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Westside Steve

Christopher Robin review

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Christopher Robin
Disney
PG.                       120 min
“It’s hard to explain how a few precious things seem to follow us all of our lives”
That’s from Kenny Loggins Return to Pooh Corners and it’s kind of the idea behind this movie. One of the fondest memories from almost everyone’s childhood is The Life and Times of Winnie the Pooh and his human friend CHRISTOPHER ROBIN (Ewan Macgregor). Frozen in time through many decades these characters never age and never change. Or do they? If anyone could be trusted to follow this Legend to the modern age it would be the folks at Disney and that’s just what they’ve done.  What we have is a classic period piece set in mid 1900s England. Christopher Robin is no longer an innocent child, he’s grown up and bid fond farewell to Pooh and his animal entourage. As for many of us as time rolls along we lose our childish fascination with make believe and fantasy as the rigors of daily life take their toll. It’s a reasonably common story and incorporated here as Christopher Robin finds himself husband, father and unfortunately an employee. Actually his job doesn’t even sound like fun; an efficiency operator for a luggage company whose task at hand is to find ways to winnow down expenses and eliminate what they can do without. Sadly that might turn out to be some actual employees. At home Robin is so stressed out and focused on this job he ignores his family and has to give up a family vacation, sorely disappointing the wife and daughter.
Meanwhile back in the magical woods poor little Pooh has lost his way. He finds himself separated from his friends Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo and somehow winds up in London on a park bench behind his old friend. PPoh is very frightened that his friends might have fallen prey to the evil Heffalump and eventually persuades Christopher to very reluctantly come back to the forest and help. Even with the deadline of filing his efficiency report bearing down he somehow finds a way to help the little bear out just a little bit before everything begins to fall apart. But somewhere along the fantastic journey he has lost a big pile of apparently very important papers without which he will certainly lose his job when he returns to London.
I don’t suppose I expected high drama and fast paced action form a Winnie the Pooh film. And after learning the setup the outcome was obvious. To be sure there is a certain sweetness embedded in this lovely and gentle film but I do wonder exactly what audience is it’s trying to reach. The storyline of pressures at work and disillusion of grown ups doesn’t seem like it would be particularly interesting to the small children who might otherwise love the nonsensical bear. It’s not quite intriguing enough for older people who grow up with that bear either. One very positive note is that most of us remember the voices of Winnie and his friends and the present day voice talent is has done a wonderful job. Jim Cummings whodoes both Pooh and Tigger and Brad Garrett as Eeyore are amazing. Still at the end of the day the film is a little bit slow and not very focused on either grown ups or small children. But it’s hard to work up any animosity as it’s really a good natured movie. 
B-
WSS
 

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