Movie Review: Christopher Robin
Disney’s Christopher Robin debuted this weekend, bringing everyone’s favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Wood to the big screen once again. The film was directed by Marc Forster and written by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder. Based on the characters created by A.A. Milne, the story follows a grown, disillusioned Christopher Robin who shockingly finds Winnie the Pooh in need of his help. Ewan McGregor stars as Christopher Robin with Hayley Atwell portraying his wife, Evelyn, and Bronte Carmichael playing his daughter, Madeline. In terms of voice cast, Jim Cummings returns to voice the honey-loving bear while Brad Garrett voices the character of Eeyore. Other cast members include Nick Mohammed, Mark Gatiss, Peter Capaldi, and Toby Jones.
Christopher Robin opens with a young Christopher visiting the Hundred Acre Wood one more time before leaving for boarding school. Winnie the Pooh and all the others throw him a goodbye party for the event, and Pooh and Christopher have a sweet conversation before he leaves. Once at school, life progresses quickly for Christopher with his schoolwork and the unexpected death of his father. The film shows that after school he meets and marries Evelyn, has a daughter, and serves in the British Army during World War II. By the time he returns home, he has changed, and he takes a job as an efficiency expert at Winslow Luggages. Some time passes, and Christopher Robin finds himself having to back out of a family trip to their Sussex cottage because of the demands at work. His work weekend is disrupted, though, when Winnie the Pooh appears in London asking for his help.
This film is utterly charming for anyone who grew up watching or reading about the adventures of Winnie the Pooh. For me, the nostalgia hit hard throughout the entire movie, and there were more than a few moments that left me feeling emotional. The human cast members are perfectly enjoyable, and Ewan McGregor does an excellent job playing the now grown and disillusioned Christopher Robin. However, the best and brightest parts of the movie originate from the group in the Hundred Acre Wood. Every character’s voice was perfectly cast, and of course, it was wonderful to have Jim Cummings once again voicing Pooh. Brad Garrett as Eeyore, though, is the true MVP and perfectly captures this gloomy donkey. With his doom and gloom outlook, monotone voice, and ability to state the obvious, Eeyore unwittingly becomes one of the most hilarious characters in the film. The filmmakers also have a fun time playing with other human’s reactions to seeing these animals move or talk, and it is a fun dynamic for them to show.
The characters from the Hundred Acre Wood truly are the highlight of the film, and part of the reason for that is the lessons they represent. Piglet continues to try to be brave in the midst of his many fears. Tigger is the epitome of energy and enthusiasm throughout the film. Winnie the Pooh continues to be a “bear of little brains” but is all heart as he unwittingly shares insights and wisdom to the misguided Christopher Robin. Pooh is based around kindness and goodness, even if he does make a mess with honey from time to time. Even Eeyore has his moments as he smiles seeing Christopher Robin play again. These characters bring a lot of heart to the movie, and they are all necessary in helping Christopher Robin realize who he really is and what he should care about most. Also, these characters carry a certain sense of nostalgia that makes this movie all the more lovable.
While I enjoyed the movie, I can admit that nothing about Christopher Robin is groundbreaking in terms of story. At the end of the day, it’s a story about a busy man needing to be reminded of what is most important. It is sometimes silly and obviously ridiculous, which makes sense as a story about live stuffed animals that venture into the human world. It would probably rank somewhere in the middle of all the films we’ve seen this year, but the nostalgia factor lends a whimsical quality to the whole adventure. It is nostalgic, heartwarming, and sweet, and for anyone who grew up loving Pooh and his friends, then I would say that Christopher Robin is a necessary watch in theaters.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.