Ever since he was first introduced in 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends have been a staple in many children’s lives. Their furry adventures with pal Christopher Robin have taken place in countless books, films and cartoons. The rights to Winnie-the-Pooh would be bought by Walt Disney Productions in 1961, giving the classic a new home. Now, Christopher Robin takes us into Hundred Acre Wood for the first time in a grand live-action scale. Starring Ewan McGregor as the titular character, this film tells the story of an adult reconnecting to his youth, with the most precious dose of nostalgia and whimsy.
Christoper Robin spent his days as a child playing in the woods near his parents cottage. His only friends were talking woodland creatures Owl and Rabbit, and also a few toys come-to-life named Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga and Roo. But his nearest and dearest friend was a stuffed bear named Pooh.
As the real world would come to have him, Christopher grew up. He moved away from that little cottage, became an adult, found love, got married and had a daughter. It would seem all his childhood memories had faded into the harsh reality of life. Until the day that his childhood found its way to him once more, reuniting him with his “hunny”-loving pal.
While a 2017 film was made about the real life Winnie-the-Pooh author A. A. Milne, this story takes place solely inside the pages of the books he had written. While Christopher Robin may have moved on with his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter Madeline, his past hadn’t forgotten about him. Every moment of this film is filled with wonder and whimsy that truly makes it a treat for even the eldest.
Original Pooh and Tigger voice actor Jim Cummings continuous providing the teddy’s iconic voice. He’s a familiar friend for us all, so it was heartwarming to hear him. Rounding out the voice cast is comedian Brad Garrett as Eeyore, Toby Jones as Owl, Nick Mohammed as Piglet, Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, Sophie Okonedo as Kanga with Sara Sheen as Roo. All of whom did an exceptional job capturing the essence of these characters. Quite possibly a highlight for the film is Eeyore’s unending macabre humor. You couldn’t help but laugh and smile the whole way through this movie.
What was most breathtaking about the film, was the maturity in the filmmaking. It wasn’t diluted for purposes of it being a family film. My personal favorite sequence, was the beginning where we still see a young Christopher Robin and his pals. The cinematography during this part was so unbelievably beautiful, as we see the camera pan through the lavender fields in Hundred Acre Wood. The sun glistening through the breezy trees. You truly felt you had been transported to the fictional landscape.
Often times we hold our childhood mementos so dear. Sometimes we feel let down by revisions of them, wondering how modern cinema can get that magic right. Christopher Robin did that. It so perfectly represents everything the Pooh books were, the cartoons of later years, and the memory we have our own stuffed toys. It’s a heartwarming reminder of your own childhood, and how we all shouldn’t let ourselves grow up too much.