#REVIEW: “CHRISTOPHER ROBIN”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
You know Disney is doing something right when they are able to go into their vault of animated classics and have enough to adapt now into live-action features. These new visions tend to attract A-List stars and Directors with their unique spins on familiar characters and/or stories. CHRISTOPHER ROBIN takes the classic characters from the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh movies and takes them to a new direction that succeeds.
For those unfamiliar with the story of The Hundred Acre Woods, that is the home to some of our favourite stuffed animals, Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet and Tigger, and their human friend, young Christopher Robin. Director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner) opens the Film with a flashback sequence where, after they have a meal, these characters say their goodbyes to Christopher before he heads off to boarding school. Pooh and Christopher promise they will always stay in touch and be friends forever.
Fast-forward 20 odd years to a post World War II London, England. Christopher (Ewan McGregor) is married to Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and they have a lovely daughter named Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). He has a high-stress job with a company that makes and sells suitcases, leaving him with little quality time to spend with his family. After reneging on a promise to his wife and daughter to spend a weekend away at the family cottage where he grew up, his wife and child decide to go up there alone. Meanwhile, back in the forest, Pooh is unable to find all his friends and fears the worst. He is convinced that the only person that can help him find them is Christopher Robin, so he enters a doorway in a tree and is magically transported in London where the two reunite. Since the magic portal that brought Pooh to Christopher no longer works, together they must take the train back to The Hundred Acre Woods, where Christopher must not only help find the missing the stuffed animals, he cannot be seen by his wife and daughter who think he is hard at work at the office.
It is impossible not to be charmed by CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Whether watching an adult Christopher maneuver the streets of ye olde London carrying a huge talking teddy bear or realizing that the river that was so deep when he was a young boy that the water is in actuality only knee-high, Ewan McGregor hasn’t been this at ease on screen in a long time. His joy and exuberance is addictive and the audience is with him all the way. Jim Cummings has been the voice of Pooh since 1988 and he has it down to a science! I could listen to Pooh talk for hours. But the true standout is Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond). As the voice of the chronically depressed Eeyore, he had me in stitches throughout the Movie.
CHRISTOPER ROBIN is heartwarming and incredibly-entertaining. It reminds us all to, every now and again, be loving and playful and fill yourself with the wonderment you had when you were a child.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release CHRISTOPHER ROBIN Friday, August 3, 2018.