Lunch in the 100 Acre Wood and an Interview with Disney Legend Jim Cummings
Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, opinions and experiences are 100% my own!
Fellow Winnie the Pooh fans! Can you imagine anything more magical than lunch in the 100 Acre Wood? I couldn’t either until I realized that not only would it be a Pooh themed event, but that Jim Cummings himself (the voice of Pooh and Tigger!) would be joining us! And of course, Pooh and friends were there too which just made for a very magical and amazing moment right out of a … Disney movie, of course!
The setting was so truly wonderful, and to hear Jim Cummings in his Winnie the Pooh voice say “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day…” was something I can only describe as a moment that I will never forget. He’s quite a fascinating person, Jim Cummings. Very down to earth, friendly and clearly incredibly talented.
According to Jim, he’s been at the whole character thing every since he was a child. In response to being asked about when he began doing characters he let out a dolphin noise and a laugh:
I don’t know. I started off as a really annoying child. Very early on. I was doing dolphin noises. We don’t have dolphins here at Saint Columba, said Sister Mary Agnes. Well, they do now. I was always that kid. And when I was a kid, I enjoyed being in plays, but I would wanna be the ogre or the hermit or the weirdo or the wizard instead of the little prince, you know.
I was probably unknowingly doing research for this now. Beause, you know, guys like me we’re all just — we’re character actors really. We’re just doing characters.
Such a true legend, I loved the advice he gave to others looking to do voice and character work:
I always say if you do a perfect impression of somebody everybody knows. That’s good. Hold on to that. Never know. Could use it. And if you do an absolutely terrible impression of some– someone that everybody knows — they have no idea who it is — that’s a new character.
And of course, be in a lot of plays and challenge yourself.
I really enjoyed hearing him speak to the memories and favorite moments from years past, he must have SO many. In fact, that’s exactly what he said:
I really, really, really, really, really have a lot of them. For some reason, kids with autism respond not only to me, but to voice actors. I don’t know. It’s just a thing, you know. And it’s a very, very, very beautiful thing. It’s like a little gift that I get to give. And, ahh, boy.. I can’t tell some of these stories. I’ll cry. But, you know, I’ve called a lotta kids who were sick.
And then he proceeded to tell us one very endearing story about a child who hadn’t spoken in years and ended up on a phone call with Jim talking for hours. The story had us all, including him, on the verge of tears!
Of course, I truly believe that’s why Jim Cummings has been so successful and so magical in all of his roles. He puts his whole heart into each of his characters and it comes shining through in the finished products. When asked about his most emotional scenes?
Wow. There have been a few of them. Ray from Princess and Frog when he passed away, that — that’s was the hardest thing in the world to do. I don’t know why. You wouldn’t think so, but, but that was really, really hard to die. And it was just like, my voice, but it was really emotional.
Also there was a song from The Search for Christopher Robin,in the ‘90s: Wherever You Are. And it was kind of hard, that somewhere out there moment. We’re singing Wherever you are, I’ve been lost and lost without you. In fact that’s where the quote “You are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe….” , That’s, that’s where that one came from. And that was very, very emotional. There were a lot of moist eyes in the studio that day. Yeah, there’s been a few of those moments.
It was such a true honor to spend the day in the 100 Acre Wood with Jim Cummings. If you would like to hear more of his magic, make sure to visit my Jim Cummings video on my YouTube page, he is truly a one of a kind legend.
I also have to share that while in the 100 Acre Wood (aka the Los Angeles County Arboretum) we had the opportunity to make our own Hunny Pot themed Winnie the Pooh Floral Arrangements. It was SO much fun. Here’s a peek at the process and my finished product:
Disney’s Christopher Robin will be coming to Blu-ray on November 6th!
Disney’s Christopher Robin will be coming to Blu-ray on November 6th! Plus it makes a fantastic gift idea in case you are looking for holiday gift ideas!