I know, I know. There’s a popular theory that each character is based off a common psychiatric disorder. But I have an alternate theory, one that’s a little less dark, if you will; that the characters represent different forms of autism.
Let’s imagine, that Christopher Robin is an autistic little boy, and probably has a hard time fitting in with school or socially. So he turns to his stuffed animals. With an active imagination (something I had growing up), he makes up his own stories and scenarios with himself and his toys, and with each of them he projects a type of autism.
You have Pooh, who more than loves honey (some autistic children can only eat certain foods) and is fiercely loyal to the friends he has. You have Rabbit, who has a special interest (gardening) and doesn’t like it when people mess with this things or habits and gets frustrated easily. You have Tigger, who stims by bouncing and tends to be very blunt and to the point. Then there’s Owl, who is invested in books and research and stories and loves to talk about his interests (and lives up in a tree, giving him more privacy from the others). Piglet can’t always tell when something is real and when something isn’t (like how some autistic people can’t understand sarcasm), which would lead him to be anxious. Eeyore does show signs of depression, but keep in mind, he’s the only character that walks on four legs/has no thumbs, so that’s probably an indicate he can’t communicate or express himself properly, which leads him to be the way he is. The only outliers would be Kanga and Roo, who are supposed to represent a mother and a child. (There’s also Gopher, but I don’t think he’s fully considered part of the family since he hasn’t always made appearances.)
I say this because while I want more representation of mental illnesses, but when people talk about the characters in Winnie the Pooh having different neurotypes, it’s always negative, dark, and cynical. With this post, I’m reclaiming these characters and spinning something positive from them. Maybe you can get something positive from them, too.