At some point, we all have to grow up and take on the tasks expected of us as adults. For many, this could be seen as a good thing since you get a chance to have a level of freedom that you were never allowed to have as a child. For others, it could be the opposite since life could become less dramatic and fun as you get on in years and are required to take on the burden of responsibility. That’s essentially what the titular character in Christopher Robin faces as he stares down obstacles that are sure to challenge his future.
After going on numerous adventures with the likes of Winnie the Pooh, Tigga, and Piglet, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) has grown up and has left time he spent in Hundred Acre Wood behind him. Instead of finding peace and satisfaction in this world, Robin has seen himself stuck in a thankless job where he’s overworked and underpaid. He’s also left with little time to spend with his wife (Hayley Atwell) and daughter (Bronte Carmichael). Under these circumstances, he’s lost sight of what made life great, but with the help of his childhood friends, he might be able to rediscover all of it and live his life in a way that benefits everyone he loves.
There’s an honest attempt to build Christopher Robin up in a conventional way that will grab your attention in the early going. During this segment, a slow pace isn’t completely unexpected, but the fact that it carries on in this manner for while is hard to ignore. In fact, the first couple of acts in this film are pretty slow. In spite of it moving at this speed, there are some pleasant moments here, but it’s difficult to enjoy them as much as you should be able to. Moments like these can elevate a film, but in this particular case, they prevent it from completely sinking into the depths of extreme boredom that seemed pretty close quite often.
After we manage to get through the slow-paced first and second acts, the movie begins to move along as you might have hoped it would have from the start. This is also where it begins to feel like the children’s movie that people might be hoping to see. What looked to be a mediocre movie at best turned into a decent picture once things finally begin operating more fluidly. It’s partially because of its new-found speed, but it’s also because all of the positives that we got out of the first couple of acts carried into the third and final act.
One of the features that stands out and helps to make this wonderful in certain spots are the constant moments that Winnie the Pooh and his band of stuffed animals are able to provide. While a few of them get to showcase their personalities, none standout more than Eeyore. Although all of these guys helped, this is a character who repeatedly breathes life into the movie and manages to steal every scene he’s in. Whatever he does is small and sometimes simple, but it feels so much bigger due t how it all blends in with the film as a whole.
As much as I liked the humor and the tone of Christopher Robin, I can’t get over the feeling that this would have been a better experience had the speedier pace seen throughout the final act been spread out through the rest of the movie. This problem made the film harder to judge since parts of this have the ability to amuse its viewers throughout while other parts may simply annoy or bore you. Either way, I think there probably will be people who see this and admire most of what’s included. For everyone else, you may adore it to some extent, but you’ll likely leave realizing this could have been better than it ended up being.
Director: Marc Forster
Film Length: 104 minutes
Release Date: August 3, 2018
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
- Score - 6/106/10