This was an all expense paid trip, provided by Disney. All opinions are my own. On my trip to LA for Disney’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, we had a special visit to the 100 Acre Wood (actually the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden) to meet and interview Jim Cummings. Jim does the voices of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger and has done for the last 30+ years! This was truly a magical treat. I have loved Tigger since I was a little girl, and listening to him brought me back to my childhood.
Jim is such a nice guy, funny and made the interview great with his stories and voices. I very much enjoyed listening to him talk about how he got started, the process of working on the Christopher Robin movie and so much more! I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!
Interview with Jim Cummings about Disney’s Christopher Robin
How did you feel about working on a live-action version of Winnie the Pooh?
JIM: it was magic for me. I was so taken with it. It’s so charming. I like the experience as much as if I was had nothing to do with it. You know, I walk in and I go, oh, gosh, look at, look at that. Look at that. That’s a big honey jar. That’s perfect. And I’m just enjoyin’ like there’s no tomorrow. So, I loved it. I thought it was a great idea, you know. What if Christopher Robin grew up and turned into a person and got stuck working like the rest of us and World War II? Oh, wow. Now what? You know, Christopher Robin? Really? And, it was just so magical. And, you know, Pooh and the gang went out there and kinda saved him. Kind of returned the favor after all those waterfalls that he saved us from. [LAUGHS] So, it’s great.
Was the process of recording different for an animated picture?
JIM: I recorded the whole movie in one day. Gosh, it’s over a year ago now over in London. And then they took that and kinda played it on the set so that they had somethin’ to play off of. Ewan and the gang. And, they had a dummy, so to speak, and it was a little gray guy, kinda Pooh shaped. There was a kind of a Tigger one and, you know, and a Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore. And, and there was a puppeteer there doing really horrible impressions of me [LAUGHS], which was fun.
Oh, a bother. I have to go here. You know, and that was fun. [LAUGHS] I was thinkin’, gosh, poor Ewan, but then they would play like my stuff, and so it gave him things to react off of. And then after getting the principal photography with the live folks, we went back to the studio and they kinda superimposed or however you would say, put in the CGI over the characters.
And then bit by bit, you know. But then they looked kinda weird for a while. Then they refined it. And then we redid it again, you know, re-looped it again and changed a lot of lines. You’d be surprised at how different it was than — from the very, very first initial recording. But we kinda did that. And then we rewound and did Tigger. And it was a bit of a process. And it was more looping on this one than really any other thing I’ve ever done. But it worked.
When did you first know that you could do voices?
JIM: I don’t know. I started off as a really annoying child. [LAUGHS] I was [DOLPHIN CALL] doing dolphin noises. When I was a kid, I enjoyed being in plays, but I would wanna be the ogre or the hermit or the weirdo or the wizard instead of the little prince. So, I was probably inadvertently doing research for this now. ‘Cause guys like me we’re character actors really. And we’re just doing characters, and that’s kinda what they sound like.
What’s your favorite quote for Pooh and Tigger?
JIM: Oh, gosh. I have so many. “You’re stronger than you seem, braver than you believe.”
Do you see any difference in how the children are reacting between when you started and now?
JIM: Not really. The first Blustery Day, A Day for Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too, those were — I don’t know 1967 or somethin’ like that. And then it wasn’t until 1987, which was great, ’cause it gave me a chance to grow up [CHUCKLES], and become an adult so I could audition. It hadn’t really been around so it was kinda new. But, everybody always had it in the back of their minds and they had sold a lot of the VHS’s.
So, it wasn’t that big a deal, but, it was to me. And it is now, so you’re all stuck with me apparently. [CHUCKLES] But it seems like it’s a universal thing. I’ve thought a lot about this, and, it’s kinda like a pipeline to your childhood almost no matter how old you are. It’s a familiarity. You hear would you please pass me a smackerel of honey. Everybody knows. [CHUCKLES] You know, and it’s so great.
While we were there we were also able to participate in a flower arrangement class. We learned several tips and tricks from the ladies teaching us and were able to put together our own honey pot of flowers. I was excited that mine made it home in one piece and the flowers survived!
We were also spoiled with a delicious picnic in the 100 Acre Wood and got to take photos with Tigger, Pooh, Eeyore, and Piglet, which were the original animals from the movie!!! How cool right? I had such a great time and very much enjoyed my morning in the 100 Acre Wood.
Christopher Robin comes out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow to be sure to pick up your copy and also swing back here for a fun inspired recipe and other info about the special features and more! Be sure to print out these fun Christopher Robin coloring pages for your kids to color while they watch the movie.
In Disney’s heartwarming live-action adventure, the young boy who shared countless adventures with his stuffed animal friends in the Hundred Acre Wood has grown up and lost sight of what’s important in life. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin rediscover the joys of family life, the value of friendship and to appreciate the simple pleasure in life once again.
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr, with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin; Hayley Atwell as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger; Brad Garrett as Eeyore; Toby Jones as Owl; Nick Mohammed as Piglet; Peter Capaldi as Rabbit; and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.
Like CHRISTOPHER ROBIN on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyChristopherRobin/
Follow Walt Disney Studios on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneystudios
Follow Walt Disney Studios on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneystudios