There’s nostalgic fare – and then, there’s the emotional stuff that takes you back to a place so warm and winsome, you ache to go there again. That’s the appeal of Winnie The Pooh and his pals from the Hundred Acre Wood; thank goodness director Marc Forster understands it. And because he DOES, ‘Christopher Robin’ is an overwhelming family treat….now, and hopefully for generations to come.
There’s a reason audiences have the kind of sweet, lasting relationship with author A.A. Milne’s creation that they do – the sentimental connection with childhood innocence has never been so effectively communicated in any children’s tale that I’m aware of.
Forster, who did a similar magic trick with 2004’s Peter Pan/J.M. Barrie-inspired ‘Finding Neverland’, skillfully captures the classic, comforting tone of Winnie The Pooh, then gives it the flashy, contemporary spin to make it appealing for 2018 audiences with ‘Christopher Robin’…not an easy task, but one that’s do-able when you keep the heart of the original goods intact.
The plot? Clever. An adult Christopher (Ewan McGregor), who has obviously forgot where he came from, works far too many hours as an efficiency expert at a London luggage manufacturing company, neglecting his wife (Haley Atwell) and daughter (Bronte Carmichael) in the process. Staring down a particularly stressful weekend, Robin just happens to run into a certain silly-willy old bear who – predictably, yet thankfully – reminds him who he is, and what really matters.
All your faves are here, including Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo, etc. And while it’s wonderful to hear the pipes of longtime Pooh voice, Jim Cummings (back as both Pooh AND Tigger), the scene-stealer is gloomy-yet-lovable Eeyore, voiced by Brad Garrett of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’. And if you’re thinking that’s a match made in heaven – you’re right.
There’s nothing I didn’t like about ‘Christopher Robin’ – because when it comes to a Winnie The Pooh tale that’s faithful to its simplistic and whimsical roots, there’s nothing NOT to like.