Jim Cummings is not a household name you would expect to know. However, chances are you know more about him that you think you do. He has been the voice behind Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and more characters such as Darkwing Duck. Now that I think about it, he was a staple part of my childhood as much as I watched cartoons growing up.
With 100 Acres Acres as our background, we had an intimate interview with Cummings.
Chatting with Jim Cummings, the voice behind Winnie the Pooh and Tigger
What were your thoughts about Christopher Robin the movie?
“I loved it. I thought it was a great idea. What if Christopher Robin grew up and turned into a person and got stuck working like the rest of us and, oh, my God. What was that? World War II? Oh, wow. Now what? You know, Christopher Robin? Really? And, uh, I — it was just so magical. And, you know, Pooh and the gang went out there and kinda saved him. Kind of returned the favor after all those waterfalls that he saved us from.”
Was the process of recording any different than it was for an animated picture?
“Yeah, it was,” Cummings laughs. “It was hard fitting into the costume.”
“In this one, we actually did a lot of looping, to the big screen. You had to do that after the fact, But the fact is I recorded the whole movie in one day.”
When did you first know that you could do voices?
“I don’t know. I started off as a really annoying child. So, it was probably very early on.”
Then, Cummings surprises us with dolphin noises.
“When I was a kid, I enjoyed being in plays, but I would want to be the ogre or the hermit or the weirdo or the wizard instead of the little prince,” Cummings said.
“I was unknowingly doing research for this now. Guys like me we’re character actors really.”
You do so many voices. Do you ever like mix them up, or when you’re recording for the film you do all of Pooh’s lines first?
“I do all of Pooh and then all of Tigger. Tigger’s a little raspier. He’s got a little hoarse in there.”
How do you feel the generations have changed over the years with new children learning about Pooh? Do you see any difference between when you started and now how the children are reacting?
“With kids, it’s a universal thing. I’ve thought a lot about this, it’s like a pipeline to your childhood almost no matter how old you are.”
What’s your favorite memory since you’ve been doing this, your favorite Winnie the Pooh and Tigger memory?
“For some reason, kids with autism really respond not only to me but to voice actors,” Cummings said. “I don’t know. It’s just a thing, a very, very, very beautiful thing. I’ve called a lot of kids who were sick.”
Cummings continues to tell us a story about a phone conversation he had with a child with autism. Spending over 45 minutes on the phone voicing several characters, the boy on the other end of the phone call could not stop talking. Later, the boy’s mother gets on the phone.
Cummings said, “The mom told me he doesn’t talk like that. He stopped talking when he was three.”
The boy was eleven years old.
It was an honor speaking to the man behind Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. It’s evident that he has a heart of gold and offers wisdom just like his pal Winnie the Pooh. I hope I get to make another trip to 100 Acre Wood soon!
Winnie the Pooh Floral Arrangement Class
Before we interviewed Cummings we took a floral arrangement class to learn how to make our own Winnie the Pooh inspired floral centerpiece. It was surprisingly fun and the end result was gorgeous. Aren’t the flower pots fitting and adorable?
The end result was gorgeous. I really do wish flowers lived on forever. Good thing I have this blog so the memories live on.
Christopher Robin Trailer and movie poster
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