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Oops! Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey Accidentally Traumatizes Florida Fourth Graders
Umm, this is probably not the Winnie-the-Pooh movie the teacher had in mind.
For decades, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and the other residents of the Hundred Acre Wood have been a source of comfort, friendship, and all-around wholesomeness. At least that was the case under Disney's longtime curation of the property. But not anymore!
The Academy of Innovative Education, a K-12 charter school located in Miami, is currently under fire for accidentally showing 20 to 30 minutes of Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey (now streaming on Peacock) to a fourth grade class earlier this month. Those impressionable young minds were apparently traumatized by what they saw, according to parent Michelle Diaz, whose twins bore witness to the unrated slasher depravity one can conjure when a beloved pop culture icon enters the public domain.
Why the Winnie-the-Pooh slasher movie has sparked outrage in Miami
"He [the teacher] didn't stop the movie, even though there were kids saying, 'Hey, stop the movie, we don't want to want this'," she told CBS News Miami, which was first to break the story. Diaz added that while the students chose the movie, it was up to the instructor to independently approve the material beforehand.
"The Academy for Innovative Education has become aware that a segment of a horror movie was shown to fourth graders, Monday, October 2, 2023, that was not suitable for the age group," school head Vera Hirsch said in a statement to the Florida news outlet. "Our administration promptly addressed this issue directly with the teacher and has taken appropriate action to ensure the safety and well-being of students. We are actively monitoring the students and our mental health counselor and principal have already met with those students who have expressed concerns."
Writer-director Rhys Frake-Waterfield sounded off on the academic accident during a recent conversation with Variety, describing the situation as both "mad" and "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," the filmmaker continued. "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."
Blood and Honey follows the titular honey-loving bear (Craig David Dowsett) as he and Piglet (Chris Cordell) embark on a deranged killing spree once Christopher Robin heads off for college. Produced on a shoestring budget, the indie film proved to be a surprise box office smash, bringing in over $5 million worldwide.
"I didn't expect it to do this well," Frake-Waterfield confessed over a Zoom call with SYFY WIRE earlier this year. "I thought, 'Okay, it will do a good amount. There will be a lot of articles floating around.’ But initially, it was made as a bit more of of a straight-to-DVD concept. [But] as soon as some of the stills went out there, it just blew up. It was getting posted everywhere."
A sequel is currently scheduled for release in February (a specific date has yet to be announced).
Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey is now streaming on Peacock.