Seriously, can we all just move there?
Ewan McGregor plays the adult version of “Christopher Robin.” Contributed by Laurie Sparham
The film briskly morphs Christopher Robin from boy to man with the turn of a few pages – E. H. Shepard’s classic drawings are brought to life in a cool animation twist – and soon enough he’s a married man with a young daughter and a soul-eviscerating job as an “efficiency manager” at a luggage company.
Christopher is saddled with coming up with a solution to shrinking sales and inevitable layoffs, so instead of spending a blissful weekend in the country with his family, he must continue his life as a joyless, overworked adult at their tony London apartment.
As is wont to happen in fantasy-family films, a smashed jar of honey – naturally - creates a portal from the Hundred Acre Wood to the courtyard of Christopher’s dwelling and through it toddles Christopher’s beloved friend left behind in boyhood, Winnie-the-Pooh.
With wheat-colored fur that often looks like a scraggly beard, a fuzzy red sweater that doesn’t quite fit over his rumbling tummy and doleful, unblinking puppy eyes, this Pooh is a bit like the huggable bear version of Wilford Brimley.
Of course, he's been Disney-fied from Shepard's classic drawings (if you haven't visited the High Museum's lovely "Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic" exhibit, add it to your Pooh-centric activity list), but he still exudes warmth and dry humor.
Madeline Robin (Bronte Carmichael) and her father Christopher’s longtime friends Tigger, Piglet and Winnie the Pooh go on an adventure in Disney’s “Christopher Robin.” Contributed by Disney
Christopher Robin’s initial wonder at seeing the silly old bear again soon turns to annoyance at his toddler-like disruptions. But of course we all know that Pooh has returned to help Christopher realize What’s Really Important In Life.
Pooh is a charming rambler, spouting philosophies that you hear, but then have to go back to actually listen to (“I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been,” he tells Christopher with a plainspoken shrug). And when a series of convenient mishaps surrounding Christopher’s essential work notes leads him back to the gang at the Hundred Acre Wood, more subtle life lessons are imparted by the assortment of animals (Eeyore, saturated in pessimism and sarcasm, speaks for the adults in the room when Tigger breaks into his signature song).
Although the film drags with a too-long escapade through the streets of London and sometimes trips over its predictability, there is a sweetness and comfort to it all.
For a bear of “very little brain,” Winnie-the-Pooh has plenty of wisdom to impart.
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cumming (voice of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger), Brad Garrett (voice of Eeyore).
Rated PG for thematic elements, war images and brief language. Check Atlanta listings for theaters and showtimes. 1 hour, 44 minutes.