Winnie the Pooh, that lovable little dude from Hundred Acre Wood along with his crew Tigger, Piglet aand Eeyore are back! This time in the live-action animated Disney feature Christopher Robin. At a recent roundtable, myself and some other bloggers squeezed out a few secrets from Pooh’s alter-ego Jim Cummings.
But first, let me share just a few little known facts that even surprised me
- Sterling Holloway was the original voice of Pooh until he passed on from a heart-attack in November 1992.
- Paul Winchell, however, who was a major television star in the 50’s with “The Paul Winchell Show,” was a very skilled ventriloquist with medical training and became the first person to build and patent a mechanical artificial heart. As one of the main voice talents of Hanna-Barbara, Winchell worked on such series as “The Perils of Penelope Pitsop” “The Banana Splits” and Gargamel on “The Smurfs.” He alternated the voice of Pooh with Jim Cummings until his passing on at the age of 82.
- Winchell’s friend, and Winnie The Pooh co-star John Fiedler, who voice the character of Piglet, passed away the very next day at the age of 80
Cummings, who jokingly refers to himself as “Tigger-lite,” recalls the day the baton was handed down for him to continue to the legacy of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, “It’s a tough story to tell, ’cause it’s kinda one of those tearjerkers…after he (Paul Winchell) told me he had a stroke…I could kinda see between his hands there and I thought my God what does that mean. He (Winchell) said “take care of my little buddy for me.” I was like…OK, Mr. Winchell…I will.
Jim Cummings has done more than keep Tigger and Pooh in tact. He has literally reinvented and re-voiced these characters for a whole new generation.
Interview with Jim Cummings aka Winnie The Pooh
If you are a child at heart, not only will it keep you young, but it will always leave you with a little sparkle in your eye. Jim Cummings as Pooh and Tigger in Disney’s Christopher Robin will remind you why we love these characters and why our heart swell with joy at even the smallest prospect of seeing and hearing them just one more time. Be on the lookout for Christopher Robin at a theatre near you on August 3rd.