Happy Saturday, folks!
And what a great Saturday it’s shaping up to be, as I’ve not long got back from an early morning cinema trip to see Disney’s Christopher Robin.
For those who aren’t familiar with this one, it’s a live-action adventure focusing on Christopher Robin (as played by Ewan McGregor) as he reacquaints himself with Winnie the Pooh and all of his pals from the Hundred Acre Wood, long after he’s grown up.
Well, I found this movie to be truly delightful and a real treat which has put me in a great mood for the rest of the day. If only every movie could have this effect.
As expected with a movie based around A. A. Milne’s characters, Christopher Robin is a gentle film, which puts a focus on fun and adventure over action or bad language. In the age of bombastic blockbusters and a move towards fast-paced storytelling, this movie is somewhat of a rarity, but deserves to take it’s place as a timeless classic.
Watching this film I felt moved, I felt nostalgic and I felt as if I was being transported into another time and place. One where all of the bad stuff going on in the world had no real power and for a movie to do that, well, it means it is certainly something very special.
What I really liked about this film was the way in which we get to see Christopher Robin go from a free-spirited boy into an uptight adult, via boarding school, the death of a parent, time spent serving in World War II and finally into a high-pressured job. It’s a heck of a lot to throw at one person, but all these situations go a long way to explain why Robin is the way he is.
To put it simply, life has taken its toll on Christopher Robin and it’s easy to see why his personality has shifted and why he can’t just go off and play like he did when he was a boy. I found this very interesting to watch as it really helped sell the character and make him relatable.
OK, so not everyone has gone to war or has experienced such hardship, but we all find ourselves moving further and further away from childhood and it can be scary. It’s films like this that help pull us back to a time that we once took for granted and who doesn’t want that?
Going into this film my biggest concern was that Christopher Robin would get sidelined so that Pooh and Co. could get as much screen time as possible. While the cuddly characters do crop up a lot, this film remains Christopher Robin’s story and becomes a timely reminder that sometimes we all need to take time out from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.
And of course, we should all take time out to remember how much we love Winnie the Pooh too. As a 36-year-old without kids it’s not often that I sit down to watch anything connected to this world – or even this type of story – so it was great to reconnect and identify with the tale that was being told.
Christopher Robin is a beautiful movie filled with heart, warmth and a real attention to detail. It made me feel as though I was reconnecting with friends who I hadn’t seen for far too long, in the same way a Muppet movie or a Toy Story film makes me recall the joy of being surrounded by colourful characters without an ounce of nastiness about them.
This is important to note: There’s nothing mean spirited about this movie. It is what you think it is, just a really lovely film.
My only real issue with Christopher Robin is not with the film itself, but with Disney for releasing it during the tail-end of the summer, when many people are on holiday or when some kids have already started to go back to school. This film should have been given a Christmas release, or at the very least an autumn half-term debut.
But then, I guess this is what happens when Disney owns pretty much everything. Christopher Robin couldn’t have a Christmas release because Disney already has The Nutcracker and the Four Realms lined up for the festive season, so it doesn’t want to create competition with itself.
Christopher Robin is a lovely movie, which deserves to be enjoyed by families and those who just want to remember what it was like to be carefree. Now, go see it – and maybe take your kids too.