to converse; to others, he little more than a stuffed toy animal. This raises pertinent questions about Calvin’s reality. Hobbes’ sage remarks serve as a perfect foil to Calvin’s impulsive attitude. On a similar vein, he serves as the author Bill Watterson’s view on the topic; while Calvin echoes the sentiments of modern America. Conversely, he is depicted to have weak mathematical ability as he cannot perform simple arithmetic operations.

The comic strip essentially entails the Calvin and Hobbes reaction to various day-to-day occurrences. Both the title characters subtly criticize and comment on most of society’s inclinations.  While some strips depict his conversations with his parents, others show his colorful imagination at work. On occasion, a dose of physical humor is added to the strip. The cardboard box is a major element in the strip, it serves as a location for meetings of G.R.O.S.S. ( Get Rid of Slimy Girls), a club which consists of only Calvin and Hobbes; it also acts as a desk when Calvin attempts to sell one of his peculiar services.  He also builds spastic snowmen that which subsequently tails off to a commentary on art and its perceived lack of originality. He also invents a new game which is appropriately named ‘Calvinball’, a play which rates wit and creativity higher than athletic skill or stamina.

With such unprecedented characters, cartoonist Bill Watterson was able to conjure up an immensely entertaining and thought-provoking set of comic strips that has captivated people across all ages.

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