Disney’s “Christopher Robin” is the latest cinematic addition to Disney Studios’ live-action remake collection. The studio famous for its animation classics has found profit in adapting their former hits into the live-action medium, and is set to release five new remakes of its animated films over the next four years. (PS – if Bob Iger wants a Mighty Ducks live-action screenplay, tell him my DMs are open.)
“Christopher Robin” is much more than just a live-action remake of the original “Winnie the Pooh” series. In fact, the movie serves as a clever continuation with the catalyst of the story being: what happens when Christopher Robin grows up? We’ve all had our childhood spirit crushed by the grit of the real world in one form or another, and even the idea of childhood wonder itself is no exception to this rule. “Christopher Robin” beautifully uses classic characters that we’ve all known and loved to remind us that growing old is inevitable but growing up is optional.
The movie’s opening is a bit of a slow burn and ultimately is what holds this movie back from hitting the right notes emotionally. The introduction we have to the idea of Christopher Robin growing old is given to the audience through a very clip show liked montage, that very much comes across as a Disney themed PowerPoint presentation. There isn’t solid grounding around Christopher Robin’s relationship with his One Hundred Acre Wood plush friends – which are now available at a Disney Store near you.
The movie can get away with this in my opinion, due to the fact that this movie is technically a sequel. This movie doesn’t need to remind us of what Christopher Robin’s relationship with each of these characters was like, as it has the original 1977 movie to do so; on top of a vast amount of DVD sequels and TV series which contain these elements. (On a side note, what exactly is canon in the Winnie the Pooh Cinematic Universe?)
What this movie does lack, however, is emotional weight between Christopher Robin and his wife, played by Hayley Atwell. This is new found territory in the movie, and the story never gives the two characters a solid relationship before things turn south. There isn’t a real investment in rooting for things to work out between these two, as we have never seen the more tender and heartfelt moments in their marriage. Thus the rest of the movie suffers from this very large misstep and feels as though we missed a giant beat in the stories timeline.
What ultimately makes this movie an enjoyable time is the original cast of characters interacting with a much older Christopher Robin. Pooh Bear’s character steals every scene and Eeyore is the rightful voice of this generation. Due to the movie’s pacing issues, the finale never leaves you with a sense of fulfillment, thus the movie more comes across as a tender side hug. It’s not super heartfelt, but the right intentions are there. Depending on what your connection was to the original “Winnie the Pooh” movie may ultimately decide how much you’ll enjoy this picture.
Disney’s “Christopher Robin” is full of some minor issues, but is still jam-packed with humor, adventure, and heart. I give it seven Winnie The Pooh Plush Bundle Packages out of ten.