There are many beloved childhood characters, but there's only one — a little bear — who captured our hearts with lines like “I am short, fat, and proud of that" and “Could you spare a small smackerel?” The adorable and bumbling Winnie the Pooh was everyone's fave lil bear, and now, over 90 years since he was introduced in book form, a reimagining is happening at Disney with Pooh's human friend at the forefront. The Christopher Robin trailer is a real treat for any fan of the original cartoons and books, bringing you back to childhood and filling you with seriously nostalgic joy.
This new movie, which doesn't yet have a release date, stars Ewan McGregor in the title role, Hayley Atwell as his wife, and Jim Cummings, the voice behind the honey-loving bear since the '80s, as Pooh. The film focuses on the disillusioned Christopher Robin, and in a phone interview with Bustle, director Marc Forster says that one of the ways the character restarts his imagination — which has taken a backseat to the demanding life of a adult — is by visiting his friends from the Hundred Acre Woods.
"They ultimately show up to wake Christopher Robin up again because he's been a little bit asleep and he's been caught up and working," explains Forster. "He really misses out on life, and I think they bring him back to the inner child he has."
Right now, new versions of classic childhood stories are all the rage. The recent films Peter Rabbit and Paddington 2 both found success at the box office and with critics earlier in 2018, and Christopher Robin will likely follow suit. Perhaps that's due, to some degree, to audiences' desire for entertaining, nostalgic material to distract from the current state of the world. On a "global scale," explains Forster, there are "so many issues going on" that people want to escape from. Movies that bring us back to our childhoods can not only distract us from real problems, but be outlets for our anxieties.
"Ultimately, I believe we are in this life to respect one another and enjoy one another, and I think play is a big part of it," says Forster. "Having these childhood stories always brings you back to play." On top of just some good 'ole stress relieving honey-eating, the director also notes that Winnie the Pooh and friends can cause us to feel joy, too. "These kind of characters, they give us almost a sense of warmth, of happiness," Forster explains. "They carry a certain joy and wisdom with them."
And Christopher Robin will certainly contain just that. While there have been some recent movies about Pooh, like 2000's The Tigger Movie and 2011's Winnie the Pooh, these films were animated fare aimed primarily at children. As a live action movie in the vein of Paddington and Peter Rabbit, Christopher Robin is meant not just for kids, but for adults feeling nostalgic for their younger years.
"I think we are living in a time in which a movie like this could be very, very inspiring for every generation," says Forster. "[Pooh] has been sort of fading away from our consciousness, and I think he's a timeless character. iIntroducing him to a new generation could be a beautiful thing."
The Christopher Robin trailer doesn't reveal too much about what the rest of our friends from The Hundred Acre woods look like, or how everything will unfold, but it's definitely enough to tide audiences over. Forster says that he's excited to bring Pooh back and please devoted fans. "I hope that people will feel moved and love and enjoy this movie experience because I'm very excited," he says. "I believe we have something very special here." Many fans of the character would most certainly agree.