It’s the voice actors who score over the humans in this film. Voice acting legend Jim Cummings, who has been voicing Pooh all his life, is in his element here. And it’s to the director’s credit that the emotions contained in each voice is captured perfectly by the animation. Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin seems out of form here. Though he does everything that’s expected of him, it still feels like a disjointed effort. Hayley Atwell, who plays his wife, too seems to be in some sort of conflict, trying to find a balance between being a dutiful wife and a newly liberated professional. Child actor Bronte Carmichael is the most natural, capturing the essence of a young girl feeling neglected by her father with consummate ease.
All-in-all, the film takes you on a nostalgic trip down your childhood where you actually got to spend some carefree moments. For young viewers, it repeats the adage that childhood is the best time of their lives and they should grasp each moment if it with both hands.
Trailer : Christopher Robin
Rachit Gupta, August 9, 2018, 7:54 PM IST
Story: Young Christopher Robin is sent to boarding school and he has to leave his friends Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Rabbit behind. Thirty years on, Robin (Ewan McGregor) is married and busy with his pencil pushing job in London. Out of nowhere, Winnie the Pooh appears in London to throw Robin off his schedule and adult responsibilities. Review: Once people grow up, they tend to get overwhelmed by the expectations and norms of adult life. The monotony of schedules and responsibilities take over and the joy of life is reduced to becoming a feeling of nostalgia. AA Milne’s iconic Winnie the Pooh and his friends have long been a reminder of childhood, playfulness and naivety. In this new film by Marc Forster, the treatment is dreary and even though this is a Disney production, the characters have washed out colours as the setting is grey and gloomy. But the crux of Milne’s original work is still there. The film repeats the line, ‘doing nothing leads to the very best kind of something’. The idea is to retain the child within and even when you’re an adult, you can still have fun if you seek out the childhood wonder.
Ewan McGregor sleepwalks through his role of a father and a husband, who does not have enough time for his family. He’s supposed to be an adult, who is completely disconnected with the child that he used to be, but his performance never brings the depth or the emotion to the character. What also feels a bit jarring is the fact that Pooh, Tigger and the other animal-toy avatars from Milne’s universe look worn-out and without the usual colours. It’s a device to depict abject realism and portray that grey feeling of adulthood, but somehow it doesn’t quite add to the appeal of the film.
Unlike Milne’s original work, Christopher Robin is not just a film for children. Robin’s wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) tells him that she hasn’t seen him laugh in years. That’s a clear as day hint to the ‘adulthood has made you boring’ idea. They way Forster’s film builds and delivers this thought is fantastic. The funny scenes of Robin, a grown man, wading through London crowds with Pooh’s simpleton observations and comments are a lot of fun. The scene where Robin’s young daughter Madeline discovers the joy of playing out in the open and exploring is also a nice nod to modern times.
The old school charm of the film, combined with the voice cast performances by Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett and Toby Jones make this movie memorable. This is a treat for those who miss the good ol’ days, when reading a book or exploring the woods was part of growing up.