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It's 1914, the beginning of WWI. In White River, Ontario, en route to a training camp in Valcartier, Québec, with the Winnipeg section of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, Army Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, who has a natural rapport with animals, saves a black bear cub from being killed by a hunter, who killed the cub's mother. Not knowing what else to do with the cub, Harry brings her along to camp to act as the unit's mascot, who he names Winnie - short for Winnipeg. Most of the men in the unit bond with Winnie, but having such a mascot is against the wishes of the head of the Canadian Expeditionary Force's veterinary division, Colonel Barret. Barret is a tough but fair man, who may have more problems than Winnie in the form of the Expeditionary Force's commanding officer, General Hallholland, a dipsomaniac who uses his position in the army for his own vainglorious purposes. Winnie's stay with Harry and the unit is not always a smooth one, especially in trying to stay under Barret's... Written by
I have to say that as the Foley Artist on this film, I didn't spend a day when I wasn't attempting to conceal my tears from my co-workers! I LOVE this story! I'm a great animal lover and so I felt an enormous degree of empathy for the little bear in being "abandoned" by her adopted dad, "Harry". The way the story plays out, I don't know HOW anyone could have left "someone he loves so much" to go to war. But in the end, this is the reality of anyone who is called to war.
It really hits me hard in the end when Harry decides to leave Winnie at the zoo, instead of taking her home to Canada, as he promised.
If it were "my bear"...I would have brought her home with me...BUT...I'm only in the Sound Department. LOL
All in all, I wish I would see more of this type of quality story-telling being produced in Canada. It was a great pleasure to work on Winnie. I loved it. Thanks CBC for a WONDERFUL PRODUCTION!
Virginia (who has just left her very first comment out of all the productions she's worked on!)
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