Being a kid of the 90s, you got exposed to a lot of generational cartoons. From a young age I got exposed to the classic Winnie the Pooh cartoons with the memorable moments of pooh stuck in the hole, or on the balloon. Shortly thereafter the new adventures strapped in and brought new life to the series that was even more endearing tone before dropping further into kids territory. Then, Pooh and the crew kind of phased out, with only those less than 5 really caring about what they could offer, thus they faded from memory. Now, Disney is trying to recapture the magic of A.A. Milne’s in a live action version of the stuffed animals journey through the eyes of the owner. Robbie K here with another review, this time on:
Movie: Christopher Robin (2018)
Cute/Charming: When it comes to Pooh and the crew, the adventures are almost always cute and adorable. Christopher Robin continues this trend, making sure to rope in all of the classic goodness, but modernize it to the new families of the modern age. It is perfect for kids as the stuffed animals bounce around the town, but also for the current parents who grew up with the cartoons like I did. Nevertheless, that nostalgic atmosphere will come in this charming adventure that somehow brings the feel of the classics into the new form of live action.
Clever Wit: The references in Pooh are not for the casual audience member, but for fans like me, there is hidden treasure in the references. Nostalgia again is the leading quality, but Christopher Robin had me chuckling with all the well-timed, well-delivered, bumbling of Pooh and the Crew. There are plenty of misunderstanding moments that will have the older audience members enjoying it the most, while the kids will love the goofy slapstick that follows from the disbelief of the supporting casts. I can easily say that this movie is definitely a little more targeted for the older crowd in terms of dialogue.
Emotional Growth: Where most of the Pooh adventures are silly, whimsical feats of seeking out enough honey to fill Pooh, Christopher Robin falls on the spectrum of those episodes that were more serious. It’s about a new stage of life through McGregor’s character and it does a nice job of balancing the numerous emotional stressors that comes with growing up. This film does a fantastic job of portraying that line between kid and adult, and how both are important for raising the family. It will speak deeply to those with families of their own, and seal a spot in the heart as the greatest Pooh movie of all time.
The original voices/Animation: With a Disney movie, the animation is always good, so no need to go into too many details. The big thing to mention, is that the stuffed animals look like stuffed animals, so the design is great on that lone. However, my favorite aspect is that Jim Cummingscame back to bring Pooh/Tigger to life once more. His voice alone is the source of Pooh’s comedy, bringing that sweet innocence with it that pulls at your heart strings like the silly old bear can. As for Tigger, he is still the energetic, manic tiger who doesn’t understand the word limits. While the other voice actors were good, Jim was the winner for me as a key pillar of the movie.
Predictable: No surprise, the movie doesn’t have too many twists and turns for being a family movie. It pretty much hits a line drive to the family life lessons, to keep it perfect for its target audience, (aka staying away from the dark and obscure). It’s not that I was surprised at all, but as a reviewer I have to look at all aspects.
Limited audience: Pooh is not for everyone, and unlike other Disney movies, not everyone is going to love this. While I did enjoy the comedy, it’s specificity for Pooh comedy is going to limit it to a small number of people, and not all kids are going to enjoy the mellow pace of the movie. So, its branching out was not quite achieved the way they wanted to in my opinion.
More Haley Atwell: I know the film is about Christopher Robin (hence the title), but you would have expected a little more integration of the wife if they were going to pull the daughter in. Atwell played her part well, but I wished they had incorporated her side of the story more and helped round out Christopher’s story.
More Of The Other Animals: Again, I know the relationship between Pooh and Christopher is the key, but I do wish that the other animals had their appendages in the film a little better. Still more screen time than I anticipated, but they could have been incorporated a bit more to really max things out.
Missing The Whimsy: This comes from loving the new adventures, but I really missed the full-on imagination that came with the original cartoon series. Because the emotional aspect is blended so well into the movie it takes away from the adventure theme that I loved. Not bad at all mind you, I just missed that favorite aspect from my childhood.
By far Christopher Robin is the best family movie of the summer, and the must watch for those with young members in their family. It hits its key demographic hard and manages to balance the movie in many aspects to grab kids and original generation hard. Sadly, they may have done this job a little too well, because general audiences may not appreciate the full glory of this movie, and the styles they chose. In addition, the movie just misses that adventure component that Disney movies are famous for, to instead go down the predictable, preachy, emotional pathway that they tend to do. So, is it worth a theater visit? The answer is yes if you are that key demographic, but otherwise skip this until you get it in theaters.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.0