Zooey Deschanel Sings “So Long” from ‘Winnie the Pooh’

Zooey Deschanel and Winnie the Pooh
Zooey Deschanel and Winnie the Pooh - © Walt Disney Studios

Zooey Deschanel is best known for her performances on screen in Almost Famous and 500 Days of Summer, however she’s also very much into music. She’s a singer/songwriter and part of the band She & Him, and this summer she’ll be heard – but not seen – lending her vocal talents to the soundtrack of Winnie the Pooh. Deschanel contributes plenty of tunes to the film’s soundtrack, including the “Winnie the Pooh” theme song. She and her She & Him bandmate M Ward also perform “So Long,” which Deschanel penned for the film.

“This has been one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had,” saidd Deschanel in a press release announcing her involvement. “And I’ve just been thanking my lucky stars that I was able to work on this movie, because it’s delightful.”

“She was the perfect choice to do the ‘Winnie the Pooh’ song—a classic theme from the Sherman Brothers,” said Winnie the Pooh director Don Hall. “Her music actually embodies the underlying spirit of the movie. We’re taking something that has vintage roots in the sixties, but spinning it in our own way and updating it. If you listen to Zooey’s music with She & Him—that’s their sound to a tee.”

Adds director Stephen Anderson, “It’s a perfect way to start the movie, letting the audience know right off the bat that this is Winnie the Pooh like you know him, but it’s something for today. We wanted to keep the same charm as the original, but give it a fresh spin, a contemporary feel, and she opens the movie with so much freshness, so much energy.”

“It’s always fun to have a contemporary artist rediscover a classic and that’s exactly what Zooey did,” said producer Peter Del Vecho. “She brought her own personality to the song—when she sings about introducing the individual characters, it’s as though she’s known them her whole life—and she has.”

“I’m a big fan of Winnie the Pooh and all his friends,” says Deschanel, who also plays the ukulele in the song. “It’s really hard to pick a favorite: Winnie the Pooh is so special, he loves honey and he’s just cool. Eeyore is amazing, I love Eeyore. And Piglet is so small. It’s really a four-way tie between Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger.”

“When I was writing ‘So Long,’ I just held the images for the end credits in my mind,” Deschanel added. “I spent a number of days tinkering with ideas, melodies and chord progressions that I thought would fit the images, the new music being written and the original Sherman Brothers stuff– but still be my own thing. The song definitely has its own feel, but also pays respect to the original.”

-By Rebecca Murray

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