Christopher Robin: Film Review

Brad Garrett, Peter Capaldi, Jim Cummings, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Mohammed, and Sara Sheen in Christopher Robin (2018)

Everyone knows growing up is always a bummer. But if you feel like you’re losing your sense of fun when you become an adult, there’s a chance that you haven’t forgotten about the best parts about your childhood. Disney’s newest live-action film takes on A.A. Milne’s classic stories of Winnie-the-Pooh entitled Christopher Robin might bring a smile on faces. And since I didn’t care to see last year’s Goodbye Christopher Robin, this is the closest I get to watching that.

What’s the Story?: Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) has always had the best of times when it comes to being his animals friends in Hundred Acre Wood. Since he has grown up with a family of his own in London and working at a dreadful job losing his sense of imagination, he suddenly reunites with his old bear Winnie the Pooh and the rest of this friends to show that having fun shouldn’t be forgotten.

When growing up, I don’t remember loving everything involved with Winnie the Pooh, but there’s always some enjoyment from watching the misadventures in many forms of entertainment. This isn’t the first time Pooh and his friends appeared on big screen as there have been a few theatrical animated films that come out from 1977 to 2011 (the one nobody really saw). And when I first heard that this was being made a few years ago, I guess it would work, but curious on what it was gonna be like. Marc Forster (World War Z, Finding Neverland) seems to be the right director who can handle a grasp of imagination of bringing Pooh and co. to life for most people be thrilled with.

Ewan McGregor and Jim Cummings in Christopher Robin (2018)
Not that this is the first time this kind of story has been told before, but because after boarding school he’s working all the time after he fought in World War II, he doesn’t have time his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and their daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), there’s no possible way of getting out of work for free time sadly.

The screenplay, written by Allison Schroeder (Hidden Figures), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), and Alex Ross Perry (Golden Exits), does its job at keeping that special charm to a story that’s gonna be compared to the divisive Hook to the notability that somebody older has to remember their youthhood. Predictable? Kind of, but in a cute way. It doesn’t go to the point where Christopher being distracted from his work, but there’s some action that isn’t over-the-top, which is good. There are also some humorous moments in here, too.

McGregor was one of the main reasons why I found Christopher Robin to be worthwhile. The announcement that he was gonna be playing the titular character surprised me, but it was a terrific casting choice, in my opinion. He might’ve lost his marbles at first glance when he meets Pooh after all these years, but his hands are tied with what he has to do to help out Pooh because he won’t go away. Above all, McGregor worked well with his CGI counterparts.

Pooh was honestly the best character in the entire film, as he should be. He’s still that silly old bear with a small mind who loves his honey. The fact that Jim Cummings came back to voice both Pooh and Tigger brings a wonderful occasion. Even when I was little, I never liked Eeyore (Brad Garrett providing the best voice possible for the character) because he’s just too sad; but he got a few laughs out of me. Since Pooh, Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Tigger, and Eeyore go on this adventure help their favorite pal, the others like Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo) and her child Roo (Sara Sheen), and Owl (Toby Jones) don’t have much screen time as the others do. And I love the visual effects work on them when they look like actual stuffed animals. I don’t know if they sell them, but I would buy my future kid a Pooh toy just like in here.

The film has a dry, gloomy look throughout, making sense since it takes place after the war, but there should’ve utilized a lot more color, especially when Christopher goes into the Hundred Acre Wood. Even the first 15-20 minutes are kind of depressing, honestly. There were some pacing issues around the second act but picked up later on. Oddly enough, the animated shorts are no shorter than 60 minutes. There also wasn’t certain moments where it was emotional or made me tear up, which that was disappointing to say. I say that was an “oh, bother”.

Though I wanted to love Christopher Robin because the idea of a live-action Winnie the Pooh sounded like a good time, and I still ended up ended liking it. There’s a slight chance that small kids might get bored in between when company talk is being discussed, but it’s considered sweet enough to be hopefully fun for every. But if you grew up riding the nostalgia train that many have loved with these characters, you’ll most likely be fond of this that same way as Paddington 2 probably. Will I ever watch it again? Time may tell.

And this has nothing to do with the movie, but does anybody remember when Kenny Loggins had that song in The Tigger Movie? That was a great song.

Christopher Robin is able to capture the sense of fun that made this franchise lovely to some with this a heartwarming and delightful film for all. Grade: B

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