Christopher Robin is a spinoff of Disney’s well-loved Winnie the Pooh franchise. Instead of Pooh and his other anthropomorphic animal friends, this movie would be based on – you guessed it – Christopher Robin, the little boy who would hang out with these adorable, naive characters. Directed by Marc Forster, who is known for Neverland and World War Z, Christopher Robin stars Ewan McGregor in the titular role.
The film sees Christopher growing up and forgetting his childhood friends. Pooh and other animals take it upon themselves to remind Christopher of the boy he is still inside. The official synopsis explains things perfectly, “In the heatwarming live action adventure “Disney’s Christopher Robin,” the young boy who loved embarking on adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with a band of spirited and loveable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.”
Heartwarming is the keyword here. Many adults today grew up on Winnie the Pooh and friends’ adventures. The very name of Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet and others conjures up a childhood full of magical stories and even more magical characters created by AA Milne and lovingly illustrated by EH Shepard. Disney is counting on the nostalgia factor here. It is not just Christopher who will remember his childhood, it is all of us, the Winnie-the-pooh fans.
The movie holds a 61% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, which means that it is just above the “mixed reviews” category and a hair’s breadth into the “positive reviews” one. The consensus reads, “Christopher Robin may not equal A.A. Milne’s stories — or their animated Disney adaptations — but it should prove sweet enough for audiences seeking a little childhood magic.”
CNN’s Brian Lowry says something that might hold true for Paddington movies too, “The movie mostly works — a fleeting reminder of the simple pleasures of hanging out with family and a talking bear, which, in these frenetic times, is the kind of silliness that’s worth savoring.”
Collider’s Perri Nemiroff criticises the alleged lack of depth in the movie. She says, “The computer animation is phenomenal and there are certain moments when it is very evident that this idea had potential but ultimately the lack of depth, the dreariness and the snail-like pace stripped the experience of a lot of its magic.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt admits that the film is not as good as the stories, but it is still pretty faithful. “It’s just an earnest tribute, tastefully faithful to the source — and flatter, somehow, than the story ever was on the page,” she says.
Variety’s Peter Debruge says is absolutely down on the film, “It won’t make you love the silly old(er) bear any less, but you can feel a tiny part of your childhood dying in the process.”
Christopher Robin hits theatres on August 10.