Director: Marc Forster
Christopher Robin is a combination of Goodbye Christopher Robin and Paddington, which can’t be said to be a terrible thing. But neither is it a very inventive thing, and therefor falls somewhere between cute and good where lies a gray area of films we won’t remember for long. Winnie the Pooh has won our hearts over countless times, and will do so again, using that story is akin to holding up a puppy and expecting a wide smile. Filmmakers know they have us on the ropes when they mention Pooh or growing up or loving our children, so that can’t really be listed as a strength; rather, it’s a given. You’ll have to do more for us than remind us of what you already knew we loved before we’ll remember you fondly after we turn away, and that’s something that Christopher Robin perhaps almost did, but also failed to do completely.
Christopher Robin, the boy now having become a man, has grown into a version of himself he never imagined becoming. He works all day, he ignores his family, he never has any fun, he has to always be efficient, and it’s draining the color away from the beautiful illustration that was once his life. The latest sad incident is staying behind in London for the weekend to work at laying off employees while his family goes to a cottage in the woods; not the future little Christopher Robin saw for himself all those years ago when he told his friend Pooh that it was time to leave the Hundred Acre Wood. But, luckily, Pooh hasn’t forgotten his friend or the role he once played in his life, so he’s come to London to save Christopher from himself. The pair are reunited and begin a journey together, with the goal being the return of love, laughter, and childhood innocent to a world grown awfully cold.
This film is at the same time lovely and also a little repetitive. It feels very similar to Paddington, minus the villain, and also very emotionally connected to Goodbye Christopher Robin, without being a true story. It’s somewhere in the middle between the two, and is a perfectly lovely movie, especially with family by your side, without exactly earning the title of “great”. We’ve seen so much from Pooh before, we’ve already cried what we’re going to cry, and although we can always appreciate the walk down memory lane, I’m not sure audiences will ever love a piece of this same pie again. McGregor is a solid Christopher, Jim Cummings’ voice work is always fantastic, and wow was the animation top-notch; they made the characters look like pieces of imagination and like pieces of old, well-loved cloth at the same time, which was svery impressive. The story was simple, linear, pleasant, enjoyable, and my fam was really entertained, so hats off to all involved; I think they made a strong addition under the umbrella, although I don’t think we had really been asking for more.
My rating: ☆ ☆ ☆