We have all read the books. We have all heard the stories from our parents and have re-told them to our children. We have fallen asleep in our children’s beds with A. A. Milne’s tattered novel folded on our chest. We have grown up believing in the Magic of the Hundred Acre Wood and the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. Winnie-the-Pooh made us believe in the good in people. He reminds us of our childhood and will be remembered in the imaginations of our children forever. The question is, have you ever wondered what would happen if Winnie-the-Pooh ventured out of his world and wandered into our world looking for help? This is the background to Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” directed by Marc Foster. It stars Ewan McGregor of Star Wars fame as an adult Christopher Robin. The iconic Jim cummings plays Pooh and Tigger. Brad Garrett plays Eeyore. Nick Mohammed plays Piglet. Peter Capaldi plays Rabbit. Toby Jones plays owl. Sophie Okonedo and Sara Sheen round out our band of characters as Kanga and Roo.
Christopher Robin is now an adult. He is a war-veteran. He has a family, a stressful job, a demanding boss, and the many responsibilities that never existed in the Hundred Acre Wood. Frankly, Christopher Robin has grown up. Forgotten are the carefree days and childhood adventures with his best friend Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends. Christopher Robin is stuck. He has forgotten the many life lessons that Pooh and his friends had taught him. He has forgotten how to have fun. Christopher Robin has lost his sense of imagination. He has distanced himself from his wife and daughter Madeline. “Your life is happening now, right in front of You!” bellows his wife Evelyn. He consumes himself with work, often working weekends and long hours instead of spending time with his family at their cottage.
We are thrusted back to the Hundred Acre Wood. Pooh wakes up in a panic. He cannot find any of his friends. He ventures outside calling to Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, Owl, and Rabbit. When they do not answer, he fears they have been taken by a Heffalump or a Woozel. He longs for his friend Christopher Robin. He knows that if Christopher was there, he would surely know how to find his friends. Pooh decides to go through the Christopher Robin oak tree door for the first time hoping to find his long-time friend.
Christopher Robin works for Winslow Luggage. He needs to make a huge presentation to his bosses on where they can cut expenses. He is tasked with laying off his colleagues or finding another solution to save money. While sitting on a park bench in London, Christopher is reunited with his long-time friend, Winnie-the-Pooh! He is convinced by Pooh to travel back to the Hundred Acre Wood to find his missing friends. Christopher and Pooh find the band of merry characters and spends the rest of the day enjoying each other’s company and reminiscing past adventures. “I haven’t thought about them in years,” states Christopher to Pooh. “Well we think about YOU every day,” answers Pooh. Christopher Robin wakes the next day in a panic realizing that he will be late to his presentation. He grabs what he thinks is his briefcase and scampers back to London through the old door in the oak tree. Pooh and his friends realize that Christopher has taken the wrong briefcase and bolt back through the oak door, desperately trying to find Christopher before he gets to work. Winnie-the-Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet venture to the Robin family cottage where they solicit the help of young Madeline Robin to help them with their plight. Madeline recognizes the merry band from her father’s childhood pictures and agrees to help Pooh and his friends. With the help of Mrs. Robin, they set out on a hilarious, ruckus of an adventure to help Christopher Robin find his sense of imagination and remind him what is truly important in life.
Ever since I saw the preview of this film I was excited to see it. My family and I rushed to the theatre with emphatic anticipation on opening weekend. I remember dosing off reading Winnie-the-Pooh stories to ornery 2 year old’s that would not go to sleep. I remember my grandmother reading the Pooh stories to us before bed. I remember scouring Walt Disney World gift shops in search of the elusive “Owl” to complete my 3 year old son’s complete set of Winnie-the-Pooh characters. I think of these moments and become a little sad as the childhood years of my children quickly pass by and the thoughts of a less stressful time rushes from my memory. In today’s world of stress and disappointments, “Christopher Robin” is a breath of fresh air reminding us of what truly is important in life. As Winnie-the-Pooh would say “Doing Nothing often leads to the very Best kind of Something!” We all could take a page out of the Pooh life and take some time to appreciate our “Very Important Things” and “to get to where we are going by walking away from where we have been.” Disney has expectedly knocked another one out of the park! This film is a heartwarming, magical, feel good adventure that is appropriate for all audiences. I give this film an emphatic 4 out of 4 stars.
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