Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #22: Mr. Sanders

Capture

I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I know I’m going obscure again!

Explanation

But come on, who the heck is forgotten or minor from the “Winnie the Pooh” franchise?! Everybody all over the world knows about Winnie the Pooh and his friends. All kids know about them! All adults know about them! Heck, I’m sure extraterrestrials know about them!

That would explain Pooh's odd choice for a helmet!
That would explain Pooh’s odd choice for a helmet!

Sigh…well let’s begin this post, shall we?

Disney’s 22nd animated feature, “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”, brings us back to the “package film” formula that we got from Disney in the ’40s. Released in 1977, this package film differs from the others because all the stories are about the same characters as opposed to being a series of unrelated shorts! The three stories are “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree”, “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day”, and “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too”.

And like the previous two films, we still feel Walt Disney’s presence even though he’s long deceased by now!

Posthumous Popularity!
Posthumous Popularity!

Walt obtained the rights to the “Winnie the Pooh” characters during his lifetime and completed “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree” in 1966. He was also involved in the making of the Academy Award-winning “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day”. The short was released in 1968, 2 years after Walt had died. “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too” was released as a short in 1974.

But Walt Disney had always wanted to make a feature film about these characters, not just shorts! So, what better way to fulfill Walt’s dream than put those 3 previously released shorts together in one film and make it the 22nd feature in the Disney canon?

If you take 3 shorts that were hits and put them together to make a film, would the film be three times a hit?
If you take 3 shorts that were hits and put them together to make a film, would the film be three times a hit?

I’m not even going to talk about the characters, because like I said, everyone knows Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Tigger, Rabbit, Eeyore, Gopher, Kanga, Roo, and Christopher Robin.

Study the diagram carefully...pop quiz after!
Study the diagram carefully…pop quiz after!

My obscure forgotten/minor character today comes from Winnie the Pooh’s house actually. Winnie the Pooh lives in a tree that has a plaque over the door which reads, “Mr. Sanders”. Our narrator, Sebastian Cabot,

"Mr. French, Bagheera, Sir Ector, Unseen Narrator of "Winnie the Pooh" shorts...I wonder which I'll be most famous for!"
“Mr. French, Bagheera, Sir Ector, Unseen Narrator of ‘Winnie the Pooh’ shorts…I wonder which I’ll be most famous for!”

says that Winnie the Pooh lives “under the name of Sanders”, and in this case, it’s quite literal.

The shirt probably belongs to Mr. Sanders too!
The shirt probably belongs to Mr. Sanders too!

So….the obvious question is, who in the world is Mr. Sanders? Did he previously live where Winnie the Pooh lives now? If so, why? If not, how did Winnie the Pooh obtain that plaque?

Let’s do some investigation and see if we can come to a conclusion of sorts.

Check!
Check!

First, the sign indicates….umm…that someone…engraved the name “Mr. Sanders” on it….and…hmm…most likely it was Mr. Sanders himself!

"Brilliant deduction, my good man!"
“Brilliant deduction, my good man!”

Yeah, there really isn’t much else to deduce from that plank of wood!

I was originally going to nominate two characters for this post and the second one would have been “Trespassers Will”. This is a sign located at Piglet’s place of residence.

The Hundred Acre Wood doesn't seem so friendly and innocent anymore!
The Hundred Acre Wood doesn’t seem so friendly and innocent anymore!

Piglet explains that it’s short for “Trespassers William” which, according to his grandmother, was apparently his grandfather’s name. But I think we’re all convinced that the sign was originally “Trespassers will be prosecuted” and that  this was just a big yarn spun by Piglet’s grandmother to keep him quiet from asking too many questions!

"Oh, d-d-d-dear! You've been lying to me all these years! You m-m-m-mean my grandfather was W-W-W-Wilbur of non-Disney fame?!"
“Oh, d-d-d-dear! You’ve been lying to me all these years! You m-m-m-mean to say that my grandfather was W-W-W-Wilbur of non-Disney fame?!”

In the end, the only possible forgotten/minor character I could have chosen was the…unknown Mr. Sanders from Disney’s otherwise well-known and enjoyable classic, “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”!

13 thoughts on “Disney Canon-Forgotten/Minor Characters #22: Mr. Sanders”

  1. Winnie the Pooh is a nickname. His name is “Edward Bear Sanders”. You can get the original Pooh books for free from Guitenburg. That’s literally Pooh bear’s name. They call him Winnie the Pooh because he’s so dismissive and carefree. In England, if you don’t want to deal with something, you say “pooh” similar to an American saying “meh”. A winnie is like… kind of like a loveable hobo? It’s not a great translation. But there was an actual bear named Winnie who Christopher Robin met at a zoo and so in his had the nickname was probably like calling a cow “Bessie” as a nickname. Just a common bear name.

  2. It’s these little twists of logic, among other things, that make the Winnie-the-Pooh stories- both the original Milne writings, and the animated adaptations of them- so delightful and charming, in my opinion.

    To be perfectly honest, the joke behind “Trespassers Will” went right over my head when I was a little kid, but now, it never fails to make me giggle…

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