Christopher Robin, 7.1/10, and his group of extraordinary friends make you question the social construct of age. Adulthood is inevitable – of course you are going to get older – but that does not mean that your inner child has to be lost in time. For an animated children’s film, the idea of growing up and losing your childhood innocence is captured perfectly in a way that all adults can relate to.
When circumstances force Christopher Robin (played by Ewan McGregor) to say goodbye to the 100 Acre Wood, his exceptional friends who comprise of a bear (played by Jim Cummings), Piglet (played by Nick Mohammed), Eeeyore (played by Brad Garrett), Kanga (played by Sophie Okonedo) and her son Roo (played by Sara Sheen), Rabbit (played by Peter Capaldi), Owl (played by Toby Jones) and an energetic Tigger (excellently, again, played by Jim Cummings) are left with a gaping whole in their carefree lives. Christopher’s parents force him to go to boarding school in London, the very city he eventually, after graduating, meets the love of his life, Evelyn Jim (played by Hayley Atwell). He is then enlisted into the army for three years, returning home to his wife and their now three-year-old daughter, who he meets for the very first time. Life very quickly launches Christopher into adulthood and understandably, he loses touch with his sense of adventure. Christopher is ready to crack and only one special individual can save him… Winnie the Pooh, or Pooh for short.
This film is a beautiful representation of vulnerable child-like innocence. Pooh, a character as old as time, can amazingly transform from a youthful curious character to someone that preaches wise, philosophical dialogue. His caring nature elegantly holds the narrative together but doesn’t steal the show. Every single one of the CGI friends have their own character profile – each bringing out a different emotion or feeling from the audience: laughter, empathy, enlightenment. Every element has been well thought-out, even down to the opening credits which feature the events that change Christopher Robin throughout his life. This quickly brings the audience up-to-date but connotes that life can rapidly pass you by. Of course, the illustrations throughout still adopt the classic E. H. Shephard style – a perfect sentimental nod to the original tales.
Christopher Robin is a lovely escape from reality. It is a worthwhile lesson of how to value your own time and I have even seen in interviews that McGregor, after filming, took a year off to spend more time with his own children. The importance of time is the underlying moral of this tale which I think a lot of the assumed demographic may not be expecting. I don’t mean to imply this negatively as the family fun element still heavily features as a main part, I would just be prepared to cry if you are accompanying children as merely the chaperone.
The live-action/realistic animation has become a new booming trend especially from the likes of Disney. However, it is not a trend that I mind when they seem to be being executed so well. To say the least, they have come a long way from Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Be sure to give this childhood classic a watch – whether it is an introduction to the world of Winnie the Pooh for the new generation or for a trip down memory lane and a sense of nostalgia, Pooh and friends provide a light-hearted and often forgotten simple way to enjoy life that will resonate with all ages.
Entrainment (of its genre): 8/10
Overall rating: 7.1/10