Christopher Robin A Review

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

Produced by The Walt Disney Studios

Directed by Marc Foster

Starring Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Nick Mohammed, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Sara Sheen and Toby Jones.

Christopher Robin will soon join the ranks of such movies as Hook, Finding Neverland and Saving Mr. Banks.  This movie is not a bio-pic.  It is a fantasy.  It is not even a movie on the life of Christopher Robin Milne.  In fact, the last name of Milne is dropped in the film and this character’s first name Christopher his last name is Robin.

What this film is, is a loving tribute to the Winne the Pooh books and the original Disney animated classic The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.  The films starts with beautiful drawings of Pooh and his friends in the 100 Acre Wood.  These drawings are in the style of E H Shepherd the illustrator of the original Winnie The Pooh books.  In the first scene we see a young Christopher Robin telling Pooh he has to go school.  He is saying goodbye to his beloved friend.  This scene is taken almost word for word from the last chapter of The House at Pooh Corner and it is nostalgic and beautiful.

From this point we are treated to various scenes of Christopher Robin growing up, losing his father, fighting in WW2, falling in love and marrying as well as becoming a father to a little girl.  These lead us to a fateful day at work when he is told he must work the weekend and give up spending time with his family.

By this point in time the audience is aware that Christopher is lost.  He has forgotten Pooh and what he learned form his friend.  His wife and daughter leave London without him and Christopher accidentally spills some honey which by chance awakens a sleeping Pooh bear in The 100 Acre Wood who finds that all of his friends, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore, Rabbit, Owl and Tigger are all missing.  Pooh goes to the tree  that Christopher Robin always emerged from and steps inside finding himself in the middle of a small park in London, it is here that he is reunited with an astounded Christopher.

This movie stays true to the stories of AA Milne and could well be what Milne may have conceived himself he had allowed Christopher Robin to grow up.  There are Poohisms sprinkled throughout the film such as, “Nothing is impossible?  But I do nothing every day.”  And, “I find the best way of moving forward is walking away from where you have been.”  I’m sure philosopher’s and psychologists will have a field day with some of Pooh’s ideas.

The film is not really for children.  It goes at a slow pace and ultimately it is about a man finding out what really is important in life.  It is about a man struggling to balance family and work, loosing his own values to the values of his employer, and though meaning well, trying to instill the false value of, “work first”, into his daughter in order to make her ready to deal with the harshness of reality.  It is about a man drowning in life and desperately needing to remember his roots.  Children can see it, but they won’t get the message that is there, it’s not for them because the message in this film is one that children already know.

Stay through the credits as there is one last treat hidden there.  Christopher Robin and family and friends have gone to the seas side and playing the piano on the sand is none other than Richard Sherman.  Richard Sherman is one half of The Sherman Brothers his brother Robert died in 2012.  Richard and Robert Sherman gave us many songs that will be sung throughout the ages.  They wrote the score for Mary Poppins in 1964.  They wrote It’s a Small World and many other songs that are considered Disney classics and have become part of the American Songbook.  One of their collaborations was the original theme song for the first Winnie the Pooh movie.  It was a delight to see him and hear him perform.

 

 

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