This charmingly sweet story captures the spirit of the original stories while adding a message that audiences today can relate to.
When you are a child your teddy bears and toys were some of your first companions – but what happens when you grow up and forget about them? This is the premise of Marc Foster’s charming and heartfelt film that brings to life A.A.Milne and E.H.Shepard’s characters to life perfectly for a contemporary audience.
Christopher Robin is all grown up and working as an efficiency expert at Winslow luggage, where he is being forced to try and find cuts in costs at the company – which means he has to miss a weekend away with his wife and daughter. But he has also seemed to forgotten about his childhood companions of Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga and Roo.
But when Pooh can’t find his friends, the bear visits Christopher Robin asking for his help in finding them – which much to his reluctance Christopher Robin helps him do.
What is so lovely about Marc Foster’s film is the way in which it incorporates elements from the original stories such as Eeyore losing his tail and Pooh bear getting a balloon into this new story to keep it accessible to audiences who grew up with Winnie the Pooh stories, while introducing the character in a new way.
At its core, the film has a strong message that a lot of people will be able to relate to: make sure that you live life to the full and not to make our job our whole life. There are plenty of lovely moments that reinforce this – in particular when Pooh asks Christopher whether his briefcase is more important than a balloon, slowly opening Christopher’s eyes to how fun life can be.
The entire film does feel like a celebration of the original stories, right down to the beautiful opening illustrations, with the characters being brought to life just as they appeared in the books.
While Greg Brooker and Mark Steven Johnson’s story can feel slightly weak in places – particularly when it comes to the build up to the final scene, but Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy and Allison Schroeder’s screenplay is lively and entertaining throughout, with plenty of moments of gentle humour that reflect A.A.Milne’s own creation well.
In terms of performances, Ewan McGregor puts in a lovely understated and sympathetic performance as the harassed Christopher Robin, Hayley Attwell as his wife Evelyn is perhaps underused – but when she does get screen time she s spirited and charming and Bronte Carmichael as Christopher Robins’s daughter Madeline offers a very mature and enjoyable performance – reflecting the pain of her father’s distance from their family well. Meanwhile, Jim Cummings providing the voice of both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger is a comforting presence and Brad Garrett is suitably gloomy (in the nicest way) as Eeyore.
Overall, Christopher Robin is a delightfully charming film that is both a celebration of the stories on which it is based and a heartfelt new way to bring these beloved characters to life. Children and adults alike will adore this.
By Emma Clarendon.
Christopher Robin is available to buy on DVD now.