Jim Cummings on Winnie the Pooh and Christoper Robin impacting people

Jim Cummings

Disney’s Christopher Robin transforms the animated world of Winnie the Pooh and takes it into the live-action world. It is an emotional film about a boy who grows up to be a man who forgets his childhood. Well, his childhood comes back in the form of Winnie the Pooh, and the cuddly teddy bear will rally the gang including Tigger and Piglet to help Christopher and his family. The film will be available on Blu-ray and Digital on November 6th. We’ve had the chance to chat with voice actor Jim Cummings, the voice of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, about the impact of the characters and the film.

Nerd Reactor: How do you feel about being a part of something where you affect people emotionally?

Jim Cummings: I really feel like it’s magic. It’s Disney magic at its best. I’ve often said that Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, the 100 Acre Wood gang, Christopher and company – once you tap into that energy, it’s like a direct pipeline into your own childhood. I still have my Davy Crockett hat from being a little guy. It’s an honor for me. It’s a privilege to bring these characters forward and to just share with everybody. I care so much about it I want to it to be good. I want it to be great. I want everybody to enjoy it and love it as much as I do. I thank Mark [director], Brigham and Kristen – the producers – all the writers, everybody. They all pulled together and had a beautiful vision and realized it magnificently. I’m really glad that people are enjoying it.

Doing the cartoon and the live-action version, was it exciting for you to see that?

Well, it was different. They weren’t falling over any waterfalls this time or no hot air balloon escapes were necessary. But it was so sweet because it was almost a period piece if you think about it. It was great because we finally turn the tables around and Pooh and company got to save Christopher this time.

If you had an idea for a sequel…

“I think Maddy is going to get older, and she’s going to need us someday,” [Pooh] said, planting a seed. [laughs]

On the set, were you there to interact at the same time or was it ADR?

It was a combination of different things because we had to record all the voices first. And then they played it on set so that Ewan and everybody had something to play from. They used little dolls, stand-ins, held by the puppeteers. And then they did their thing. They animated on top of that and put in the lips. You had to go back in and do the whole thing over again just for refining it – just to make it perfect. And I think it showed. I think it worked very well.

So you didn’t get a chance to be on the set – being carried away by Ewan?

Oh, no, no no. [laughs] That would have been a cruel and unusual punishment. And he’s a nice guy so we let him off on that one.

Out of all the characters, who’s your favorite to voice?

Well, Pooh and Tigger are almost in their own category. They really are. They are in their own category. They’re evergreen. They’re not tied to any fad. It’s from the heart and it’s sincere. They’re all by themselves. Darkwing Duck – “I’m the terror that flaps in the night.” I get a kick out of Hondo Ohnaka in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. And then Ray comes in there too from Princess and the Frog. He’s very near and dear to my heart. I’m kind of from New Orleans and my little girls related to Princess Tiana so beautifully.

Disney’s Christopher Robin will be available on Blu-ray and Digital November 6th.

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