“Christopher Robin is heart warming. It’s familiar, but completely reimagined.” – megforit.com Official Film Review
I am part of the #ChristopherRobinEvent press tour. This post is a Disney partnered post. All opinions are my own.
They’re all back.
Christopher Robin, Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore – and the whole gang.
The Christopher Robin movie storyline will have you laughing and crying on a journey through the spectrum of emotions that everyone can relate to. The idea that no one wants to be forgotten, all of us want to be loved, and we all get a bit too consumed with work at times.
The film opens with familiar Pooh book pages flipping to soft piano music playing the theme song we all know and love. It pipelines you right back to childhood. The illustrations of Christopher Robin and friends are just as you remember them. The chapters progress through nostalgic adventures and rescues. Christopher Robin leaves his childhood in the first few minutes of the film. He has a tea party in the 100 acre woods and says farewell to his friends. Eeryore reads a sad but touching poem of goodbyes. Christopher robin promises never to forget Pooh – not even when he’s 100! (Pooh is voiced by the very talented character actor, Jim Cummings.)
Christopher goes to boarding school and stops “doing nothing”. His father passes away and he is now the man of the house. Christopher must become responsible and grow up through this tragedy. A grown up Christopher Robin (played by the talented Ewan McGregor) goes on to college and meets a lovely girl named Evelyn (Hayley Atwell). They happily marry but soon after that, he leaves to fight in the War.
Christopher Robin grows up a little bit more through the hardships of War. During this time his daughter Madelyn (played by Bronte Carmichael) is born. We see Christopher work hard for his family after the war ends. He works so hard for his wife and daughter that he neglects to spend time with them. He excels in his career and becomes the efficiency manager at a luggage company.
The company is losing money and about to shut down. It is up to Christopher Robin to save the company. The pressures of work take his attention and time away from his wife and daughter. This is where we find Christopher Robin. Christopher is now wrapped up in a stressful career. He continually choses work over his family and sternness over whimsy. His life is collapsing around him because he has lost sight of what is important. He has forgotten the wisdom of the 100 acre wood. He broke his promise. He forgot Pooh. (Do you feel your tender heartstrings being pulled? Oh, it gets even better!)
A series of adventures ensue as Christopher Robin saves his friends and in return his friends end up saving him. Pooh and the gang help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.
Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, step out of the forest and venture by train into London to return Christopher’s important papers…because best friends will always be there for you. Aside from saving Christopher Robin’s job, they help him in the most valuable way. It’s a beautiful tale done in the most wholesome way.
The actors were so well casted! Each one contributes such familiarity to this story. Ewan McGregor plays Christopher Robin in a way that he was always meant to be played. He seems to balance the depth of the overworked adult and then contrast it with the fun father who reconnects with his childhood. Ewan McGregor always adds whimsy to the screen and I am so happy director Marc Forster asked him to be part of this project.
The director also brought in actress Hayley Atwell to play Christopher Robins wife. She is a strong character that never wavers despite her husband losing himself. She stays strong as a woman, wife and mother to little Madelyn. Madelyn is played by Bronte Carmichael. Bronte delivers the lines in such a sweet way, you don’t want her to get hurt or be sad. She adds some invaluable empathy to this movie.
At one point in the movie – Christopher Robins life is unraveling, he retreats to a park bench. He rests his face into his hand and whispers desperately, “What to do, What to do, What to do!”. The film music pauses and you hear a familiar voice (Jim Cummings – the voice of Pooh.) respond, “What to do indeed!” Pooh is back! Jim Cummings voice just melts the room! You can feel the entire theater audience get goosebumps. He also does the voice of Tigger in this film!
I also need to mention how wonderfully the actor, Brad Garrett delivers the voice of Eeyore! He is so glum that is actually makes you happy! In my onion he delivers the MOST comedic lines in the movie! Bless his heart!
Disney somehow captures the quinticential furriness and cuteness of all the 100 acre woods characters. The CGI is impeccable and you totally believe each scene.
Pooh is the star of this movie (sorry Ewan) even if it’s not titled after him. Pooh is the new guru that we need in this day and age. I’ll leave you with a few Pooh words of wisdom “Doing nothing often leads to the very best something.”
The music that accompany each scene is magical. The build up of the soft piano adds the right about of nostalgia. The dramatic orchestra number when Christopher bursts into the board room is perfectly timed! We are all blessed by the legendary Richard Sherman contribution. He wrote all the music for nearly every disney movie…ever. He wrote all the music for Mary Poppins with his brother. He wrote two new original songs for this movie and it wouldn’t be the same without the Richard Sherman touch. This film also includes the old classic Pooh songs you and I love to hum. Wait till you see how they incorporate them! You can’t help but smile.
*Insider Tip: Stay through the end credits for a special surprise! True Disney fans will flip out!
I love discussing the transition and symbolism in all movies. Christopher Robin is rampant with symbolism. I can talk about the symbolism for days (email me if you want to continue this conversation). But instead I will share with you my 3 favorite symbolic scenes.
- Christopher Robin is sitting on steps during his fathers funeral as he “steps” into his new role as “man of the house”. An older woman enters the scene and says “You’re the man of the house now, darling.”
- An adult Christopher Robin finds a drawing of Pooh that his daughter left on the table. He bumps the table when he’s leaving the kitchen and honey begins the spill over the drawing. The honey then rolls off the table and breaks on the floor. The next scene is Pooh waking up in the 100 acre wood. The honey symbolically “wakes up” Pooh in the storyline AND in Christopher Robins life.
- At the end of the movie, there is a happy ending. Christopher Robin is wearing a red knit sweater just like Pooh! He has physically taken on Poohs appearance and he has taken on Poohs morals.
I first learned about this movie at the February 2018 Disney Social Media Mom’s Celebration conference. Kristen Durr (co-producer) brought us a sneak preview clip of the movie Christopher Robin. I cried. It takes a bit to bring me to tears, but I’m a sucker for the “we all have to grow up” dilemma.
Read my Ewan McGregor Interview.
I met Jim Cummings the voice of Pooh & Tigger too!
Disney’s Christopher Robin released nationwide August 3, 2018
Join the hype by using the hashtag #ChristopherRobin
To borrow that famous line from the Great Movie Ride, “I’ll see you – at the movies!”