Christopher Robin, the young boy who shared countless adventures with his stuffed animal friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, is now grown up, living in midcentury London and dealing with the stresses of adulthood. As an efficiency manager at Winslow Luggage, he juggles long hours in the office with his commitments at home and has all but forgotten the endless days of wonder and make-believe that defined his childhood. But sooner or later your past catches up with you.
A heartwarming live-action adventure, “Christopher Robin” is directed by Golden Globe® nominee Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Oscar® winner Tom McCarthy and Oscar nominee Allison Schroeder and a story by Greg Brooker and Mark Steven Johnson based on characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. The producers are Brigham Taylor, p.g.a., and Kristin Burr, p.g.a., with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers.
During a recent Press event we had the opportunity to speak with some of the Cast as well as Director Marc Forster.
Q: What was your personal relationship with Winnie the Pooh? Like when you were a child?
Hayley Atwell: I had books and had Kanga. It was part of growing up.
Ewan McGregor: I knew him from the books and cartoons.
Q: What was it about this film that attracted you to the Project?
Ewan McGregor: I worked with Marc Forester before. He approached me about this film. There’s something really beautiful and powerful about it. The script really moved me and found it lovely.
Q: Do you think there an appeal to children in this story?
Ewan McGregor: I think they would associate it with the little girl. The film starts with the creatures which might captivate kids, but then there is a 10-15 of the movie that’s the back story which might not have kids interested until the creatures come back up on the screen.
The characters Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh first appeared in a collection of verses written by English playwright turned author A.A. Milne entitled “When We Were Very Young” in 1924, but it was the publication of “Winnie-the-Pooh” in 1926 that truly resonated with readers around the world. The book of short stories about the imaginary adventures of the carefree boy, his honey-loving bear and the rest of his animal friends from the Hundred Acre Wood, accompanied by E.H. Shepard’s timeless illustrations, is considered one of the most popular children’s books of all Time.
Q: The message of this film is directed at adults. How did you balance it so that kids would want to see the movie?
Marc Forester: I have a daughter and she sees movies that are only for kids and she was complaining about it? Then she said why don’t you make a movie for me and you? Then said why don’t you make this movie, while pointing on cartoon version of Pooh? It’s a classic Disney family movie that should speak to all of us, that’s why I wanted to make this movie.
Q: Did you thought about bringing Richard Sherman in to write songs for the film? To keep the Disney legacy.
Marc Forester: I’ve been a big fan of the Sherman Brothers and Richard was open. I only wanted one song. Suddenly he wrote me 3 songs. He called me and played the song over the phone. We then decided to use the one song in the movie and in the end credits.
“When you are able to make people laugh and cry in the same movie and you are able to tell the story with integrity and ground it in reality and have the magic realism on top of it, it lifts your spirits and connects you with the people you love,” says Forster.
And this is a story Forster believes has never been more relevant. “I think it’s something we desperately need in the world,” he says. “We could all use a little bit of Pooh’s heart and wisdom right now.”
Jim Cummings provides the familiar and comforting voice of Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin’s devoted best friend. A cuddly, slightly-worn teddy bear full of optimism, whose tummy is always rumbly, he then delivers simple thoughts on life that turn out to be surprisingly profound. Cummings has voiced the character for the past 30 years.
“We were so lucky to get Jim,” “As soon as you hear him read his lines, a feeling of nostalgia washes over you and makes you smile.” Cummings also provides the voice of Tigger, a character he has voiced in numerous titles over the years. Tigger is the fearless, outgoing, energetic and incredibly self-assured orange and black-striped tiger who then leaps before he looks.
‘Christopher Robin’ in now playing in theaters.
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