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Hollywood comes to Hartfield

PUBLISHED: 10:21 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:16 20 February 2013

Winne the Pooh

Winne the Pooh

Disney team visits Ashdown Forest in preparation for Winnie the Pooh feature film set for release in 2011...

Disney team visits Ashdown Forest in preparation for Winnie the Pooh feature film set for release in 2011

Following Sussex Life's interviews with Mark Burgess and David Benedictus about their much-anticipated Winnie the Pooh sequel, Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, Sussex Life can exclusively reveal that on 24 and 25 September the team from Disney Animation Studios joined Mike Ridley at his shop Pooh Corner, Hartfield for a tour of the landscape that influenced AA Milne while he wrote the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. "I was sworn to secrecy and asked not to speak about the visit to anybody" says Mike, who had planned the visit with Creative Executive Jessica Julius four weeks in advance.

The team stayed at Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club. "They took thousands of photographs and made several watercolours while they were here" says Mike. "They were delighted with the suggestions I had made for the tour, and they also visited the village and the shop."

Mike met with the two directors, Don Hall and Steve Anderson and three animation team leaders. "The Directors went on to London to audition a boy to voice over Christopher Robin but I'm not sure how that went".

The new feature film is slated for release in spring 2011.

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