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I Can’t Stop Picturing Ewan McGregor’s Description of Christopher Robin’s Horror Show Movie Magic

Seeing images of movies pre-CGI is one of my favorite things for two reasons. One, it really emphasizes the incredible ability of talented actors who are able create an immersive world, bringing to life the pure imagination of visionary artists, writers, and directors. They invite the viewer to suspend disbelief and enter a new world. Secondly, it’s almost always hilarious.

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Which brings me to this interview with Ewan McGregor about Disney’s Christopher Robin, a film about the title character’s return to Hundred Acre Wood as an adult. Reviews have talked about the film’s tenderness, heart, and heartbreaking story. The focus of McGregor’s chat with Seth Meyers, however, is the behind-the-scenes and I’m feeling very compelled to watch the movie if only for the DVD’s pre-CGI, “Making Of” footage because the shooting process sounds amazing.

First, McGregor talks about the young actors the film hired for scenes with the animals who would move around with stuffed versions of their creatures and do their voices—which sounds amazing and adorable and lovely.

Meyers points out, though, that while the Disney film is quite adorable—and comforting with the voice actor for Pooh we all know and love—the puppets themselves were a bit less so at times.

“We had, the truth is, we had the beautiful finished product—the lovely bear to act with and it was for the visual effects people to see what he looked like in the light and everything. But they couldn’t animate him on top of that hairy bear”, McGregor shares. “So they had a grey, just a canvas bear with no hair and I guess they would animate him on top of that grey bear.”

A hairless grey Winne the Pooh is far from the weirdest puppet they used, however. “They also sometimes needed one without a head?” continues the actor. “So you’d do takes with a grey headless bear, and there was a real horror-show one that was just torso—no arms, legs, or head. And it was like, the Guillermo del Toro version. And they had an arm on a stick. A Pooh stick! They had an arm on a stick. And they had his little feet on sticks as well for the little footstep shots and stuff.”

I’m excited to watch McGregor in the sweet finished product, but I would very happily watch an entire movie where he’s earnestly acting while surrounded by Winnie the Pooh dolls in various states of dismemberment as well. Just saying.

(image: screencap)

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