Written by Alex Ross Perry and Tom McCarthy and directed by Marc Forster, “Christopher Robin” tells the story of the titular character (Ewan McGregor) who went on so many adventures in the Hundred Acre Woods. Now a husband, father and businessman, Christopher has forgotten the frivolity and joy of his childhood. As the company he works for looks to downsize and tasks him with cutting employees, a friend from his past, Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings), appears to him and realizes he’s become a Woozle.
Much like “Hook”, the film follows an adult character from a classic story to see that he has lost his youth and innocence. It’s a very predictable story from disillusioned adult to joyful parent, but a heartfelt one nonetheless.
In fact, perhaps a little too heartfelt. Images of Robin fighting in World War II, screaming at Pooh and ultimately embracing his old friends against a brilliant sun push the film perilously close towards schmaltz. But with a narrative of this type, with characters as beloved as these, some schmaltz is not the worst thing. It is, after all, a story about a man being reunited with his teddy bear.
Perhaps the film’s greatest sin is in its casting with 47 year-old Ewan McGregor paired with 36 year-old Hayley Atwell as his wife, Evelyn. It’s another example of Hollywood casting substantially older males with younger female co-stars.
But the film is a low-key, sweet tale of regaining perspective amidst an adult world of cynicism. Kids will like it. Adults might like it more.