Disney Is Making a Live Action ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Movie
It was inevitable: Disney is making a live action Winnie the Pooh movie because of course Disney would make a live action Winnie the Pooh movie. The studio’s tactic of bringing their animated properties into the live action realm has already paid off with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella, so why not pay another visit to the Hundred Acre Wood and let a live-action Christopher Robin hang out with a CGI Piglet?
If that conjures up images of of obnoxious computer-generated mayhem in the Alvin and the Chipmunks mold, you are only human. And yet Deadline is reporting an interesting silver lining to this strange news. Disney has hired Listen Up Philip writer/director Alex Ross Perry to pen the screenplay, which is certainly a bold choice for this project. Perry fits the recent trend of Disney hiring eclectic filmmakers and indie darlings to tackle their films, joining David Lowery (the currently-filming Pete’s Dragon remake) and Bill Condon (the upcoming Beauty and the Beast) on the list of filmmakers who you never thought would make Disney movies, who are now making Disney movies.
Perry’s involvement also makes the premise of the new Winnie the Pooh slightly easier to stomach. Deadline says that the film will follow a fully grown Christopher Robin, who returns home and encounters the talking, bouncing, honey-craving animals from his childhood. That sounds downright nightmarish (and waaay too much like Tim Burton’s abysmal Alice in Wonderland), but Perry has an interesting voice. If he’s given enough free rein, we’d like to see what he comes up with.
Our biggest questions about this project are all about tone. A.A. Milne’s original books and most of the animated Winnie the Pooh movies have been innocent, gentle and good-natured. It will be interesting to watch what Disney does with a property that is so old-fashioned and whether or not they’ll be tempted to add the noise and chaos of most modern family movies. Even the mostly quiet and observational Paddington had a few chase scenes.