By Khaleel Herbert
Becoming an adult and giving up childhood is no walk in the park, no matter what people say. Deep down, we still yearn the days of climbing trees, playing make-believe and doing what kids do best…having fun without responsibilities.
In “Christopher Robin,” it’s not hard for the titled character (Ewan McGregor) to grow up and forget about his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. He went to boarding school, met his wife (Hayley Atwell, Peggy Carter from “Captain America”), got married, went off to war and had a daughter (Bronte Carmichael).
Now Christopher works in the efficiency department of a not-so-successful luggage company, and Giles Winslow, son of the owner (Mark Gatiss, Mycroft from “Sherlock”). isn’t making it any fun when he commands Christopher to make cuts in the department. Christopher now has the weekend to come up with a plan, but it happens to also be the weekend he’s supposed to visit his old cottage with his family.
In the Hundred Acre Wood, Pooh (voiced by the talented Jim Cummings), can’t find his friends anywhere. After patiently waiting by Christopher’s old tree house, the door finally swings open. Pooh enters and pops up in London. And just by fate, Christopher sees him in the park and decides to help Pooh by traveling back to the Hundred Acre Wood.
“Christopher Robin” brings thrills, laughs and nostalgia to the audience. Screenwriters Alex Ross Perry, Tim McCarthy and Allison Schroeder juxtapose Christopher Robin’s life with the animated silliness of Winnie the Pooh and his friends into one movie, the first in the realm of Winnie the Pooh flicks. They pulled it off well because there’s stuff for newer generations as well as old generations who remember the classic animated adventures of the silly ol’ bear.
There are plenty of references from 1977’s “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” which were single cartoons spliced together into one feature film. Christopher Robin gets stuck in the door entering the Hundred Acre Wood like Pooh got stuck in Rabbit’s front door, Tigger (also voiced by Jim Cummings) sings his “Wonderful Thing About Tigger” song, Owl’s (voice of Toby Jones) house fell down because of Winds-day, and Pooh does his exercises in the mirror. By using these and other references, it hits the nostalgia bone for older audience members.
For the younger generation, Eeyore (voiced by Brad Garrett) has sarcasm mixed with his trademark depression, Pooh and his friends wander around London with ordinary people and Christopher is reminded of his childhood, somewhat similar to Jennifer Garner’s “13 Going on 30.”
Disney knows how to rake in the money from kids and adults, but “Christopher Robin” is no “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.” Jim Cummings does a splendid job as Pooh and Tigger and the rest of the cast sounds similar, but they don’t have nothing on the voices of Sterling Holloway, Paul Winchell, John Fiedler, Hal Smith (rest in peace) and more who originally graced the Hundred Acre Wood.
“Christopher Robin” tells people that you’re never too old for fun and games and is cute for the whole family. But personally, I’m fine with the original Winnie the Pooh cartoons and a nice-sized honeypot for all my troubles, thank you very much.
Studio: Disney (1hr 44 mins)
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Nick Mohammed, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Sara Sheen, Toby Jones
Director: Marc Forster
Story: When Christopher Robin leaves the Hundred Acre Wood to live his life, he forgets about Winnie the Pooh and the gang until Pooh mysteriously pops up in London in need of his help.
Final Score: B
This review was originally published on Blackflix.com