Christopher Robin (2018)
Walt Disney Pictures
Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Alex Ross Perry & Allison Schroeder
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Bronte Carmichael, Peter Capaldi, Toby Jones, Sophie Okonedo
Winnie-The-Pooh has been around for just over 90 years. In that time, we’ve gotten theatrical versions, radio broadcasts, animated specials and more. However, for all of the media and formats I’ve seen, none of them has been filled with as much heart and beauty as the new live-action film ‘Christopher Robin‘ which hits theaters this coming weekend. The film opens with young Christopher Robin spending time with Pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger & Company in the 100 Acre Wood for the last time before he heads off to boarding school. Through a series of scenes, we see Christopher grow up, lose his father, meet a girl, fall in love, go off to war and come home to settle into the grind of a daily job and raising a family. Through it all, Pooh wonders when he might see Christopher Robin again and, upon being unable to find his friends in the woods, he sets off on his own to look for Christopher Robin in London to enlist his help.
The plot is predictable to the point of cliche BUT…. not only is that my only real complaint, it is an issue that is easily brushed aside given the ridiculously talented cast and the gorgeous cinematography. Watching this film makes you feel as if you are being read the very best story ever by a loving, trusted parent. The voice acting of Jim Cummings as Winnie-The-Pooh is emotionally rich with every slight vocal inflection. Brad Garrett perfectly captures Eeyore’s patented ennui, Nick Mohammed does a great job of fretting as Piglet and Peter Capaldi‘s high-strung Rabbit is also spot-on. The live-action cast is not to be outdone by their voice acting counterparts. Ewan McGregor has never been anything less than phenomenal in anything he’s ever done and Hayley Atwell always lights up the screen be it big or small (although I would have liked to have seen more of her as her character didn’t have a great amount to do in this film). Their on-screen daughter, Madeline (played by Bronte Carmichael), is certainly a star-on-the-rise and turns out an excellent performance here.
The cinematography is divine and beautiful and intimately draws you into the narrative. Director Marc Foster has outdone himself with this delightfully charming film that will no doubt bring joy to children of all ages. Whether you’re a long time Winnie-The-Pooh fan or even if you’re new to Pooh, I would highly recommend adding this film to your “must-see” list at a theater near you!! Just remember that it’s BYOH. (Bring Your Own Honey)