One always hears about the magic of Disney and sometimes it is readily apparent to the naked eye while there are times when one has to look for it. In Christopher Robin, it is plainly evident from the first scene to the last, a love letter to Winnie the Pooh and its creators A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard.
For those that are younger in age and still have that wonder of youth and innocence about them, the movie is sure to delight with perfect depictions of the characters that live in the Hundred Acre Wood, those being Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Owl. For those that are a little older in years, the film is like watching a fondly remembered act out of each person’s life, one that they had left behind long ago except in this case, that being the life of Christopher Robin, he gets a chance to rediscover the wonder that he lost all those millions of years ago. Viewers would think that he would have all that he needed with a wife and daughter, a treasure worth more than all the world, but it would seem that a piece would go missing over time, one he would not even notice. So it is that it takes an old friend from the past, one Pooh for short, to reignite the spark and essentially bring Christopher back to life.
All the hallmarks of a good Disney film are present – friendship and love, something lost and something found, a quest, a hero and a villain, a lesson learned and a happy ending. It might seem a little paint-by-numbers at times, but one cannot help but be enchanted by all that they see upon the big screen, especially the childhood friends of the little boy grown up, who were brought to vivid life by those at Framestore and Method Studios. They hearken back to the animated Disney movies of the past, but given a new lease in film and though things have changed and Christopher Robin is now a man and not a boy, that magic is still there like it was just waiting to be rediscovered by a new generation, which it definitely was.
As for the cast, Ewan McGregor does a great job portraying the work-fraught husband and father, a man that is focused upon grown-up things with little worry for anything else, though he knows and recognises that those around him are hurting. When he finally starts to come out of his shell thanks to his childhood friend Pooh, he does so with just the right amount of confusion and awe, trying to balance that which is real and that which cannot be. Hayley Atwell fills the role of wife and mother well, lending just the right amount of charm to the role, though there is really little for her to do in the grand scheme of things while Bronte Carmichael who plays Madeline, daughter of Christopher and Evelyn, is also quite good in what little screen time she gets.
If there is one thing that the movie leaves the audience with, it is a smile upon their face at seeing old friends reunited and the knowledge that when a person grows up and now has to lead a life with adult responsibilities, they do not have to leave all that they were behind but can take it with them for the whole of their lives and forever be young at heart. Altogether, Christopher Robin is a true Disney classic in every sense of the word, a film well-worth visiting over and over again.
5 out of 5