I really feel like a Woozle right now.
I was very disappointed with the saccharine-sweet Christopher Robin, the new film featuring the characters of A.A. Milne which tells the story of what would happen if Christopher Robin grew up and forgot about the Hundred Acre Woods and his dear friend Winnie the Pooh.
I was really looking forward to this film because I was a fan of Winnie the Pooh as a youth. Heck, as a child, I had a stuffed Pooh bear on my bed for years. I anticipated an emotional swelling with tears and a sweeping wave of nostalgia to overtake me making me wish for the old days passed.
Instead, I have a tooth ache from all the sugary sap that was shoved at the story, a story that was sadly too simple to suffice. And yes… that was a lot of alliteration.
Yes, there are some scenes that work here as well. Christopher Robin is not a total loss, but they really try their best to remind you of your childhood. The characters such as Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl all get their classic lines, and Pooh himself spouts off his backward wisdom throughout the movie. Most of that is harmless and fun.
Much of the film concept is similar to Hook, the Robin Williams movie where Peter Pan grows up and loses himself. This time though it is Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor). I have to say, I never thought Robin was his last name, although it was in this film. I always thought it was a middle name and that fact distracted me every time he was called Robin by one of the rotten businessmen such as Giles (Mark Gatiss).
The movie was desperately predictable, formulaic and took zero chances. It was exactly what you would expect if you heard the premise.
I did like the design of the animated characters. They were made to look very much like the stuffed toys that they are. There were some sight gags that were used with this, but those grew tiresome quickly. Brad Garrett voiced Eeyore, a role that he has been playing since Everybody Loves Raymond. Hayley Atwell is here too as Christopher Robin’s wife Evelyn, but she is wasted having little to do. And speaking of wasted, Toby Jones (who voices Owl) is one of the office workers at Christopher Robin’s job. There is not one office worker that Christopher Robin is trying to keep employed that is anything more than a glorified extra. I’m not sure why I should feel anything for these people losing their jobs.
Ewan McGregor does fine as the Gin Rummy-hating adult Christopher Robin, who is shown as a deadbeat dad to daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). There is not much to the character of Madeline. She’s basically a little girl.
You wouldn’t think they could mess this up, but the Christopher Robin movie is simply not what it should have been. You can take your kids to the movie and they should like it enough but there is nothing here that will make you fall in love with Pooh and his friends if you aren’t already invested in them.
The disappointment makes this movie feel worse than it is.