Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

There's More Than Just 'Ted': The Top 5 Animated Teddy Bears In Movies

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist June 27, 2012 at 1:00PM

With "Ted," Seth MacFarlane's tale of a grown man and his anthropomorphic, foul-mouthed teddy bear, opening this weekend (and for the most part proving to be foul-mouthed fun; look for our review very soon), we got to thinking about the childhood playthings of our (cinematic) past. Considering what a truly influential and fundamental part of childhood having a teddy bear is, it's kind of astounding that there aren't more memorable teddy bears on the big or small screen out there.
3
Ted

With "Ted," Seth MacFarlane's tale of a grown man and his anthropomorphic, foul-mouthed teddy bear, opening this weekend (and for the most part proving to be foul-mouthed fun; look for our review very soon), we got to thinking about the childhood playthings of our (cinematic) past. Considering what a truly influential and fundamental part of childhood having a teddy bear is, it's kind of astounding that there aren't more memorable teddy bears on the big or small screen out there.

Still there's more than one who've found their way into key roles in major motion pictures, and as a result, we've put together a little bluffer's guide into the history of the cinematic history of our ursine pals, with the major proviso that, like Ted in "Ted," they had to be animated -- fans of "Grizzly Man" should look elsewhere. Check out our selection below, and you can see "Ted" in theaters from Friday, June 29th.

Winnie The Pooh
Winnie the Pooh, various (most notably last year’s “Winnie the Pooh”)
Reason for Inclusion: Winnie the Pooh, based on the A. A. Milne character of the same name, has been popping up in Disney animated shorts, features, television series, and theme park attractions since the early '60s, with many seeing him as just as indelible a Disney character as Mickey, Goofy, or Woola. (The company outright bought the character from the Milne estate in 2000.) While the honey-craving Pooh isn’t explicitly referenced as a “teddy bear,” he is “stuffed with fluff,” has embroidered stitching and exists in an elaborate fantasy world concocted by human boy Christopher Robin. (Historical aside: the character was named after Milne’s son’s teddy bear and the character’s first appearance was in a poem called “Teddy Bear.” So, there’s that.) Unless Christopher Robin lives in the Scottish highlands, which, as we learned in “Brave,” is positively teeming with bears, we imagine that Winnie the Pooh’s non-anthropomorphic origin begins with something used for nighttime snuggling. It speaks to the character’s elasticity and enduring charm that Pooh could have endured so many permutations over the years (remember the nightmarish live action show Welcome to Pooh Corner from the '80s?) and kept its inherent charm and huge popularity – 2011’s big screen reboot “Winnie the Pooh” wasn’t just one of the year’s best animated films, it was one of the year’s best, period. Also: whenever we get to visit Tokyo Disneyland, we’re going to make a beeline for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt.
Adorability Factor: Pretty fucking high. Both in design and personality, Winnie the Pooh is positively lovable. You want to squeeze him until his seams burst and stuffing starts to come out of the slits (well, maybe not that hard). Winnie the Pooh remains the high watermark for conceptualization and characterization, at least when it comes to animated talking teddy bears. Which is saying something. Or not.

Bobo Simpsons
Bobo from “Rosebud,” season five, episode four of “The Simpsons” (1993)
Reason for Inclusion: “Rosebud,” written by reclusive oddball (and fan favorite) John Swartzwelder and directed by David Mirkin, is one of the greatest “Simpsons” episodes ever, and a big part of it is the teddy bear at its ooey gooey core. As we learn in the opening flashback/dream sequence (which also includes a great George Burns joke), Bobo was twisted billionaire Mr. Burns’ beloved childhood toy that he abandoned when he decided to leave his birth family to live with a mysterious tycoon. (According to Burns’ biological father, the bear is “a symbol of your lost youth and innocence.”) Prompted by a birthday, Burns’ seeks out the bear, which has become a similarly beloved toy to Maggie Simpson, putting Homer in the unenviable position of choosing between a huge reward and his daughter’s happiness. Unlike “Ted,” the episode's jokes-to-sentiment ratio is perfectly calibrated – it’s a half hour of television where jokes about murdering the Rolling Stones and Homer eating “64 slices of American cheese” fit snugly alongside a tender moment where an angry mob’s collective heart is turned by the power of a young girl and her toy bear.
Adorability Factor: Given the Matt Groening School of Design’s penchant for the grotesque, it’s notable how truly huggable Bobo is. The bear, who remains inanimate for the duration of the episode, still gets a fairly in-depth and memorable flashback sequence where we see the bear going on a ride in the Spirit of St. Louis, belonging to Hitler (while in the bunker, presumably right before his suicide, The Fuhrer screams “This is all your fault” at the teddy bear), and taking a trip atop a nuclear submarine, all before winding up in a bag of ice at the Kwik-E-Mark (Apu: “Ooh! A head bag! Those are filled with heady goodness!”).

This article is related to: Features, Ted


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates