My family and I love Disney and Winnie the Pooh. I grew up with Winnie the Pooh toys, books and even a Winnie the Pooh dresser when I was a baby, so I have always loved the characters, as do my kids now. So for months we were looking forward to seeing the new Christopher Robin movie, which is out in theaters this Friday, August 3rd.
We got to see Christopher Robin earlier this week, and I will admit my family and I had mixed reviews.
Christopher Robin is a live-action movie about Robin, now a grown-up and played by Ewan McGregor. He has a wife and daughter, and a high-level job at a luggage company in London that is taking over his life. So much that he has to work the weekend he had planned to go to his childhood cottage with his family. His wife and daughter go and he stays behind, trying to figure out how to cut 20% from the company’s budget. This same weekend, his stuffed childhood friend Pooh can’t find Piglet, Tigger or any of his other friends, so he finds Christopher Robin to help him. In the end, Christopher reconnects with the stuffed friends from his childhood who show him what’s really important in life.
It’s a sweet story with a good message. But it’s a predictable story, with the overbearing boss and sweet yet disappointed family, and not surprising results. Ewan McGregor was a good choice to play the role of Robin, but his character is a bit serious and detached through the movie. Maybe because Pooh is pretty blah himself. I expected a silly, joyful, more flighty version of Paddington, but was disappointed. Pooh seemed almost more sad than Eeyore. At least Eeyore had a lot of witty comments about being sad (“A disaster! Why wasn’t I invited?”). Otherwise, Piglet, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger and Eeyore were all like the characters I expected. However, as visually accurate as the live action “stuffed” characters were, I preferred the animated versions I grew up with. In cartoons they somehow had more life in them.
There were a few laughs, and it was entertaining, especially near the end. But most of the movie was ordinary. The conversation, the interactions, the events…I honestly kept wondering when something magical or special would happen. But it never did. And the movie felt long, though it wasn’t terribly long at 1 hour and 44 minutes.
My 10-year-old daughter liked the movie, but my 7-year-old son was bored. It was a bit over his head, I think. Their dad said that the movie was quaint but probably more for adults than kids. I agreed.
The movie is rated PG. It was very clean and kid-safe though. That was good – not many movies are acceptable for all ages. I think the only reason it was PG was for brief war action, as they showed Robin serving in World War 2 during a brief fast-forward of his young adult life. Otherwise, it’s safe to bring younger kids, though I don’t think they’ll get much out of it.
Overall I’d give the movie 2-1/2 stars out of 5. It’s a good family movie, and has some fun moments, but it’s not as good as Disney can do, in my opinion.
Whether you see the movie or not, your kids may get more fun out of these FREE coloring pages and activity sheets.
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CHRISTOPHER ROBIN is now playing in theatres everywhere!