"Christopher Robin" Movie Review
Christopher Robin is a film that, on the surface, is fun and family-oriented. Underneath that thin layer that kids pay attention to is the message that adults will grasp and will be hit by emotionally. While the film is safe for kids and has a lot of fun moments with the silly old bear and his friends, it's actually geared toward more grown-up audiences. Kids will probably only see the outside family-fun aspect but adults will see the memories of their own childhoods.
Christopher Robin centers around, well, Christopher Robin as an adult. He fought in one of the World Wars (it's not year-specific, but I imagine World War I since that's the war Pooh author A.A. Milne was in), he's married and has a child, and he's gotten a job at Wilson luggage and has devoted himself to work in order to provide for his wife Evelyn and daughter Madeline. He's said goodbye to Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood, putting his childhood out of his mind almost completely. However, fate is brewing up a storm as Pooh decides to leave the Hundred Acre Wood in search of Christopher Robin.
I loved Ewan McGregor in this film. He perfectly captured not only the stress that the average worker is put through, having to choose between work and family, but also the longing that he as a husband felt to want his daughter to be happy and taken care of. Part of the fun of the film was watching Christopher reconnect with his childhood and finally, but slowly, allow the stone wall around his mind and heart to break entirely.
The voices for the beloved animals were almost precise to what the cartoons sounded like. Brad Garrett's deep, lulling voice was perfect for Eeyore. Jim Cummings, who is actually a voice-artist vet who has been voicing Winnie since 1988, returned once again to voice both Winnie and Tigger. Toby Jones was excellent as Owl but Nick Mohammed was probably the most impressive as the always anxious Piglet.
When I saw the trailer, I wasn't sure how I felt about the film using actual stuffed animals and then CGIing over them to account for mouth movements. Now that I've seen the film, I loved that choice. It made you reminisce about your own childhood, how you loved a certain stuffed animal and imagined how it would respond when you talked to it as if it were actually your best friend.
In conclusion, Christopher Robin was actually deeply emotional, precious, and brought back the sweet memories of childhood innocence. There's a lot going on in the world today and I can honestly say this film offered the escape we all need right now. Definitely go see it in the theater where there's no cellphones or computers or meddling neighbors and allow yourself to be immersed in its magical effects. I give the film a 4 out of 4.
© 2018 Nathan Jasper