Disney is world-renowned for their ability to tell a story that transforms you into a magical experience. “Christopher Robin” will weave A. A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” directly into hearts and smiles of children and adults alike. It’s truly a scoop of your favorite ice cream at the end of a summer day.
For many of us who still remember Disney’s 1991 movie “Hook,” the trailer may elude to a similar plot line and many have already dubbed the film as one of the same. While there are similarities of the general plot concept where a childhood character grown-up becomes entangled with characters and villains from their youth to learn that it’s okay to be a kid-at-heart, Disney maintained a storyline and character development that is true to the original genius of A. A. Milne’s Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet and more. While “Hook” holds its own place in movie history with its flare of 90’s humor and talented cast, Disney’s “Christopher Robin” tells a story that’s relatable to every adult with the warmhearted reminder that life isn’t just about work.
Disclaimer: This review includes potential plot spoilers and you should not continue reading past the point if you desire to see the film without a glimpse into the plot.
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Disney sets the stage by opening the story with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and storytelling in the style of the original E.H. Shepard that help build the backstory to the tale. This not only brings the love for original books to the screen but also sets the stage for viewers who aren’t familiar with our friends that live in The Hundred Acre Woods. This is genius because it presents both a sense of nostalgia for Pooh fans and brings anyone in the audience into the story from the very beginning.
Especially memorable is how Disney created the sense of emotion with color and the era. Set in the drab colors of a workaholic, depressive, post-WWII London, Christopher Robin, played by Ewan McGregor, takes the viewers emotions deep into a melancholy state. However, the film picks up as soon as Christopher returns to The Hundred Acre Woods and finds his friends where color in both the visual and personality is introduced.
Disney writers Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder brought our favorite characters to life in a way that everyone who loved the books will remember them by. Winnie the Pooh, voiced by the original himself, Jim Cummings, brings the no-brain, big-hearted bear to life with his poetic “hums” and lines that are drawn in common sense. Especially notable is everyone’s favorite gloomy donkey, Eeyore, voiced by Brad Garrett, who provides the gray charms that you can’t help but crack a little giggle over. The direction of Marc Forster brings the perfect sense of realness in the connection between the real-life actors and CGI voice-acted characters.
Disney history buffs unite, because not only does this film bring the nostalgia of the characters to life, but Disney Legend Richard Sherman provides his voice and talents for, count them friends, five songs for the film. Even better, three of those songs are brand new specifically for the film. Here’s where you can listen to the soundtrack on Spotify. Special hint for all my fellow Richard Sherman fans out there – stay for the credits.
This movie is a must-see for those Disney Adults out there (you know who you are) and I promise that you’ll walk away with a warm heart and a smile on your face.
Special thanks to D23, the official Disney fan club for the preview experience! Learn more about membership exclusives, D23 events, discounts and more.
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