Disney Announces Live-Action 'Winnie The Pooh' & Here's Why I'm Super Skeptical About It
Has Disney gone too far with its latest animated film adaptation? It's highly likely. According to Deadline, Disney is adapting the characters from the Winnie The Pooh franchise into a live-action film, and I'm particularly skeptical about this venture. It's not that I don't love Pooh, Eeyore, or any of their friends in the Hundred Acre Woods — in fact, it's because I love them that I'm worried about this project. I grew up on Winnie The Pooh, and I adored the sweet stories of friendship from the perspective of the honey-obsessed teddy bear. I'm just not so sure I love the new story the live-action film will tell.
According to reports, the new film will feature Christopher Robin, now all grown-up, as he makes his way back to the woods for one last adventure. So far, that's all the information we're getting about the new script from Listen Up Philip writer/director Alex Ross Perry, and it's already enough to make me cringe. While I'll suppose I'll have to save my official judgements for after the film hits theaters (which might not be for a while considering all of the other live-action adaptations Disney has recently announced), here's why I'm not thrilled about this news despite my adoration for all things Pooh.
There's No Place For Adults In The Woods
Just to be clear: the film is set in a world where Christopher Robin is not only an adult, but has left Pooh and his friends in the woods for years? Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how heartbreaking that concept is? I don't want to know that Pooh has missed Christopher Robin when he's away — they're supposed to be best buddies forever because that's the power of friendship and curse anyone who says otherwise.
The Live-Action Characters Have The Potential For Major Creepiness
The animals in the Hundred Acre Woods aren't actually animals. They're stuffed animals from Christopher Robin's collection, even if it's not explicitly stated in many of the films. I'm having a hard time seeing the magic with a CGI-ed Pooh that looks like the stuffed bear from Ted.
The New Story Might Not Work For Pooh
It makes sense that Disney wants to adapt properties they already own the rights to. It's a cost-effective way to put a fun spin on the classic tales we all know and love, like the update on Sleeping Beauty that became Maleficent. But the thing I love about the stories from the Hundred Acre Woods is that they were simple and sweet. They didn't need a lavish backstory or a deep mythology to captivate audiences. I'm afraid that the live-action version will forget that about Pooh entirely and give us something we don't want — an overcomplicated plot, excessive character development, and a backstory we just don't need.
I can't slow your roll with this, Disney, so I'm going to have to have faith in you that you'll take care of Christopher Robin's beloved friends. I'm not stoked on this live-action version, but I owe it to Disney to trust that the story is in good hands.
Images: Buena Vista Pictures; Giphy (3)