Really Late Movie Review: Christopher Robin

Date: 15 April 2019

I rarely go to the see movies in the theater. Because of that, it’s often months before I get to see a movie after it has been released. Such was the case with Disney’s Christopher Robin.

Let’s start with a quote from the official movie synopsis.

In the heartwarming live action adventure “Disney’s Christopher Robin,” the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

“Heartwarming” definitely describes it. My wife watched it with me when I saw it and I lost count of the number of times I heard her say “That’s so cute!” She’s right. Disney did an amazing job of bringing the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood to life. They felt so much like the characters from the original movie. A lot of that familiarity came from the voice performances of Jim Cummings and Brad Garrett.

According to IMDB, Cummings has been performing Pooh and Tigger since 1990. He has their characters down. Given the importance and prominence of Pooh in the story, it was important that he be done well. Cummings absolutely nailed it! What I find just as impressive is that the screenwriters were able to have Pooh talk to now grown Christopher Robin without losing the charm and innocence that makes him uniquely “Pooh.”

I really felt that when Christopher returns to the Hundred Acre Wood with Pooh. Christopher has to help Pooh find his friends and through that process find himself. Afterwards, he sits down with Pooh to apologize for his behavior. The conversation they have had tears coming to my eyes.

Tigger was great in this movie. His love of adventure and total disregard for anything resembling caution makes his journey to London so much fun. They even managed to squeeze in “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers.”

I also loved Eeyore in this movie voiced masterfully by Brad Garrett. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Eeyore. He’s depressed and gloomy but always willing to be part of things. His interactions with an equally depressed and gloomy Christopher Robin help emphasis how far Christopher has drifted from the boy who spent his days in the Hundred Acre Wood.

As much as a loved this movie, there are still parts of it that I had issues with. I could never get into Nick Mohammed’s portrayal of Piglet. The writers crafted the character well but Mohammed’s performance lacks the warmth and charm that John Fiedler brought to the role until he died in 2005.

I have similar complains about Peter Capaldi as Rabbit. Though, in this case, I think the writers totally missed on Rabbit’s character.1

I never quite bought into Madeline as Christopher’s daughter. Christopher, who is working as an efficiency expert at a luggage company, has been trying to instill his work ethic into his daughter. He drives it in so well that poor Madeline doesn’t know how to play and have fun. Where was Christopher’s wife, Evelyn, in her rearing? She’s the one who has been urging Christopher to relax and spend time with the family. She’s the one who tells Madeline to go play when they’re back at Christopher’s old home. Did she have no input into her daughter’s behavior?

Despite these, relatively minor, complaints I really enjoyed this movie. It is a truly heartwarming family film. I can tell you now that it’s one of those movies that I’m going to be watching when I’m feeling down.