A.A. Milne’s wrote wonderful stories about a honey-obsessed bear named Winnie the Pooh and his friends comprising Kanga and her child Roo, Rabbit, wise Owl, anxious Piglet, the always pessimistic donkey Eeyore, and the bouncy Tigger, and the film takes you back in their world. The film opens up with a farewell party for the human friend of the furry animals — Christopher Robin, who is packed off to boarding school afterwards. Readers of the books may have wondered what happened to Christopher afterwards and this film gives you that answer. We see him having a miserable time at the boarding school, then later, having grown up, falling in love with Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and starting a family with her. He enlisted in the army during the World War II and returned home to an era where the jobs were scarce and economic conditions were dim. He works his back off in a furniture firm, working long hours and even weekends, much to the chagrin of his young daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), who like him is due to join a boarding school soon. He vows to take his family to a weekend holiday at a cottage in Sussex but is unable to do so because of work constraints. However, fate not only sends him there but reunites him with his long-lost childhood buddies as well…The growing up instances are passed off quickly and have the feel of artist E.H. Shepard’s sketches from the books. The movie’s historical context — the war scenes and post-war depression as well as break-up of class barrier and equality of women in the workforce may sound like forced history lesson for its target audience comprising young children but nevertheless lends a gravitas to the proceedings.
Today, we are all caught up in a trap of doing things. Even children get subjected to different activities during their vacations and during school weeks their free time is constantly monitored. Grown-ups are supposed to be constantly doing something. We work long hours and take work home during weekends and have kind of accepted this lifestyle. The film harks back to a time when doing nothing meant exactly that and wasn’t looked upon as a sin.Pooh’s philosophy is “Doing nothing often leads to the very best something” and he makes sure Robin remembers that. Pooh gets the best lines. Like when he espies a train-station ticket clerk, he asks Christopher, “Why is he in a cage?” While in the train, Pooh starts playing the name the object game, naming everything he sees outside the window. It’s something that Christopher emulates while returning from Sussex. The other animated character that gets the most laughs is Eeyore, who has got a perpetually pessimistic view of life.