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Film Review: ‘Christopher Robin’ is a Story That Should Have Remained Untold

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CHICAGO – Yeesh. Who woulda thunk that the fine people at Walt Disney Studios would throw the “legend” of Winnie-the-Pooh into a live action “sequel,” with absolutely no life… including the computer generated dead-eyed stuffed machinations of the famous animals. Yet, here we are with “Christopher Robin,” featuring Ewan McGregor in the title role.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Set after the childhood of the title character, this unnecessary film (at least the way it ended up), explores an adult Christopher being revisited by his stuffed pals as he has forgotten the zen life lessons of being and nothingness that his adventures as a boy with Winnie-the-Pooh gave him. Interestingly – and again unnecessarily – the voice actors imitate the original cartoon voices, to scattered success. One exception was Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond” deep-toned brother) who brought blessed humor to Eeyore the Donkey, and I suspect many of his scene stealing lines came out of improvisation (see Kate McKinnon in “The Spy Who Dumped Me”). In conclusion, there are plenty of kid films in the theaters right now, this one can be skipped.

The film opens with the soon-to-be-teenager Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) saying goodbye to his “imaginary” stuffed toys Winnie-the-Pooh (voice of Jim Cummings), Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Owl (Toby Jones), Tigger (Cummings again) and the rest in the Hundred Acre Wood. Cue the montage, as we seen CR going through schooling, World War II, love&marriage (to Hayley Atwell as Evelyn), fatherhood and the workaday world, as an efficiency expert in a luggage factory (I kid you not).

In a thrilling twist, CR has to find a way to cut 20% out of the company’s systems, including personnel (the kids will love that). Pooh, meanwhile, has awoken from hibernation, but can’t find the rest of the gang. By magic, naturally, the Bear walks through a portal that brings him right across the street from CR’s flat. The old friends will help each other, CR to find Pooh’s gang, and Pooh to help CR lighten up.

“Christopher Robin” opens everywhere on August 3rd. Featuring Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, and the voices of Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Nick Mohammed and Toby Jones. Screenplay by Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy and Allison Schroeder. Directed by Marc Foster. Rated “PG” (Wha?)

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Christopher Robin”

*CR1
The Title Character (Ewan McGregor) with Winnie-the-Pooh in ‘Christopher Robin’
Photo credit: Walt Disney Studios

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Christopher Robin”

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