‘Christopher Robin’ takes you back to a simpler time (review)

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”

I think it’s safe to say that we are in an era -in terms of movies- where the name of the game is “Nostalgia.” We are constantly thrown down memory lanes and times once ours, revisiting things that made us who we are today. Whether it’s rebooting older films such as 2017’s It, discovering history in Dunkirk and Darkest Hour, or continuing old franchises with original cast members such as this October’s Halloween, nostalgia is rampant in cinema today. So how fitting is it that the House of Mouse has decided to continue its own journey down memory lane, and revisit the cuddly old bear that gave us so much wisdom as kids? Enter, Christopher Robin.

Directed by Marc Forster, Christopher Robin is a film that finds our titular character in the exact same place as the rest of us: stuck in a job where he is overworked, underpaid and facing an uncertain future. He has a family of his own, but his work has become his life, leaving little time for his wife and daughter, and he has all but forgotten his idyllic childhood spent with a simple-minded, honey-loving stuffed bear and his friends. But when he is reunited with Winnie the Pooh, now tattered and soiled from years of hugs and play, a spark is rekindled, and he is reminded of the endless days of childlike wonder and make believe that defined his youth, when doing nothing could be considered something. Following an unfortunate mishap with Christopher Robin’s briefcase, Pooh and the rest of the gang including Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, step out of the forest and into London to return the crucial possessions, because best friends will always be there for you.

“It’s always a sunny day, when Christopher Robin comes to play.”

As someone who grew up not only watching The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, but even some of the earlier films, I can easily say that Christopher Robin moved me. This movie is packed with that special ingredient that’s been the keyword of this article: nostalgia.

You can tell right away as the film opens that Christopher Robin is meant to target the millennial demographic, and kids secondary. Marc Forster, director of unique films such as 2004’s Finding Neverland and 2007’s The Kite Runner, really swung for the fences in wanting to make a film that although kids will thoroughly enjoy, adults may actually enjoy it a bit better.

Obi-Wan- I mean, Ewan McGregor is a astounding actor that has only honed his craft after his many years in acting. His ability to emote so much with saying so little is impressive, as his face is extremely expressive. He jumps right into the heart of his character who, for so long, has forgotten what it means to play or have fun. McGregor steps into this roll with enthusiasm, as every scene seems as though he is having so much fun!

And of course, Haley Atwell is always wonderful! Atwell portrays Robin’s wife, hanging by a thread as she watches her husband become a shell of who he once was. Her desperation and limited amount of optimism shines in this film, as Atwell has proven to be an incredible actress with her roles in the MCU, as well as her performance in the Netflix series, Black Mirror.

“Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.”

But no Winnie the Pooh story can ever be complete without talking about the bear of the hour: Winnie the Pooh! Jim Cummings reprises his role as the voice of not only Pooh, but also the tiger with the bounce, Tigger. It’s incredible how things that trigger our senses can immediately take us back to a time and a place, and one of those things for me is hearing the voice of the incredible Jim Cummings.

He is, quite literally, the voice of our favorite cartoons, as he’s given life to everything from Darkwing Duck to Ed from The Lion King. Yes, this man has practically become the narrator to my childhood. Hearing him play two of the roles that defined his career, and hear him fall right back into those wonderful cadences for both Tigger and Pooh, brings me right back to the good old days.

This film is not without its pain points, but the thing is, they are so minimal that I hate to even mention them. Christopher Robin is such a statement on where we all are in our lives, and why we need to reevaluate our priorities. If ever there was a lesson in recognizing how far we’ve gone downhill in terms of losing focus of what’s important, never let it be said that Winnie the Pooh wasn’t one of the best teachers to give it. This character’s innocent and blunt view of the world around him, coupled with his observations, gives us all so many things to inspect within ourselves.

Watching someone as beloved as Christopher Robin find himself a slave to routine and task is sobering, as his once care-free and whimsical look on life defined who we all wanted to be as kids. It’s through his eyes that we see how we have given up our whimsical nature, only to find that a part of us was also given up at the same time.

“Silly old bear. I wouldn’t ever forget about you, Pooh…”

Overall, Christopher Robin is a film that truly tugs at the heartstrings, and helps you realize an important part of growing up: you don’t have to. Sure, you may still need to get a job, and maybe start a family, but that doesn’t mean you need to lose that sense of awe and wonder. You can still be you -whether you’re 10 or 100 years old- and never forget that the joy in your heart is the real fountain of youth.

For everything this film does, I found myself wanting to rewatch all the old episodes of The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, hoping to find all those great nuggets of wisdom from everyone’s favorite bear. Here’s to hoping that when you see this film, you too can fall back into your imagination, and have one honey of a time!

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

Facebook Comments