Swanner: Christopher Robin begins with a final picnic. It’s the last time Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) would spend his time in the Hundred Acre Wood with his friends Pooh and Piglet. Christopher is being sent to boarding school where he’ll no longer needs the ways of his childhood. We see him grow into a man and ultimately with a child of his own. As a grown up he has many obligations including his family and job but when he seems lost, Winnie the Pooh finds his way to Christopher Robin to remind him what really matters.
Judd: I liked Winnie the Pooh when I was a youngster, so I was looking forward to seeing what Disney would do to reintroduce one of their most popular characters. With director Marc Forester at the helm, whose resume is about as diverse as one can get, I wasn’t worried about the quality of the film. I was worried about what they would do with the characters, and if Pooh’s gentle innocence could play to today’s mad-dash youth and their harried parents. Christopher Robin’s pace and story reminds us just how important it is to slow down and “do nothing” every now and then.
Swanner: I was concerned in the beginning as well because Pooh and friends weren’t big partiers, but more of the tea type. I didn’t follow Pooh as a child, so I just know what I know from being an adult. His stories were sweet but slow, after all, they were read to children. Foster did a lovely job with the Hundred Acre Wood. It was a simple place to watch a summer afternoon drift into evening, compared to the gray fast paced London. By the end of the film I wanted to find my own hundred acres and the childhood that slipped away from me.
Judd: The film looks amazing with all the stuffed animals looking like well-loved, well-worn toys. I know it’s all CGI, of course, but there were moments were it looked like incredible stop-motion – like these were actual stuffed animals talking and moving about. I was truly amazed. The story, on the other hand, was a little by-the-books where an overworked adult learns the meaning of his family and true happiness.
Swanner: They were CGI? I love the movies! The story was a bit simple, but I think they wanted the relationships to matter more. I really hope people love this movie as much as I do. I still have my teddy bear from my childhood, so the idea of finding the boy I once was, seems like the perfect way to spend a summer day.
Swanner: 4 stars
Judd: 3 stars