I’ll be honest, when I first saw the trailer to this movie, I felt totally turned off. It struck me as dark, dreary, and unnecessarily … adult. Well, I’m happy to tell you that I couldn’t have been more mistaken.
Though we aren’t particularly big Winnie the Pooh fans, we like him well enough. Once I heard good buzz about Christopher Robin and secured assurances from friends that it was an appropriate family film, I couldn’t wait to take my own kids.
I’m so glad I did. The story is about a grownup Christopher Robin. It has a charming beginning in which Christopher says goodbye to Pooh and his friends before he must head off to boarding school. At boarding school, he learns to be efficient, serious, and unimaginative. Once out of school, he has falls in love, goes to war, has a child, and now works in management for a luggage company.
Christopher Robin is an absolute bore. He has forgotten how to enjoy life, and in doing so is missing out on the joy of his own wife and child. As you guessed, Pooh and friends reenter his life, and from that moment forward a charming story ensues.
I won’t lie–I adore this movie. As an adult, it provided some potent reminders about what is truly important in life. And though it may have brought a tear to my eye here and there, it never struck me as overtly self-righteous. It did not sermonize, lecture, or beat me over the head with its message. It simply told a story, a story that even my nine-year-old could correctly interpret.
My children loved it because it was actually quite fun, cute, and upbeat. Yes, the beginning is a little dour, but it’s all uphill from there. Best of all? Pooh and friends looked totally real. I honestly couldn’t tell what was a puppet, what was a person in a suit, what was a robot, and what was CGI. These old stuffed animals looked every bit the part, and as they walked and talked, it appeared natural in every respect.
On a deeply personal note, my six-year-old about made me start bawling in front of everyone. As Christopher’s daughter was asking why he won’t go on trips with them and spend time with them, my daughter leaned over and whispered to me that she’s glad I take her places and spend time with her. Crikey! I about lost it.
I absolutely recommend this for the whole family. It would make for a great last outing before school starts back up. It helps that Ewan McGregor is about as likable as they come, as is Hayley Atwell, the electric actress who plays his wife. And Pooh’s lines are so funny. He’s truly a genius in the guise of a silly old bear.
(Did you enjoy this review? Check out Scott William Foley’s latest book HERE!)