Owl (Winnie-the-Pooh)

Owl is a fictional character in A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books and in Disney's Winnie the Pooh cartoons. Owl's character is obviously based on the stereotype of the "wise old owl", although in the books, the quality of Owl's "wisdom" is sometimes questionable. Owl can spell his name ("Wol") and the word "Tuesday" (so that you know it isn't Wednesday), but his spelling goes all to pieces over delicate words like measles and buttered toast. He can also read, although only if no-one is looking over his shoulder.

The reason that Owl is named Wol is because Wol is a Kentish and Sussex dialect word for Owl, which Milne would have been familiar with, living on a farm at Hartfield at the time he was writing Winnie the Pooh.

Owl is a good friend of Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, and all the other inhabitants of the Forest. He is always happy to offer his opinions, advice, and anecdotes - whether or not they are actually wanted. Owl also enjoys telling stories about his relatives, including his aunt who laid a seagull's egg by mistake and his Uncle Robert who once survived a very blusterous day.

In the Winnie-the-Pooh book, Owl lives in a tree known as The Chestnuts, located in the middle of the Hundred Acre Wood and described as an "old world residence of great charm" which is grand enough to have both a door-knocker and a bell-pull. That house is blown down by a storm in the eighth chapter of The House at Pooh Corner. Eeyore eventually discovers what he believes is the perfect new house for Owl, apparently without noticing that it is actually Piglet's house. Nonetheless, Piglet offers the house to Owl, and he presumably moves in. Owl made a sign indicating that he planned to call his new house "The Wolery".

Unlike most of the original cast of the books, the illustrations of Owl look more like a living animal and than a stuffed one. This idea is also supported by Rabbit's comment to him, "You and I have brains. The others have fluff." In Ernest H. Shepard's illustrations, Owl appears to be about a head shorter than Pooh, and a little below hip-height to Christopher Robin. He is sometimes but not always drawn wearing reading glasses. When the illustrations show him writing, he holds the pen in his talons, not with his wing.

Owl appears in chapters IV, VI, VIII, IX, and X of Winnie-the-Pooh. He also appears in chapters V, VIII, IX, and X of The House at Pooh Corner, and is mentioned in several other chapters.

Disney Cartoon version

The original voice of Owl in the Disney films was Hal Smith. After his death, Andre Stojka replaced him as the voice of Owl.

In the Disney cartoon, Owl speaks in Received Pronunciation.

Owl appeared in the movies Winnie The Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966) Winnie The Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968)

Kingdom Hearts

Owl plays a small role in the video game Kingdom Hearts. He portrays his character as he is in the books and series, being the most sensible and articulate. His main role is to explain the minigames in the 100 Acre Wood.

Other appearances

Owl makes a cameo appearance in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. In the Mickey saga, he is in the background at the Firemen's Orchestra.

Owl has never been seen on My Friends Tigger & Pooh.

Obscure technology jokes

The W3C Web Ontology Language has the acronym OWL rather than WOL. This is sometimes, but incorrectly, assumed to be a reference to Owl's mis-spelling.


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