Christopher Robin is a fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Marc Forster and written by Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy, and Allison Schroeder. It is based on the A.A. Milne and E. H. Shepard book, Winnie-the-Pooh. It is also the live-action/CGI adaptation of the Disney franchise of the same name. The film stars Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, and the voices of Jim Cummings, and Brad Garrett.
The Story/The Direction:
This film begins after recapping Pooh's history and shows how Christopher Robin has grown from a young boy into a man (McGregor). He goes off to boarding school and eventually meets a woman, Evelyn, (Atwell), marries her then leaves her and their unborn child to fight in World War II. He returns to find his daughter and starts working at Winslow Luggage Factory where he is miserable. He starts working too much and neglecting his family. One morning in the Hundred Acre Wood, Pooh wakes up and cannot find his friends. So he journies to London to find Christopher Robin to get him to help him. Christopher Robin initially thinks he is losing his mind but eventually comes around to the fact that Pooh is real. He then starts to treat Pooh as another problem he has to solve before he can get his work done.
The main people who will get some enjoyment out of the film are those who read the book and/or watched the series growing up. There are numerous references to other stories that only fans will understand. This is where the film succeeds thanks to its direction by Forster. Along with its decent score by Geoff Zanelli and Jon Brion, it will bring fans down a very nostalgic lane. The message of the film is pretty solid telling its viewers that work is not everything and that you should enjoy life when you can.
Christopher Robin is a workaholic who wants to ship his daughter off to boarding school, despite her wishes to stay close to her parents. He has to work hard because the factory financially failing because no one has the money to buy luggage to travel. This prevents him from joining his family on a weekend vacation to the countryside. Ewen McGregor does a very good job playing this man who journies to the Hundred Acre Wood to reunite with his old stuffed friends who look aged, as he does. This works because it has been a long time since these characters have been noticed. The CGI looks very good and Cummings does an absolutely fantastic job voicing these characters. Garrett also does a fantastic job voicing Eeyore who perhaps is the funniest character in the film.
The main issues are that the story is very simple and the message is one that has been seen before. The film does not push any boundaries especially when it comes to Christopher Robin. He is supposedly this really bad dad but because of the niceness of the Pooh story, the film only takes him so far to give the viewer an idea that he's bad but still has good qualities. Honestly, the reason why he is not going on this weekend getaway is to save peoples' jobs. It is not the worst thing in the world. Aside from Pooh, none of the other Hundred Acre Wood characters have much to do and all of them have little to no backstory. There is little explanation on who they are and what the Hundred Acre Wood is.
This film does have a good message but because of its unoriginality and simple story, it is unfortunately fairly forgettable. Viewers will not be too disappointed in the story and if they are fans, they will go down a very nostalgic lane. It is not a waste of 104 minutes but it is not a film that is really worth a second viewing. It works well for what it tries to do and is honestly, a fairly cute and good film that is maybe worth a matinee.
Rating: 3.0/5.0 bowties
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