REVIEW — “Christopher Robin”
Disney has been making a killing with these reboots and reimagining’s of our favorite characters as of late. I’ve never really worried about them in the way that most people have, simply because I don’t hold much nostalgia for stuff like The Jungle Book or Beauty and the Beast. But the announcement and sheer concept of a live-action Winnie the Pooh terrified and excited me all at once. On the one hand, Pooh is simply put the pillar of my childhood and seeing him come to life is inevitably going to bring me great joy. On the other hand, it’s very tricky to pull off the gimmick of beloved cartoon characters coming into the real world. Just ask The Smurfs. It’s a very tough line to walk, but I was cautiously optimistic nonetheless.
Christopher Robin follows Christopher Robin after he has grown up and moved on from his childhood. He has a wife, a daughter, and a stressful job. His days of wandering into the Hundred Acre Woods are far behind him, as he barely even has enough time during the day to spend time with his family. One day, Pooh ventures out into London to find Christopher and bring him back to the Hundred Acre Woods, and hopefully, help him rediscover what’s really important in life. The last bit may sound familiar to anyone who has ever seen a feel-good movie; we’ve seen plenty of films where a workaholic learns the values of family, friends, and taking it slow – but most of those movies don’t have a silly bear who loves Honey and balloons.
Christopher Robin works despite not being wholly original. Even if I could predict where the story was going from the moment the plot kicked in, I was undeniably moved by this nonetheless. There is something truly magical about seeing a grown Christopher Robin, who is played wonderfully by Ewan McGregor, venture back into the Hundred Acre Woods and see all of his old friends. Jim Cummings returns to voice Pooh, and it really feels like a hug from an old friend. It’s also lovely to see the rest of the animals, but Tigger and Eeyore are certainly the standouts and provide the best laughs in the film. On top of all this – they don’t try to obnoxiously modernize these characters in any way. They don’t sing famous songs, crack fart jokes, or make pop culture references – they are exact the Pooh and friends that you remember from your childhood.
As I said, while the film isn’t wholly original, it still works by being emotionally captivating and entertaining all the way through. One of my absolute favorite aspects of this film is seeing Christopher’s daughter Madeline Robin (Bronte Carmichael) interacting with her father’s old friends. There is a genuine theme and feeling of Winnie the Pooh being given to a new generation in this film, and hopefully families all over will be able to share this together. The message of the film has been given many times before, but there is something even more inspiring about this life lesson coming from the heart of Winnie the Pooh. 4/5.