This enchanting story takes us back to when Christopher Robin says goodbye to his childhood friends at a picnic in the 100 acre wood where he proclaims, “I’m not going to do nothing anymore.” Set in post-WWII London, this enchanted reunion between the now adult Christopher Robin, played by Ewan McGregor, and Winnie the Pooh, his beloved stuffed childhood bear, helps him put his priorities in perspective.
After serving in the war, Christopher returns home to work as an efficiency manager in a London luggage company. Married with a daughter, Madeline, he is a workaholic with little time for his family. One weekend Pooh can’t find his friends and rolls out of a tree across from Christopher Robin’s London flat. He takes Pooh to Sussex with plans to drop him back off in the woods, but though a series of events, ends up reuniting with his childhood gang of Tigger, Eeyore, Owl, Piglet, Rabbit, Kanga and Roo.
The writers even found a way to incorporate the imaginary dreaded Heffalumps and Woozles. There are so many lessons to be learned throughout this heartwarming, nostalgia-infused movie. Even Pooh’s simplistic saying, “Doing nothing often leads to the best kind of something,” is taken to heart as Christopher rediscovers the joys of childhood in his adult life and that what’s truly important is family.
This movie is designed for lovers of these A. A. Milne characters, which are based on his real-life son Christopher and his stuffed bear, originally named Edward, but then renamed Winnie after a Canadian black bear. The actual 100 acre wood was derived from a five hundred acre wood in East Sussex. Milne was a noted writer of plays, novels, and poems, but is best known for the tales of these classic characters, although it was an honor he never embraced.
Being a huge Tigger fan myself, I was delighted when Tigger performed his well-known song as he bounced about. Eeyore, voiced by Brad Garrett, did not disappoint with his lovable, gloomy outlook on life. Human-like animation gave the characters a lifelike quality. It was amazing how alive the characters were with only button eyes and tattered fur. The subtle cues came from their slight eyebrow and mouth movements, coupled with their tone of voice and made it so they appeared almost human. Jim Cummings was the voice of both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, which he has been for decades.
My friend Carolyn loved the clever cinematography, which went back and forth from the original book illustrations to real life. We both felt the crossover from real to imaginary was excellently done.
Children will probably enjoy the movie more if parents explain the importance of Winnie the Pooh and the gang during their growing years. Geared for both adults and children, this slow-paced movie delivers a powerful message to slow down in these frenetic times. It proves that Pooh’s lessons are timeless and there is not enough honey in the universe to fill his rumbly tummy.
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Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Kids and Family
Director: Marc Forster
Written By: Alex Ross Perry
Actors: Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Jim Cummings as the voices of Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger, Brad Garrett as the voice of Eeyore
Running Time: 1 hour 44 minutes