Winnie the Pooh has made his way back to the big screen.
Originally created by author A.A. Milne for a 1926 book, the lovable bear is one of the few fictional characters whose “fandom” reaches across generations. Some people fondly remember the books that were read to them as children, while others recall seeing the animated films many decades later.
“Christopher Robin” is Disney’s latest iteration of the character, and it follows Christopher Robin (Pooh’s human best friend) as an adult who reunites with his childhood friends, including Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger.
LifeZette spoke by phone about the film with “Christopher Robin” producer Brigham Taylor, how the latest look of the lovable animals came to be — and why this is the perfect time for this family-friendly adventure.
“The hope was always to create the look of the vintage stuffed animal,” Taylor said about the look of Pooh and his friends in the film, which has been one of the most eagerly discussed aspects of the upcoming flick.
(To see the rustic look created in the live action adventure, check out the trailer in this video below.)
Taylor, who is based in Los Angeles, said the film’s team hired various artists to create versions of the characters — and when they found what worked, it served as the film’s “north star.”
Taylor’s own history with these characters runs back to his childhood. “I grew up loving this character,” he said, recalling that the books were read to him as a child.
He revealed that “Christopher Robin” has been in the works for a very long time. Taylor pitched the idea back in the “early 2000s,” but the technology wasn’t quite where it needed to be in order to create the right look for the characters in a live-action film.
One of Taylor’s goals with “Christopher Robin” was to bring back some of the themes from the original books. Over the decades, Pooh had become a character that was “pitched more and more to a younger generation.” Taylor saw an opportunity he felt was being missed: Wise old Pooh is a cross-generational character. The young and the old (and everyone else) can bond over their love for the friendly bear.
So Taylor wanted a movie not just for kids — but for absolutely everyone.
“We made it with a broad audience in mind,” he said. “Kids, parents and everyone in between.”
It’s rare for a film these days to seek to bring people together in a positive way. LifeZette asked him if his movie was meant in any way as an answer to today’s culturally fractured times; Taylor said the specific timing of this moment in 2018 wasn’t intended, since the film has been in the works for so long. Yet it does seem as if this is the perfect time for Pooh to appear on the big screen again.
Taylor said the character can help people in a “tumultuous time” because he reminds us of the joys of being a child.
Taylor said the character can help people in a “tumultuous time” because he reminds us of the joys of being a child — and he pushes a simple philosophy “full of love and acceptance and the simple wisdom of wanting to be around those you love.”
The new film is “pinning that philosophy against all the philosophies we get bombarded with as an adult,” he said. He added that the contrast and that message are “especially relevant in a time like now.”
“Christopher Robin” hits theaters tomorrow.