It’s time to look at this recent Winnie The Pooh spinoff that came out in theaters. It’s the kind of film where the trailer doesn’t really speak to you as it’s more of a subdued experience. Still, films like this can be fairly emotional if handled right and that’s certainly what you expect to see. This ends up being a good film. Christopher is definitely really annoying though, but the rest of the cast are able to hold their own as they remind him what it means to be a quality character.
The film starts off with a bit of a montage showing Christopher growing up. He used to hang out at 100 Acres with the rest of the animals, but as he grew up he started to forget the place. By the time he was a grown up he convinced himself that they weren’t real and he had simply been imagining them. (That must have taken a lot of self-brain washing tbh) He is now working at a classic 9-5 job where the company is going under. His boss instructs him to fire a lot of his colleagues in order to keep the company afloat. The problem is that this will require him to work the weekend when he had planned to spend it with his family. He also isn’t thrilled about firing everybody, but is ready to make the hard calls if necessary. Will he ultimately choose the job over his family?
It appears so. Fortunately, Pooh is coming home to get Christopher. See, at 100 Acres all of his friends have vanished. He needs Christopher to find them, but the journey will be tougher than he thought possible since Chris has renounced his ties to his friends. Gone is the nice kid who would help out all the time. All that remains is a shell of his former self, a man who is stuck being the Yes Man at his company. Pooh’s going to have to try and teach him what it means to be a good friend.
Well, you can tell that I didn’t like Chris. He’s just really mean to everyone the whole film. The worst part is that he plays the victim card the whole time. He acts like he’s doing this for everyone else when that isn’t the case. One example of this is how he wants to send Madeline to boarding school despite his wife Evelyn pointing out that this will not be for the best. Chris likes the idea since he was sent to boarding school, but look at how he turned out from there? Then he doesn’t stand up to his boss at all and doesn’t seem like the sharpest tool in the shed. Christopher’s character arc is pretty obvious from the start. You know that he will ultimately see the light so the thing to look for in this kind of arc is how bad the character gets before he starts to turn things around.
Some characters manage to not fall too far down the rabbit hole in the mean time while others really go over the bend. Unfortunately, Christopher is the latter case. It’s impossible to sympathize with the guy since all of his troubles are of his own making. Lets take the weekend trip. Sure, this is important so maybe Christopher should be at the meeting. Well, he still could have gone to the summer house for the first day since the meeting wasn’t til the next day. He could play with Madeline and Evelyn at that point and then work through the night before driving back. Sure, he’ll be sleep deprived, but that’s the kind of sacrifice he should be able/willing to make in order to please his family. What’s a few sleepless nights if it’ll calm down the household?
Throughout the film Christopher acts like he has no choice when there are so many easy ones. Closing the door when the others are trying to dance was also pretty rude. He puts his job ahead of his family with the justification that it’ll make things better once they’re old, but that’s no good. You gotta live life to the fullest now and don’t worry about the future like that. Once you’re old you won’t be able to enjoy things quite as much as you could back in the day anyway so the logic is just backwards. As long as your situation is livable then you’re fine.
Meanwhile, Evelyn and Madeline were all right. They were fairly reasonable characters and were at least here to help guilt trip Chris through his character arc. Without them around his arc wouldn’t really have much of a purpose so they’re definitely necessary. I’m glad they did get to see some action towards the climax of the film at least. If we ever get a sequel where the characters have to fight monsters in 100 Acres I definitely expect them to participate.
As for Pooh and his friends, they were pretty solid as well. Pooh may not be the smartest bear in the bunch, but the guy has heart. Plus, technically none of the animals are all that smart so it’s not like Pooh gets out shined by the others there. None of them are able to come to terms with the fact that they are not supposed to know how to talk in the human world. He does what he can to help instill life lessons in his friends. The voice is also iconic. Then we’ve got his friends who are all nice enough. The best one is the donkey-like creature who is always being a downer. His lines are all pretty genuine and you can’t help but feel bad for the guy. Aside from Pooh I think it’s safe to say that he got the biggest role from all of the stuffed animal creatures.
I’d say that this film shines in its ability to avoid the negatives. There isn’t really much wrong with the film. The pacing is pretty good and the plot’s interesting. Those are the two fundamentals you need for a good film so I could definitely recommend this one. Pretty much anyone could watch this film and have a good time of it. Once in a while you may get a scene that’s a little too silly to take seriously like Christopher fighting off invisible opponents, but for the most part the movie takes itself seriously. You will feel bad for Christopher’s house by the time Pooh is done with it though.
Overall, Christopher Robin was a fun film. The lead did his best to drag it down, but the other characters remained. I do have to say that I was surprised we didn’t really get closure with the neighbor who wanted to play cards. Admittedly that guy did seem a bit iffy, but if Chris had expressed interest in playing in the first place then he was leading the guy on. He should have given a firm “No” and that would have been the end of that. Maybe in a sequel the guy would appear and now they would get along better since Chris is a changed man. If you haven’t seen this film yet and are looking for an emotional experience then I’d recommend checking this one out. You won’t look at Pooh the same way again.