Forget dogs—teddy bears are man’s real best friend.Since the toy first surfaced in Germany in 1903, it has morphed into all sorts of variations, and much like people, teddy bears come with different personalities, too.
But with recent release of the Universal Pictures film “Ted,” we decided to look back at the transformation of bears in pop culture.
We’ve acquired all types of teddy bears in our toychests growing up. Now, see which bears have had the most profound effect on Americans through the years.
The loveable bear from the Jungle Book, Baloo was first introduced to us by creator Rudyard Kippling in 1894 as a wise bear who befriends Mowgli, the story's little boy, and teaches him all the ropes to surviving in the jungle and how to live in the jungle. In the newer Disney version of the film, Baloo is portrayed as goofy and slightly wreckless, but still manages to raise Mowgli and keep him under his protection.
Surfacing in 1926, Winnie The Pooh appeared in A.A. Milne's books with a short shirt over his popped belly, reflecting this character's love for the grub, especially honey. He has kind eyes and a soft smile, suitable for little children who love the Disney stories, and innocent enough to keep our hearts fond of him as we got older.
This simple bear was the centre of a 1957 book series by Else Holmelund Minarik, where he lives a life similar to a 6-year-old child of exploring, napping, and learning. Nick Jr adapted the story into a TV show in 1995, which teaches kids to use their imagination when playing.
Perhaps the best way children learned about real concerns like going to the dentist, peer pressure, or summer camp was to read about the Berenstain Bear family, the stars of a book series written by Stan and Jan Berenstain. The bears were first created in 1962 and went on to sell 260 million copies around the world.
Corduroy is the teddy bear from the famous 1968 children's book by Don Freeman about a teddy bear who spends the night looking for a button so that a little girl who saw him in a department store will buy him. The cute little bear is dressed in overalls, held up by those famous buttons, and teaches a good lesson about persistence.
Since 'The Muppet Show' show began in 1974, Fozzie became one of the most beloved characters. Hipster Fozzie, never going anywhere without his brown Fedora, tries so hard and wants nothing less than the tornado of tomatoes frequently pelted at him while he does his standup routine--Wocka Wocka.
Complete with his snazzy vest, Teddy Ruxpin, the ultimate storyteller, was all the rage when he first came out in 1985. This bear, who was created by Ken Forsse, taught us all about exploring for the sake of adventure. His nasally voice (which might have something to do with a cassette) actually convinced kids that he was talking to them: he even blinked!
Lotso is the ruthless warden from Pixar's 2010 film, 'Toy Story 3.' This fluffy bear, complete with Southern accent, created a whole bureaucracy after having his heart broken when his owner replaces him. Lotso doesn't quite redeem himself from a Pixar point of view, but he definitely is a loveable villain.
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