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Winnie the Pooh’s Home Run Derby is a flash game produced by Disney in which the player takes control of the character Winnie the Pooh from the cartoon series of the same name. In the game, Winnie plays the batter while other notable characters from the series play the pitcher in rotation. In early 2012, the game became notable on the Japanese web for its unexpectedly high difficulty level; however, it didn’t gain momentum on the English-speaking web until early 2013 following its appearances on 4chan and Reddit.
Winnie the Pooh’s Home Run Derby (Japanese: くまのプーさんのホームランダービー) was originally released as a flash-based mini game on Disney’s Japanese website in 2008. An official version licensed by Disney was added to Yahoo! Kids on July 28th, 2008. An English-translated version of the game can be found on the free gaming website FlashRelax.
Years after its release in 2008, several users on both /livejupiter/‘s board in 2channel and /may/’s (equivalent to 4chan’s /b/) board in Futaba Channel (2chan) discovered the game at the beginning of 2012. On January 2nd, 2012, a Wiki page for the game was launched with multiple victory screenshots (shown below).
The online popularity of the game resurged at the beginning of 2013, this time picking up quite a few mentions from the network of blogs affiliated with 2channel and Futaba Channel that had been launched in late 2012. With its further exposure on the Japanese web, the game soon made its away over to 4chan in early 2013, with the first archived thread found on the /v/ (video games) board from January 1st, 2013, and another archived /v/ thread from the following day.
On January 3rd, a link to the game was shared on Reddit by Joelsaurus, gaining more than 5,193 upvotes in the first 24 hours. The majority of posts on both sites were commentaries on the game’s unusual difficulty and poor gameplay, several of which were later featured in NBC Sports Off The Bench (shown below) in an article posted on January 4th.
“How the **** can rabbit speed up a ball mid flight? YOU DONT HAVE THUMBS”
“This is true. Finally beat Tigger. Don’t even waste your time with that **** Christopher Robin.”
“Kanga and Roo can burn in Hell where they belong”
“I don’t think I’ve ever hated a cartoon animal as much as I do Owl right now.”
In the days following its spread across 4chan and Reddit, the game was featured on a number of gaming-related news sites and forums such as With Leather, Kotaku, Hupit Gaming forums, K94.5FM, and news website The Daily Dot.
Many fan artworks and photoshopped images inspired by the game are based upon it’s extreme difficulty during later level stages, particularly when Winnie the Pooh bats against the last character of the game Christopher Robin.
NBC Sports’ Off the Bench – Reddit users are hilariously unnerved by a flash game called Winnie the Pooh Home Run Derby / Posted on 01-04-2013
With Leather – Web Game 'Winnie The Pooh Home Run Derby' Declared QWOP Of 2013 / Posted on 01-04-2013
Kotaku – This Winnie The Pooh Game Is Way Too Difficult For Kids / Posted on 01-04-2013
K94.5FM – Winnie The Pooh’s Home Run Derby Might Drive You Crazy / Posted on 01-04-2013
The Daily Dot – Forget QWOP: 4chan discovers the most frustrating kids’ game ever / Posted on 01-03-2013