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Christopher Robin

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Mark Gatiss, Adrian Scarborough
Director Marc Forster
Running Time: 1hour 43 minutes
Rated: PG
On Sale: December 23rd

Although you are going to watch Christopher Robin, the real star is Winnie. He bursts out of his little red jumper, dropping words of wisdom and is without doubt the star of Disney’s new live action movie. Although he takes second place to his middle aged human companion played by Ewan McGregor its Winnie’s film. Opening with a sentimental montage, we see young Christopher enjoying a final meal with his imaginary pals before he sets out for an adolescence defined by tragedy (his father dies) and drudgery (he goes to boarding school). From there, the boy becomes a soldier and serves in WWII, a detail taken from Christopher Robin Milne’s biography. After the war, Christopher meets his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell), gets a job as a -manager at a luggage company in London, and attempts to be a kind, caring father to his studious young daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). In a twist clearly designed to produce tears, Christopher has become obsessed with “efficiency” at the expense of more Pooh values like joy, curiosity, and untidiness. He works late, dumps his family on a trip to the cottage, while getting ready to send his own child to a boarding school. This is where Winnie and his old friends need to step in and sort things out. The universal plot of course is all about an adult accessing his inner child, having lost touch with that pure, unadulterated side of himself.

Christopher doesn’t pray for guidance, but it nevertheless comes along with a reminder about what’s truly important when Pooh (voiced, by Jim Cummings), stumbles back into his life. And while he remains a “bear of very little brain,” he’s prone to saying some rather profound things — at least, when he can get his mind off his noisy tummy long enough to do so.

Gradually, though, “Christopher Robin” exhibits a genuine sweetness without becoming saccharine as he is also reintroduced to the rest of the gang, including Eeyore (Brad Garrett),Tigger (also Cummings), Piglet (Nick Mohammed) and Rabbit (Peter Capaldi).
A.A. Milne’s creation is among the most durable of children’s literary characters for a reason, and has already produced one fine movie in the last twelve months, the biographical “Goodbye Christopher Robin” a totally different film much darker than this which is said to be fact-based about the relationship between “Winnie-the-Pooh” author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne, as you may remember, was the inspiration for the famous stuffed bear’s human companion, a small British boy called Christopher Robin. Children will enjoy the chases and pratfalls into puddles of honey, and adults (or at least some of them) will get teary remembering their own lost childhoods. As bear movies go, “Christopher Robin” is no “Paddington.” But will entertain you.

7 Out of 10