While out in LA for the #ChristopherRobinEvent, we had the opportunity to interview the director of Christopher Robin, Marc Forster.
On Choosing the Cast
In our interview with Ewan McGregor, we learned that he and Marc had worked together before. Marc had wonderful things to say about his friend as an actor.
“It started basically that Ewan and I worked together, like 2004 and we stayed friends for a long time and been looking to do something together and comedically and dramatically, he’s so good, but the one thing is there’s something about him, he’s so likeable and so lovely, you want to just connect with him and you want to see his heart opens again and he becomes playful and he reconnects with his family.”
“The movie for me ultimately was about love and his red sweater is sort of like this, the metaphor for love and I always felt like it’s about the heart.”
Marc shared a conversation with his daughter to explain how the idea of Pooh came to be.
“I was in a plane with my daughter and we were flying to a vacation and she’s watching on the iPad a Pooh cartoon and she suddenly turned to me and said, Hey, can’t you make a movie for kids once? All your movies are like, dark and for grownups and said I can’t watch any of them. She was six at the time and said, I said, yeah, why don’t we do Pooh, I said jokingly. I said, yeah. Why don’t do Pooh? And then ultimately, I started, I came back all the stars aligned. And three years later, we made Pooh.”
On Symbolism in the Movie
I love when a movie has symbolism and Marc shared that he likes metaphors too. He shared three moments that do this in the movie:
- Ewan wears a sweater that is too short as well at the end of the movie. Marc thought this was a funny idea.
- When the daughter leaves the drawing for him and when she finds the drawing, said I didn’t realize you could draw as well and then he hits the table and then the honey falls down.
“The honey obviously is supposed to then wake up Pooh. It’s ultimately when he actually sees the drawings, that’s sort of when they come back in is consciousness and that’s sort of like when the animals come, sort of come alive again.”
- “I think for me the Richard Sherman is the Easter egg in a sense.”
Marc had asked Richard Sherman to write one song and he came back with three songs. Richard Sherman is a songwriter that wrote many songs for Disney with his brother, Robert Sherman. Marc wanted one song for the beginning but they loved the other songs so much they had to fit them in somewhere and he shared how they did it.
“I felt suddenly it would be great to show them all on a beach and we didn’t have it in the schedule and it wasn’t really budgeted and I said to line producer, you know what? I’m just gonna, and it was right where we shot the train station set when he’s running through the train station. Next to the train station was the beach. It was in Dover, so I said to line producer, you know, I’m just going to over to the beach. We have so many extras here. Just stick them in bathing suits, run over, I’m taking a camera. Just shoot it. And he said, it’s not, no, no, no. Just, let’s, I can do this in two hours.”
“We’re running over there and I suddenly said now we need the piano on the beach as well so to have, have him play the piano and, and then the sort of the idea was handing over something where Darren said, would be a great idea. All came spontaneous to me to put the four chairs next to a guys and put the animals in there and then, and then ultimately, that all came literally within five minutes. Like, put the four chairs and then we did like, one take of that and the two actors sit there eating the ice cream and they say I think things are changing and it’s for the better. Things that look, looking up and up and then we just move over and there were the four animals.”
“Thank you for noticing me.”
Then to add to this Easter egg moment, Marc showed the film to a friend and he shared that his favorite Eeyore quote was “Thank you for noticing me.” After looking to place it somewhere in the movie, Marc did not see a place for it to go so instead he places it as the last line in the film.
I thought it was a spontaneously cute idea to run through the credits and it was quite impressive how it came together.
The Message of the Film
Christopher Robin does leave you with a sense of hope, joy and love. Pooh is about love and reconnecting with people. Marc shared that there are times that we get so caught up in our work that we don’t spend enough time or attention to the people we love.
“I think that’s really why we’re here for is to connect with one another.”
When asked what scene he was most proud of, or that he felt was most powerful, he answered,
“I think for me one of the scenes which I love is the, the center scene when Ewan McGregor sits down next to Pooh and explains to him how he isn’t himself anymore and he apologized to him and then ultimately seeing that, that hug and then Pooh says, you’re squeezing me again. And then I think that that moment, I just love it because ultimately it’s about Ewan waking up. He realized, Chris Robin realizes who he really is and what he has become and from then on, he sort of makes a moment of change and then when he’s in the train and starts playing the game that Pooh played earlier, it’s, it’s sort of like, very sweet.”
It was very sweet and I find that Christopher Robin to be a wonderful family movie.
Keep updated on the latest Christopher Robin posts:
Interview with Bronte Carmichael on her Role as Madeline Robin in Disney’s Christopher Robin #ChristopherRobinEvent
A Feeling of Profound Simplicity During Our Interview with Hayley Atwell #ChristopherRobinEvent
An Interview with the Voice of Pooh Jim Cummings #ChristopherRobinEvent
Christopher Robin & Winnie the Pooh Activity Sheets #ChristopherRobinEvent
Christopher Robin Red Carpet Premiere Experience Takes You on a Magical Journey to the 100 Acre Wood
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Emily Benzing says
Loved the interview. I really enjoy the Winnie the Pooh series and think this is a great, modern addition to the story. Can’t wait to see it.
shelly peterson says
Great interview. I cant wait to see this movie.
Michelle Bartley says
I tnk this is an important message especially in these times!
Janet W. says
This movie sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to see it with my grandsons!
Cynthia C says
This is a film I’m looking forward to seeing.
Olivia B says
Can’t wait to see the movie!
Sheila Ressel says
I am so excited to see this movie. I have loved Pooh for as long as I can remember.
Christina Almond says
I haven’t yet seen this but looking forward to doing so as it just looks so darn adorable!
Susan Moseley says
Such a sweet movie and look forward to seeing it.. Nice interview.
Karen Propes says
We are so excited to see the movie, I enjoyed your interview. We have loved Pooh and the gang forever.