Review: Christopher Robin

The characters from the Hundred Acre Wood set out to assist their now grown up friend in Christopher Robin. As a child, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) enjoyed many adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his friend Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings), Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Tigger (Cummings), Eeyore (Brad Garrett), Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), Owl (Toby Jones), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo), and Roo (Sara Sheen). However, over the years he grew to forget the Hundred Acre Wood, as life in the real world took over. When Christopher’s boss Giles Winslow (Mark Gatiss) gives him the daunting task of cutting costs by 20%, Christopher is forced to cancel a trip to the cottage with his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). However, Christopher Robin is suddenly surprised by the reemergence of Pooh, who needs his old friend’s help.

It has been more than 50 years since Disney released their first short film based on the Winnie the Pooh storybooks by A. A. Milne. Pooh and his friends of the Hundred Acre Wood have since become arguably the most recognizable Disney characters, aside from the main three of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. Christopher Robin brings Winnie the Pooh and his friends to the realm of live action, with Ewan McGregor playing an adult Christopher Robin, who has become too focused on his word to pay much attention to his family. It is in this respect that Christopher Robin is somewhat reminiscent of 1991’s Hook, which of course dealt with an adult Peter Pan.

Even though Christopher Robin was the real life son of A. A. Milne, this is very much a fictional story, even though Christopher Robin reportedly does reference event from the real Christopher Robin’s life, particularly during the film’s opening montage. Speaking of the opening montage, that sequence is surprisingly dark and dire for a Disney film about Winnie the Pooh, particularly scenes involving World War II. However, this is all to show how Christopher Robin turned into a middle-aged sad sack, who needs his old friends from the Hundred Acre Wood to teach him how to have fun again. With longtime voice actor Jim Cummings returning to voice both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, it really warms your inner child to see them come to life on screen.

Ultimately, I would say that Christopher Robin is a cute film about imaginary stuffed animals trying to help their old friend with his midlife crisis. While a bit more dour in parts than expected, Christopher Robin is a heartwarming return to one’s childhood.