Disney invited me to attend the #ChristopherRobinEvent, this Jim Cummings interview is a result of this trip. The opinions expressed here are my own. Some interview questions and responses have been edited to improve readability.
During our Christopher Robin press junket, we were able to interview Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too! 😉 Ok not the actual Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. Although Ewan McGregor was a lucky guy, he did get to interview his actual friends from the 100 Acre Wood!
We did have the pleasure of interviewing Jim Cummings, the voice of both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. If you closed your eyes while he talked, it was like Winnie the Pooh and Tigger were in the room with us! Jim’s interview was full of laughs, almost like interviewing a comedian except he’d tell his jokes while using different characters’ voices. I am sharing a few fun things Jim shared with us during his interview.
Is it Easy to Switch Between Voices?
It’s very hard. It’s tough to do. I have to conjure up about a sweet spot somewhere (in Pooh’s voice).
And then I just bounce (in Tigger’s voice).
We’re schizophrenic so it doesn’t bother us.
We’re schizophrenic so it doesn’t bother us. We’re okay with it. Aren’t we? Yes, we are.
Voice Actors are actually Character Actors
I was accidentally, probably doing research for the characters now cause people say, ‘well, you do voices,’ and that’s true. But, we’re just character actors really that you don’t see. You know, it is a voice and I get the idea of saying voice actor, but really, it’s a character and that’s how they sound when they talk. So, I think there’s a mindset there that can be used.
His favorite Pooh quote is actually Pooh logic
There are so many. I always say that there’s such a thing as Pooh logic. You say well, ‘what do you think Pooh–.’
Well, I think that I think. (in Pooh’s voice)
It’s just Pooh logic. It’s the various things you know, ‘you’re stronger than you seem, you’re braver than you think and you know, smarter than you think, stronger than you feel and braver than you seem’.
You know, people end up knitting those things into quilts or making plates and, ‘would you sign that?’, ‘I’d love too.’ You know, so, and there’s plenty of them. I usually get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been. And it’s just so plain and it’s so right down there to earth. It, there’s a lot of maybe not Forrest Gump, but a little.
(Pooh Logic)…maybe not Forest Gump, but a little
And there was a movie called Being There with Peter Sellars, long time ago. And he was just sort of, he was the eye of the, he didn’t know there was a hurricane going on around him because he was right there in the center and he was calm and serene. And he’s got that approach with things. You know,
People say nothing is impossible but I do nothing every day (in Pooh’s voice)
So, yeah, it’s that sweet little logic.
On Working in the 100 Acre Wood Universe
It’s an honor, it’s a privilege to bring them forward to new generations. I’ve jokingly said, ‘Winnie the Pooh generation is every three and a half years because brand new set of Pooh fans.’ It’s joyous. One of the best things about my job is that when I’ll do a voice for a little child or something and then they realize, ‘wow, doesn’t really look like Winnie the Pooh.’…(voicing Winnie the Pooh and Tigger) it’s not too bad, it beats heavy lifting.
The Winnie the Pooh generation is every 3 1/2 years.
Almost Meeting Sterling Holloway
Many, many, many moons ago before I was in the business, my wife and I were in Laguna Beach and I guess he had retired and moved there, Sterling Holloway (The original voice of Winnie the Pooh). We were sitting there in a restaurant in this diner, in a motel, didn’t think anybody was there. And the waitress walks over, ‘have we decided?’ And you hear this little voice (in Pooh’s voice), ‘I believe I will have the chowder.’
Winnie the Pooh orders chowder?
So I got up and I was cool and I get some salt on the table over in the corner there and I look over there. And he’s sitting there looking like a little albino crow, god love him, and cute as he could be, and I wanted to run up to him but what do you say? ‘You’re Winnie the Pooh man,’ you know, I’d feel like an idiot. I really wish I did, and now I’m Winnie the Pooh, man.
Favorite Winnie the Pooh Characters
It was Tigger. Tigger and Eeyore.
Christoper Robin is now playing in theaters!
Don’t miss my interviews with Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, and Director Marc Forster!