The name we all know, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor – Beauty and the Beast, T2 Trainspotting), a family man, working-class. In the midst of much upheaval in his professional life, and trouble at home, he encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh (Jim Cummings – Gnome Alone, Sing), who once again helps him discover what is important, and brings back some joy to his life.
With wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell – Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron) and daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael – Darkest Hour) at the family’s cottage where Christopher grew up, next to the 100 Acre Wood, Christopher is trying to get some work done. However, as fate would have it, Pooh travels to him as he can not find his friends Tigger (also Jim Cummings), Owl (Toby Jones – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Atomic Blonde), Piglet (Nick Mohammed – The Martian), Roo (Sara Sheen), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo), or Rabbit (Peter Capaldi – The Fifth Estate, World War Z).
As a film, Christopher Robin is a delight. It has a few moments that are a little darker than one would expect, but the way in which the characters are not only superbly created (looking both very life-like, and just as one would expect the toy to look), but they feel as if they belong in the real world. There are plenty of nostalgic moments, paying homage to the early days and cell drawn cartoons of Pooh and friends, and moments that are sure to bring a smile. The film is a feel good outing for the family, with the usual Disney message of love, and happiness, but there are so many more layers that one would not expect.
The London city setting makes for a great cityscape, contrasting the natural environment of The 100 Acre Woods, with all this as the backdrop to the computer generated characters, supported by the talents of the cast.
Should one want to brush up on some background to the characters, author of the book on Winnie the Pooh, and the real life Christopher Robin, the recently released disc of Goodbye Christopher Robin would make an entertaining, informative, yet slightly more adult precursor to this current cinematic outing.
Christopher Robin is a delightful Disney release, full of smiles, an entertaining story, and a film that leaves one both feeling good and reflecting on life.
Christopher Robin opens 3 August 2018 in South African cinemas.