When the trailer for a live-action “Winnie the Pooh” movie titled Christopher Robin was released by Disney earlier this year, fans of the adorably disgruntled teddy were delighted. At first, some were skeptical of a live-action Pooh Bear (myself included), as it would be the first time Pooh would be depicted outside of a 2D reality. But when the official second trailer for the film was released earlier this summer, it became evident that Christopher Robin would be a silver screen adventure promising to wrap us up in nostalgia and tug on all of our heartstrings. The loveable motley crew of critters inhabiting the Hundred Acre Wood were gearing up to surprise us all! But would a modern Winnie the Pooh movie interest today’s younger fans as much as it did yesterday’s older ones?

It’s safe to say that Winnie the Pooh – who’s named after a black bear that lived in the London Zoo in the early 1900’s and named after the city of Winnipeg, Canada –  is one of Disney’s most classic and beloved characters of all time. Winnie the Pooh and his fun-loving forest friends: Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, Roo and Eeyore, are nearly on-par with Mickey Mouse & Friends when it comes to overall fan favouritism. So while Christopher Robin may star recognizable characters, they’re brought to life within a completely new esthetic. I quickly embraced their realism, however, and found that these charming characters we know and love were blossoming as these other versions of themselves on screen –  another fun-loving, comical, sentimental and witty “ex-pooh-dition” has officially landed! 

One might think Christopher Robin to be just another wacky kids movie about talking stuffed toys and animals, but this film is so much more layered and imaginative than that. Ewan McGregor’s Christopher Robin is nuanced and relatable as an adult, and his on-screen wife Evelyn Robin (Haley Atwell, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man) and daughter Madeline Robin (Bronte Carmichael, TV’s Nightflyers) are superb additions to the Winnie the Pooh universe. The Hundred Acre Wood is brought to life with serenity and the visuals of London, England in the early 1900’s are stimulating and picturesque.  There’s even a nod to 101 Dalmations!  

Currently, Disney dominates the movie industry, without question. Not only has Disney claimed the rights to Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, but they’ve also (very recently) acquired Twentieth Century Fox, as well. This opens an entirely new realm for the movie business mogul, and Disney shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In the first half of 2018 alone, blockbusters like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and The Incredibles 2 have already smashed movie records, so it seems out-of-place for Disney to slow down the pace with Christopher Robin, a smaller, “in your feels” type of film experience that shies away from being larger than life and instead settles on the simpler things in movie magic; Christopher Robin will make you feel like a kid again!

From the very first scene in Christopher Robin, when you hear Winnie the Pooh’s voice for the first time (by voice actor Jim Cummings from the late 1980’s, early 1990’s TV series, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh),  it brought a smile to my face. Pooh says one of his famous lines – “Oh, bother” – and my heart melted into a pot of honey. This film obviously sets out to make the audience feel. And it reminds us of the importance of rediscovering the joys of life, just as an aged and work-focused Christopher Robin must do now. After all these years apart, we (both Christopher Robin and the audience watching him) didn’t realize how much we needed the return of Winnie the Pooh. In fact, this movie was manifested and delivered so well Disney should consider turning Christopher Robin into a TV series (on their new TV streaming service coming soon) for an entirely new set of adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood.

“Sooner or later, your past catches up to you.”

4 Popcorn Kernels / 5

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About the Author

Joey Viola is the Co-Founder of MoJo Toronto and an LGBTQ community leader who utilizes his passion and flair for the art of writing by bringing a fresh perspective in reviewing entertainment and advocating for equality, tolerance, and social/political justice.