Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin have an innocent exchange about briefcases and what is important in the film “Christopher Robin.”
Originally published Monday, August 6, 2018 at 06:00a.m.
The film opens with one of childhood’s favorite gangs (Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, Owl, Kanga and Tigger) readying a picnic table for a party, and Pooh and Christopher Robin sitting on a log under a tilted tree. Robin is going on about having to leave and Pooh is talking about nothing. The two rejoin the group and throw a going away part for Robin.
I have to say it's been an awful long time since I've watched the original Winnie the Pooh, but the characters' voices brought back all the memories. Tigger and Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) were as high pitched and energetic as I remember. Eeyore (voiced by Brad Garrett) is a little different, but his timing and intonation are perfect. Eeyore was the real star of this show.
So how do you tie in the grownup Robin with the story of old? In this case, they do a gathering to remind you who the characters are and then Robin goes off to boarding school. Although not out-rightly spoken, Robin learns of his father's death and the funeral aftermath. This was artfully done in that older children might pick up on what's happening, but the younger ones probably won't and spares them sadness like the death of Bambi's mother.
Robin goes off to war and we get to see how he meets his wife to be (Hayley Atwell). Then watch as the pregnant Atwell bids a fond farewell at the train station. A brief scene of military battle, Robin returns with his arm in a sling, and soon enough Robin is working as an efficiency executive at a luggage factory.
Robin is dedicated to his job. So much so his family suffers from his lack of attentiveness and affection, which foreshadows Robin’s lost connection to his youth and lack of imagination and fun. Atwell tries to remind him of his earlier days when Robin asks her why she fell in love with him and she tells him it was his dancing.
Meanwhile we see Pooh rummaging through his kitchen because he has the infamous rumbly in his tummy. Having no honey, he searches out his friends but are not to be found. Pooh sets out to find Christopher Robin, who could always find his friends.
Pooh is magically transported (through a tree of course) to a park outside Robin's home. They meet by chance, and Robin is not having any of his former childhood playfulness and wants nothing other than to get Pooh out of his way.
As luck would have it, Robin rediscovers The Hundred Acre Wood. From here on the antics start out serious and then get playful as Robin realizes there's more to life than work. His wife and daughter are away at their cottage (near The Hundred Acre Wood). Robin and Pooh have an innocent exchange about briefcases and what is important, and Robin helps Pooh find his friends, which includes a battle with the dreaded Heffalump that will have you snickering. Tigger replaces the contents of Robin's briefcase with what Tigger thinks is really important. Meanwhile Pooh and friends meet Robin's daughter Madelaine, played by Bronte Carmichael who does well as a supporting character. The group gathers to deliver Robin's important papers to him and this leads to humorous antics and situations.
There's quite a bit in this movie adults would understand and may fly under the radar for younger people. The CGI is done well and is somewhat understated. None of the characters were overly animated and sentences were short and to the point. There's something in here for everyone, including a heartwarming ending. The movie runs a pleasant 2 hours and is rated PG. Grab the popcorn and snacks and have a relaxing story told to you.
I'll give Christopher Robin 5 out of 5 Miners.