- Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is a dark adaptation of the classic children’s characters, resulting in a financially successful low-budget film with a sequel already secured.
- A fourth-grade class was accidentally shown the violent film, shocking the students and the teacher involved.
- The success of this adaptation has inspired other Disney characters like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty to explore horror versions.
Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, a dark and violent interpretation of the beloved children’s characters, managed to shock a fourth-grade class when it was mistakenly shown to them. The film was severely criticized by critics, but its low-budget nature turned it into a financial success, leading to a sequel that promises even more gore and horror. As a result, other popular Disney characters such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have been inspired to pursue their own horror adaptations.
The movie, released in January 2023 and directed by Rhys Waterfield, became a surprising hit. This was possible due to the expiration of copyright protection, which brought the likes of Pooh, Piglet, and Christopher Robin into the public domain, allowing for new adaptations. In the film, after being abandoned by Christopher Robin, Winnie and Piglet go wild and take vengeance, causing a bloodbath.
Although critics called it one of the worst movies of the year, gore enthusiasts flocked to it, enamored by its extreme violence, disturbing scenes, and twisted plot. Unfortunately, this peculiar film came at a cost for a group of fourth-graders who, due to an unexpected mistake, ended up watching the atypical Winnie the Pooh story.
In a Variety interview, Rhys Waterfield expressed disbelief about someone mistakenly thinking his movie was a children’s film: “It’s mad, isn’t it? I think it’s crazy. Because when you watch the film there is no way you can mistake it for a child’s film, literally in the first 10 minutes, crazy stuff’s happening. And [the characters] look scary. So I don’t know how — because they said it went on 20 to 30 minutes — I don’t know how it went on that long. I don’t know if the teacher put it on and just walked out and left them or if the kids tricked them or something. Hopefully we haven’t ruined these kids’ childhoods.”
Rhys Waterfield also revealed that the upcoming sequel will be even gorier: “In comparison to the first film everything’s stepped up massively. It’s a horror film. A lot of the times people are going there for the death scenes and for those elements and we’ve really upped the ante. I think the last time I did a count there was over 30 deaths in the movie, which is quite substantial compared to most movies. I think that’s at least over three times what the first film had and there’s various massacres and stuff. So there’s a lot of blood and a lot of gore.”
Winnie the Pooh is not the only Disney character delving into horror. Fairytales like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are also exploring this darker genre, following the success of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey and The Mean One, a slasher film inspired by The Grinch.