Jungle
Christopher Robin

Christopher Robin

Movie
Director(s): 
Genre: 
In Theatres: 
Aug 03, 2018
Grade:
A
Running Time: 
104 minutes

As a child I was never too much of a fan of Winnie-the-Pooh. I liked the characters, but it seemed rarely anything happened in the Hundred Acre Wood. I was annoyed by Tigger, frustrated by Piglet, and I never got enough time with Kanga, Roo, or Eeyore. Having mature a little since then I now understand the quietness of the show and the lessons it was trying to impart. These are lessons Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) himself must learn.

We begin at the end of Christopher Robin’s time in the Hundred Acre Wood. Pooh (Jim Cummings), Tigger (Cummings again!), Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Kanga (the velvet voiced Sophie Okonedo), Roo (Sara Sheen), Owl (Toby Jones), Rabbit (Peter Capaldi ) and Eeyore (Brad Garrett) wish him a fond farewell at their last get together over cake and tea. Robin promises Pooh that he’ll never forget his friends and is sent off to boarding school without so much as a handshake from his father. However, soon after Robin experiences a tragedy that forces him to mature quickly.

The years pass creatively as chapters marking the highlights of Robin’s life, giving us story and meaning without overloading us with exposition. Many years later Robin has family with with wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), but he is most focused on his occupation as the efficiency manager of a struggling luggage company.

Confronted with lackluster sales Robin is instructed to cut the budget by twenty percent, working over the weekend he had planned a country excursion with his family.

In the meantime Pooh and his friends have missed Robin greatly. Often they stand in front of the door where Robin would appear, but haven’t seen him since he last left. One morning Pooh cannot find any of his friends and the Hundred Acre Wood begins to look rather gloomy. Determined to find his pals, Pooh enters through the door Robin’s house and meets the middle aged man the park by his London home.

When I first saw the trailer for Christopher Robin I was a little spooked. Plush toys coming to life is far more often a nightmare than an imaginative dream. However the look of Pooh and his friends is astounding. You can see the different fabrics they are each supposed to be made of, you’ll have the urge to clean the honey from Pooh’s face, and they all look so cuddly you can’t help but want a small version for yourself.

Most importantly this film wishes to depart on its adult viewers the importance of spending time with those who love you and reconnecting to the things that made you happy in childhood. Money can be made but time can never be recouped. You create the kind of family you desire with every choice and we see Robin making the active choice to not be like his father by being affectionate and connecting with his daughter in a way that he never experienced.

The experience of watching Christopher Robin is a delightful break from loud and bright blockbuster fare. It is darker, softer, and more intimate film, and while there is melancholy it is without being heavy or too intense. Pooh and his friends are so completely charming you ache to romp the Hundred Acre Woods with them. Being ensconced in the theater with these lovely characters and themes feels like a hug in digital form.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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