Christopher Robin is a charming and gritty modern take on the classic tale of Winnie the Pooh. The story starts out right from the pages of a lovely looking book. It showcases a young boy full of imagination that begins to grow and eventually needs to leave his friends from the Hundred Acre Woods. The years pass and he grows up to be an adult that now has responsibilities and this has taken a toll on just who Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is as a person.
This paints a tale of a darkened man that's attempting to do right but ends up neglecting his family. It's through a series of remarkable situations that he connects with his old friends and goes on one epic expedition. Jim Cummings reprises his classic voice roles and really, the entire cast was perfect here. While it's a gritty and realistic look at this story, it still has the heart one would expect. There are many charming moments balanced with some emotional elements.
I wasn't expecting such a dark take on this colorful cast of characters, but it worked well making it feel realistic. It still had that enchanting side to it, with an ending that came across as fairly typical. It was a different sort of expedition this time around as we got to see some new interactions with the characters. I was surprised by this aspect and it worked well to present fresh material.
They were very faithful to the source material painting a realistic picture of what special locations might be in real life. As a time piece this was excellent showcasing a number of eras. This was further built upon with the beautiful designs for our stuffed crew as they look like authentic and real creatures of the time. They were animated perfectly and it was an incredible display of balancing the fake stuffed act against being articulate.
Christopher Robin captures the iconic characters bringing them to life in a fresh way against a charming story filled with tragedy and discovery. It's the voices and characters you probably remember bringing the same levels of joy, wisdom and laughs that make this franchise so memorable. This was much more grounded and gritty than I would have anticipated, but that does make it stand out as a fresh experience. Pooh is still empty, yet wise and that's carried throughout the core group as they're presented perfectly.
I loved Winnie the Pooh when I was younger so there's an extra level of attachment to this one and it did bring alive long dormant memories of happy times watching these characters in action. They hit all of the source material perfectly and were able to tell the tale in a way that presented a lesson of life. It was perhaps too simplistic towards the end, but it's an easy to view film. There are laughs, moments of action and of course the magical moments that make the franchise so special. Ewan McGregor was particularly great here bringing the character to life from times of sorrow to high points of realization.
Christopher Robin Review at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by Walt Disney Studios