Disney's Christopher Robin releases less than a year after Fox Searchlight Pictures' Goodbye Christopher Robin - however Disney's interpretation sets to be more upbeat than last September's poignant war drama. From World War Z's Marc Foster - we follow an over-worked, grown up Christopher Robin who reunites with childhood best pal Winnie-the-Pooh, slowly but surely rediscovering the joys that have been long absent from his life.
Christopher Robin is a pleasant though superficial stroll through the Hundred Acre Wood. Disney have told hundreds of creative, thought provoking tales over the years but the studio frequently falls short when it comes to live action - with an exception to Jon Favreau's spectacular reimagining of The Jungle Book. Christopher Robin seamlessly follows this same trend, offering plenty of visual awe but lacking a captivating story.
We skim through an A.A Milne book whilst flicking through Christopher Robin's life, the scene transitions from pages to reality appear slightly messy as Foster aims for a nostalgic look. From the opening scene Christopher Robin feels like a rushed effort, there are clumsy continuity errors that can't go unnoticed, poorly written characters and a story that is simply beyond what Disney is capable of. Borrowing heavily from Toy Story 3 and the clichéd over-worked father ignoring his family story line - Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin is inconsequential and the film becomes more interesting when it diverts the attention away from him.
On the other hand Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood are worth the price of admission alone. Despite Christopher Robin being a middling film, Jim Cummings brings heartwarming sentimentally as Pooh. Whether his paws are caught in a sticky pot of honey, talking to strangers in the streets of London or woefully reflecting on his rumbling stomach - Pooh steals every single moment on screen with his charming and compassionate manner.
Moreover, Foster blends the classic literary characters perfectly into post war London. Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore and more are all brought to life in gorgeous vintage cuddly toy form - fitting excellently into the early 50's setting. Deep in the Hundred Acre Wood Foster crafts plenty of beautiful exterior shots - flowers, long grass and crunchy autumn leaves are all reminiscent of childhood adventures.
Winnie-the-Pooh's tenderness and innocence is precisely what the world needs right now but unfortunately Christopher Robin is too mediocre for the cuddly characters it features. Ewan McGregor delivers an oddly one-note performance even if his rapport with Pooh is truly special. Though it all looks magnificent - this live action remake is by the numbers, wrapping up to a hurried and un-compelling conclusion. Disney should've waited to release Christopher Robin rather than rushing it out to make a quick buck.
Pinch of info
Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.