It’s time to reunite with your childhood friends Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, and the rest of the Hundred Acres Wood crew. Disney’s latest live-action movie, Christopher Robin, picks up some time after we last left Mr. Sanders’ tree as the title character, Christopher Robin is now an adult with an adult job, a wife, and a young child. After a very bad and blustery day at work, Christopher reunites — maybe via some magic? — with his long lost stuffed bear as the two head off an expedition together to find Pooh’s other friends. Oh, and also Christopher Robin’s sense of wonder.
While it’s a heartwarming movie about the important, simple things in life, it’s also a movie about dogs. Yes, really. Not only are there a lot of dogs in the background of the movie (it does take place in London, after all), but Christopher Robin’s interactions with Pooh Bear will probably remind you of your own childhood pet, and/or the dog you currently have now. And that’s actually intentional!
During a press day for Christopher Robin, the film’s star, Ewan McGregor, explained that often while doing scenes with Pooh he found himself thinking about his own dog, Sid. While Pooh is certainly an anthropomorphic teddy, he kinda behaves like a puppy sometimes — in the sense that no matter what you say to him, he’s just going to end up doing his own thing regardless of how much of a mess he makes.
“Some of the scenes with Pooh or playing some scenes with Pooh and then seeing them reminded me of my relationship with my dog, Sid,” He told reporters. “Something was described in the moment where I lose my temper with him, which I did very rarely do with Sid, but occasionally when chasing a squirrel, or trying to get him into the car, or something. [The scene in the movie where] I turn around [as] Christopher Robin and Pooh is [suddenly] gone, and then that lovely scene where we meet and reconcile…it [reminded] me [of being with] Sid.”
Echoing McGregor’s feelings about Pooh being like a dog, Hayley Atwell (who plays Christopher Robin’s wife, Evelyn, in the film), then explained that disappointing Pooh is like disappointing your own pet — something all of us try very, very hard to not do.
“Unintentionally upsetting something as innocent and pure as a dog, or a pet, or Winnie the Pooh, is so heartbreaking,” she explained. “I found when I was watching the film and seeing moments where, through Christopher Robin’s own frustrations with life in general…to then upset Pooh and to see Pooh kind of processing pain, but not choosing to use that pain to attack back, but just to absorb it as animals do, and still give out unconditional love is just heartbreaking.”
So if you find yourself suddenly thinking about your own dogs (and/or other pets at home) you’re certainly not alone. Also, fun fact, there was actually a dog on the Christopher Robin set — Atwell’s dog.
“My dog [Howard] was allowed to come on set every single day,” Atwell said with a laugh. “I mean, at one point, he was in rehearsals with us. [One day during shooting] there was a line of the [Pooh animals] with all the actors controlling the [puppets], and then just Howard on the end of it. He was one of the gang.”
Maybe the sequel will have the Robin family getting a dog? We’ll have to wait and see. Christopher Robin opens in theaters Friday, August 3rd.