44

In the Winnie-The-Pooh universe, are Heffalumps real?

Or are they merely a product of Pooh's imagination?

  • 5
    I think it depends on if you are talking about only Milne's books or all the Disney media that came after, too. Wikipedia – eshier Dec 5 '17 at 20:49
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    Pooh, and all the other characters of the hundred-acre wood are figments of Christopher Robin's schizophrenic imagination, and each represents a mental deficiency. fantheories.wikia.com/wiki/Winnie_the_Pooh – Korthalion Dec 6 '17 at 9:35
  • 2
    there's a Winnie-The-Pooh universe? – Quasi_Stomach Dec 6 '17 at 16:48
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    The Pooh-niverse – SeanR Dec 6 '17 at 23:31
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    @Korthalion, that's speculatory and there is no heffalump in the list there. – Octopus Dec 7 '17 at 6:32
65

Originally (A.A. Milne), they were not real.

In the first book Winnie-the-Pooh, Chapter 5 is titled "In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump". However it turns out that this is all in Piglet's imagination, and while they set traps no Heffalump is ever caught. Pooh imagines a Heffalump while trying to fall asleep, marking their only "appearance" which again is in the imagination

"He tried counting Heffalumps but every Heffalump that he counted was making straight for a pot of Pooh's honey ... and when the five hundred and eighty-seventh Heffalump was licking its jaws, and saying to itself, 'Very good honey this, I don't know when I've tasted better', Pooh could bear it no longer."

og heffalump

Original illustration of a Heffalump in Winnie-the Pooh


In later works (Disney) they were real. (Which include...)

  • The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Pooh's Heffalump Movie
  • Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie

heffalump ad friends

Heffalumps as depicted in Pooh's Heffalump Movie

  • 1
    They were within the imagination of an imagined character. – Octopus Dec 7 '17 at 6:37
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    So, real in the Disney Cinematic Poohniverse, but not in the original Milniverse. – Peter Dec 7 '17 at 10:34
28

Yes, of course they are real.

"Heffalump" is simply how a very young Chistopher Robin pronounced the word "elephant." As his father A. A. Milne famously pointed out, when Christopher Robin went to the zoo, he would go straight to see his favorite animal (Winnipeg the bear) and stay there. However, the lad did see enough of the other animals to have observed first hand the existence of elephants--or heffalumps, as he put it.

While by the time he was in school, Christopher Robin had come to loathe the books his father published about the events of and stories told during Christopher Robin's early childhood. (He was mocked at school with quotes from Now We Are Six and never fully forgave his father for violating the privacy of his childhood.) However, the stories were outgrowths of the time father and son spent together; Christopher Robin was creative force, contributing characters and names to the world of the Hundred Acre Wood.

Since Christopher Robin knew heffalumps were real (and enjoyed hearing about them in the stories), Pooh knew they were real as well; even if, being a bear of very little brain, Pooh did not really know where he might expect to find them.

  • 12
    But this question asks for an in-universe answer. You've provided a good out-of-universe answer. – Matt Gutting Dec 6 '17 at 11:52
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    do you have sources for any of this information? – Skooba Dec 6 '17 at 13:56
  • The poem about Chris saying his prayers was even worse. The boys at school really got to him with that one. Poor guy... – user68762 Dec 6 '17 at 16:42
  • @MattGutting This answer confirms that heffalumps are real (as elephants) within the context of the story, but does not reference their usage within the story "In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump", in which the ones they think they see signs of are imaginary. In other words: an imaginary sighting of a real animal with a garbled name. If that helps clarify. – keithcurtis Dec 7 '17 at 2:44

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