Now Disney is Making a Live-Action Winnie the Pooh

By  · Published on April 2nd, 2015

Photo by Christopher Campbell

There are a few Disney animated features that we’ve expected not to be piled on to the live-action remake train. Robin Hood is one, at least in the manner of the 1973 animal-populated version, and Oliver and Company – basically the ones where animals play classic literary characters for really no reason other than for an interesting change. Bambi is another, and thankfully Saturday Night Live may have crushed any plans on that for a while anyway, as was Dumbo, but Disney is apparently going to figure out how to do that in a way that’s not just plain silly.

Winnie the Pooh seemed another unlikely choice, simply because its characters are more than parts of a single movie. Turning them into live-action, aside from previous efforts of non-realistic, costumed children’s television aim like Welcome to Pooh Corner, would be like turning Mickey Mouse and Goofy into live-action. Well, Disney is actually doing a live-action Pooh, according to Deadline, so now we can assume they’ll do one of these remakes for everything. The thing is, this Pooh movie already has something to turn our heads in the direction of desire: it’ll be directed by Alex Ross Perry.

Yes, the indie sensation behind The Color Wheel and last year’s highly acclaimed Listen Up Philip (which was produced by indie sensation David Lowery, who is remaking Pete’s Dragon) is tackling the Hundred Acre Wood and all its psychotic disorders manifested in the forms of rabbits and tigers and piglets and kangaroos and owls and donkeys and of course honey-loving bears. The plot suggests there will be some extra level of mental health address as the movie will be a kind of sequel to what we’ve seen before with an adult Christopher Robin revisiting his childhood imaginary friends, akin to something in between Drop Dead Fred and Ted.

The Ted comparison isn’t a fresh thought on my part, either. There’s a whole meme about how Ted is about Pooh and Christopher Robin after the latter grows up. Check out the mash-up trailer, which also incorporates Tangled for some reason, below.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.