“Christopher Robin” Hits the Feels, but Can’t Quite Nail the Finish

Christopher Robin

“Christopher Robin” was directed by Marc Forster and stars Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael and Jim Cummings. The film is about an older Christopher Robin who now has a wife and child to look after, and must do so by working extended hours for a job he doesn’t enjoy, until he is visited by Winnie the Pooh and must help Pooh find his way back to his friends.

I have always enjoyed the Winnie the Pooh stories, as the lovable cast of characters and sense of joy is always good at getting a smile on my face. The trailers for this film didn’t hit me as hard as others, but I still came in excited to see these characters in a live-action sense, and to see a different twist to the story that I haven’t seen before.

The Good

Above all, much like any animated version with these characters that exist, it is just a delight to watch Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and the rest of the members of the Hundred Acre Wood work together. Their chemistry is incredible as always, and consistently made me feel good inside whenever they made their way on screen.

Though rather one note, McGregor gave a strong performance as Christopher Robin, allowing the character to have a good amount of stinginess mixed with reality, but while still having that little kid inside of him when need be.

The visual effects are not used often, but on the characters, it looks terrific. Each of the members fits in seamlessly with the environments around them, and, even though I can admit I thought they looked weird in the trailers, I think that the concept of making them look like stuffed animals works for the better in the film.

Cummings as the voice of Pooh does truly tremendous work here, even more so than when he has voiced the character in previous forms. Here, Cummings gives Pooh the lovable, ignorant aspects that are always so great about him, but it is how he reacts to the real world with Christopher Robin that makes for some of the best scenes of the film. Watching these two go through a new transition in their bond is powerful, and really manages to hit on the emotion.

Speaking of emotion, this movie can make you cry at a handful of moments. Like I said, a lot of scenes with just Christopher Robin and Pooh hit hard, and were clearly the pinnacle of tear-jerkers in the film. While maybe not pushing me to cry, I did enjoy some of the family themes as well, even if there was nothing really cutting edge about it.

The Bad

A lot of what McGregor does in this movie involves him being a grumpy businessman, and though I get that it is how his character develops, it does not make for a very fun film to watch for a lot of the first half. Instead, I would have liked to have seen more of him growing up, going to war and making his family, but all we get of that is a small montage.

Though I did find myself crying a few times in the movie, Forster felt like he was really trying to force out tears from his audience on numerous occasions. Sometimes, it worked, but as the emotional moments felt more and more manipulative by the end of the movie, I found myself getting a tad numb to them by the end credits.

Even if this is a kids movie, the resolution to the film became very, very cheesy as it progressed. Yes, there has to be some solution, I get it, but I could not get on board with a lot of what was happening during it, and it made my eyes roll more than anything else.

Conclusion

“Christopher Robin” is a very enjoyable film from front to back, with a few flaws here and there. The characters that I know and love are realized very well here, and I appreciated the use of them in a new, unique setting. I think there were a few too many attempts to force out emotion, and the ending moments could have been improved on. But, overall, this is a fun watch, and one that will surely make fans of the characters very happy.

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Get tickets and showtimes for “Christopher Robin” here

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