Film: Christopher Robin
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Ortom O’Brien and the voices of Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Nick Mohammed
Director: Marc Foster
Rating: * * * * *
Wise and wonderful, this imaginative live action alive-action reboot of the Winnie the Pooh family created by author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard in the 1920s, is guaranteed to please just about everyone. However, the very young will not be able to comprehend the sage sayings uttered by Pooh (voice of Jim Cummings) bear to his owner and friend, the titular Christopher Robin (Ortom O’Brien/Ewan McGregor).
The narrative takes off when Christopher Robin (McGregor) now a stuffy adult with a wife named Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and a daughter Madeleine, (Bronte Carmichael) decides to send his progeny to boarding school. Just like he had done likewise all those years ago.
CR is not so gainfully employed in London, far from the Sussex woodsy landscape of his childhood. When Pooh pays a visit out of the blue, the bear is hard pressed to recognise his friend. “Don’t be so exuberant” CR tells Pooh who replies, “Stop being me.” Pooh is worried about the disappearance of the old gang from the Wood – Tigger (also voiced by Cummings), Eeyore (voiced by Brad Garrett) and Piglet (voiced by Nick Mohammed) – but Christopher gets tired of Pooh’s bumbling ways and and decides to take the bear back to the Woods.
What happens in Sussex (and London) to help the Robins become a real family (no spoilers here) makesthe movie an enchanting enjoyable experience. Director Marc Forster and the scriptwriting team employ humour and Milne’s much loved characters to assert that team work, unity, family, leisure and equity are more important than soulless tasks and the desire to succeed. As the poem goes, “What is this world so full of care we have no time to stand and stare?” (Is it possible the storyline was inspired by this poem?) Beautifully drawn and executed, this film has a warm, life affirming message.