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Why Do We Need Kindly Anthropomorphic Bears to Be Good People?

Between the soul-crushing horror of the news and the endless cycle of people screaming obscenities at one another into the void of social media, the world can seem like an awfully dark place at times. Now more than ever, the world is in desperate need of a hero. Not some spandex-clad superhuman who can fight a gigantic Crossfit-addicted California raisin wearing a bedazzled glove, but rather a small, stout, anthropomorphic bear who sees the best in people and helps us to improve ourselves. Just as it needed Paddington at the beginning of this year, the world now needs Winnie the Pooh. Thankfully, there is a ray of light on the way in the form of Disney’s Christopher Robin.

The live-action/CGI hybrid film reunites Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and the denizens of Hundred Acre Wood with their old human friend Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor). Now an adult, Christopher Robin has lost one of his greatest assets from his childhood: his sense of imagination. What follows is a heartwarming story of compassion, kindness, and the emotional catharsis of taking a step back from the crushing weight of modern life to reevaluate what truly makes us happy. Just as Paddington reminded us that if we’re kind and polite, everything will be right, Winnie the Pooh reminds us of the importance of opening oneself to new ideas and not letting the cold realities of adulthood close us off to our inner children.

But why are these lessons that seemingly only kindly, animated, anthropomorphic bears can teach us? To find out, our reporter Markeia McCarty sat down with stars Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell, as well as director Marc Forster.

“This is what the world has come to,” Atwell told Nerdist. “Rescued by a bear, but how sweet is that? I think they represent an innocence and a gentleness and a kindness. That it just happens to be, I think, an antidote to much more content that we have today which tends to be fast-moving and about productivity and about attaining and obtaining things, and a kind of ambition. Like it’s all that quite an aggressive, fast-moving pace of life that bears and Paddington and Pooh and all his friends represent a much simpler time when as children we were enough, and the world around us was enough.”

“I think he offers us a reminder, something about time, and the way that we use our time and how he is just able to be in the moment and whatever he’s doing, whether it be hunting for Heffalumps or looking for his friends,” added McGregor. “Everything in front of you is potentially sort of an adventure, you know? Whether it’s going to the shops or whatever it is. If you keep an open mind, everything can be quite pleasant. And as adults we tend not to be like that. We’re sort of result-conscious .”

For our full interview with the cast of Christopher Robin, as well as their insights into what other senses adults could stand to regain, watch the video above.

Christopher Robin opens on August 3, 2018.

Images: Disney

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