Christopher Robin (G)

How do you make a movie about Winnie the Pooh (1926) for the adults who grew up on the beloved Alan Alexander (A.A.) Milne characters? Feature an overworked, joyless, rigid, boring, adult Christopher Robin! Directed by Marc Foster and starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Robin tells the story of what happens after Christopher Robin goes off to boarding school, leaving his childhood friends, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and the others, behind.

Now, I’m not completely certain whether making a movie for older fans (that’s a rather large audience since the book was written in 1929) who grew up with Pooh was what the writers were going for, but that’s how I’m spinning it in my head, because it works. Greg Booker and Marc Steven Johnson did some very thoughtful writing. Christopher Robin has this adult sophistication to its humor and wit which mirrors Milne’s in his Winnie the Pooh stories. It starts off a bit slow as the groundwork is laid (this is the part that the younger children might not appreciate. I thought it was interesting and moved Christopher Robin into adulthood rather quickly), but once Christopher Robin gets on its way, it is a joy. Not only do we get to go into Pooh’s enchanted world, he and his friends get to come into ours. And it is brilliant. If you recall in the original books only Christopher Robin could see his friends animated.

For me, Pooh was my first introduction to that sort of dry, high-brow, British humor which is what set it apart from other children’s stories. It wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny, but rather, funny in this meaningful, introspective, “real life,” sort of way. There were no tasteless jokes, pranks, explosions, or great disasters, but there was always adventure, humor and community mixed with civility. These writers understand this and pay homage to Milne’s style very well, delivering a fine piece of work.

Marc Foster’s direction is good. The mixture of live action, animation, special and video effects is seamless, so kudos to the editing department as well.

I felt that sense of nostalgia one rarely experiences while watching a film. It felt as though I was going back in time with Christopher Robin, returning to my own childhood, familiar places and friends. I felt the delight in recapturing the enthusiasm of youth. Remember that overall carefree, joyful feeling you used to have before adulating started kicking your butt? If you’ve forgotten, see this movie and it may all come back to you.

The thing I love most about Winnie the Pooh is that no one was ever excluded and the friends were true; always allowing one another to be themselves without judgment. Whoever they were, no matter how annoying or challenging, or hyperactive. Even a constantly down-in –the-dumps, buzz kill like Eeyore was accepted without ever being told to “cheer up” “stop whining” or “stop moping.” He wasn’t asked to change in any way. In the way that Winnie the Pooh taught/teaches us about kindness, love and acceptance with a focus on family and community, so does Christopher Robin.

Christopher Robin earned 8.5 out of 10 bloops. It is a great movie, not to be missed, which I enjoyed thoroughly. I would have scored it higher, and although I wouldn’t mind giving a second watch in the near future, I can easily see this film is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It doesn’t give me that, “You must be out of your mind if you don’t love this movie,” type of feeling. This movie may be rated PG but it is not for small children. You may bring them if you like, but they will not be entertained for the animation-free portion of the film. If your child has read the books you may stand a better chance. If they’ve not read the books maybe you’ll be inspired to read them to them or with them.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter (which I must get more savvy with and active on!) @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m seeing/reviewing next…

I’ll let you know soon.

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