‘Christopher Robin’ a well-done film that’s fun for children, poignant for adults

August 10, 2018

“Christopher Robin” is another version of the classic plot line of a hero who moves on to adulthood and becomes a workaholic and ignores his family and friends, essentially “leaving childish things behind.”

But this version is well told, with characters who we are familiar with.

Director Marc Forster (“World War Z,” “Finding Neverland,” “The Kite Runner”) lets us revisit the world of Hundred Acre Wood and watch Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Pooh as they help their old friend find his true way in the real world.

Ewan McGregor (“Star Wars: Episode I,” “Big Fish,” “Trainspotting”) stars as an adult Christopher Robin, now a workaday slob with a wife and child. His is frantically trying to save his company from laying off his staff, work that is sacrificing his family time.

Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter,” “Testament of Youth,” “Howards End”) plays his wife, Evelyn, on the verge of leaving because he no longer pays enough attention to his family.

Bronte Carmichael (“On Chesil Beach,” “The Darkest Hour”) is daughter Madeline, who suffers in silence until Pooh and company bring on the adventure.

This movie was fun for me, even though I was only mildly familiar (or my memory left me) with the actual A.A. Milne stories.

Bringing this wonderful group of children’s characters to life with a storyline that was interesting to viewers of all ages was a task accomplished with enough movements and silly dialogue to satisfy the youngsters and enough of a serious plot to make the adults care.

While the use of animated plush toys was a no-brainer, Forster wove their “on again/off again” live action perfectly, in order to make for a lot of humorous fun.

The voiceovers were perfect, especially Pooh’s, and the live actors’ interaction with the animals was also great.

A pleasant second-tier performance was turned in by Mark Gatiss (“Game of Thrones,” “Sherlock,” “League of Gentlemen”) as Giles Winslow, and it would have been more fun to have seen more of him in the movie.

This movie is almost a tall tale along the lines of “Big Fish” (which also starred Ewan McGregor) as well as a fiction-based-on-fact story like “Saving Mr. Banks” (with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney), although this would be a fiction-based-on-FICTION, like making “Finding Neverland” (which Forster also directed).

Perhaps there should be a whole new genre of these, and well as “Alice Through the Looking Glass” and other stories that are based on the happenings while famous stories were written.

“Christopher Robin” is a movie for kids, and for adults who enjoy smart writing about their childhood idols.

Give it a try...

Billy Summers is a freelance photographer who also reviews films for the Putnam Herald. He can be reached at summers855@yahoo.com.

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