Length: 104 minutes / 1.73 hours
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: a child from a famous story grows up into a businessman who doesn’t have time for his family but eventually comes to face his lack of work/life balance by revisiting the fantastical world of his childhood. If you thought this was the plot of Hook (1991), you’d be right. Unfortunately, it is also the almost-identical plot to the Winnie the Pooh sequel, Christopher Robin (2018). I’d forgive its unoriginality only if I knew who the audience for it was. Is it a morality tale for overworked parents? Is it a lesson for kids to never take work seriously? I honestly don’t know.
I will say that Disney did a good job bringing the stuffed animals of the original story to life in this live-action adaptation, except that I was pretty shocked to find out that Rabbit (Peter Capaldi) and Owl (Toby Jones) were actual animals, and not of the stuffed variety. I suppose that’s bound to happen when the leap to live-action happens. The musical cues to the original song for Winnie the Pooh were a nice nostalgic touch, even if kids who haven’t seen the original wouldn’t necessarily know the reference.
What was weird to me was how this film was shot. It would probably only take a few hours for a talented editor with a suite of creepy music to turn this movie into a horror thriller (with all the jump scares to go with it). I get that there’s this sense of death after Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) was away from the Hundred Acre Wood for so long, but maybe don’t dwell on it so long . . . the children are scared and crying.
An unoriginal and semi-odd take on a beloved children’s classic, I give Christopher Robin 2.5 stars out of 5.