How Christopher Robin's Director Made The Hundred Acre Wood Seem Real

Ewan McGregor Winnie the pooh Christopher Robin

Hearts have been melted by the first trailer for Disney's Christopher Robin. The stuffed bear was brought to life in the short clip, but Winnie the Pooh wasn't the only part of the movie that needed to feel alive. Director Marc Foster has revealed that in order to make the film's primary location, the Hundred Acre Wood, feel like a real place, they used the real thing, or at least the closest thing to it, the woods near the estate of A.A. Milne, which would have been the basis for the fictional location. According to Foster...

It was important for me that the Hundred Acre Wood is a place that feels real because that's how it was: real. We shot very close to Milne estate, out where his original house was in Suffolk... it just feels like that's where Christopher Robin played. It's not some fantastical place, it should feel like the real place.

A.A. Milne based the world of Winnie the Pooh on the toys that his son, Christopher Robin Milne, had as a boy. The place where the toys all lived, the Hundred Acre Wood, was in turn based on the land outside the Milne home. While the toys will be brought to life via CGI, it seems that the woods in which they live will be real, and, as Marc Foster told Oh My Disney, something very much like the place where the real Christopher Robin would have played with them all those years ago.

The story of Christopher Robin sees Ewan McGregor as an adult Christopher, with a family of his own. The teaser shows him seeing Winnie the Pooh again, and not believing it. It appears the story might have a similar premise to that of Steven Spielberg's Hook, where the fantasy world of Christopher Robin's youth turns out to have been real, much to the character's surprise. Either that, or Christopher Robin has actually had a psychotic break and the entire movie will be a hallucination. I'm going to guess Disney isn't going that route.

Either way, it appears the movie will take Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh from the city they find themselves in during the trailer back to the Hundred Acre Wood. There they'll meet the rest of the characters that we know and love, including Rabbit, Piglet, Eeyore, and Owl.

While the premise of Christopher Robin is, of course, fantastic, it seems that a great deal of work has been done to make it all feel as real as possible. The animal characters look more like stuffed toys than they do real animals, as they tended to look in Disney's animated version of the stories. This, along with the on-location shooting, is meant to add a sense of reality to the story, even if one of the main characters is a talking teddy bear.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.