By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
This weekend might seem like somewhat of letdown for moviegoers especially after seeing Tom Cruise’s thrilling, “Mission Impossible: Fallout” and Denzel Washington’s equally riveting, “The Equalizer 2.”
Then again, if you’re a fan of Winnie the Pooh, Walt Disney’s latest live-action/CGI movie, “Christopher Robin”
might be just the ticket for you.
Director Marc Foster, whose work includes: “World War Z,” “Monster’s Ball,” “The Kite Runner” and “Finding Neverland,” steps a bit out of his comfort zone with this re-imagined version of the plush toy bear and the little boy who loved him.
The wide-eyed kid in “Christopher Robin” is played by newcomer Orton O’Brien. We first see him playing in the Hundred Acre Wood with his furry/feathered friends: Winnie the Pooh and Tigger (voiced by Jim Cummings, TV’s “Family Guy”), Owl (Toby Jones, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), Piglet (Nick Mohammed, TV’s “Sally4Ever”), Rabbit, (Peter Capaldi, TV’s “Dr. Who”), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo, TV’s “Wanderlust”), Roo (Sara Sheen) and a scene-stealing Eeyore (Brad Garrett, TV’s “Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure”).
But time marches on and little Christopher is soon sent to boarding school. Then he grows up to face the real, cold world that includes fighting in World War II.
Christopher Robin, now played by Ewan McGregor (“Miles Ahead”) has a lovely wife (Hayley Atwell, TV’s “Avengers Assemble”) and an adorable, young daughter named Madeline (Bronte Carmichael, “On Chesil Beach”).
What Christopher doesn’t have is enough time to spend with them. That’s because he works relentlessly as a manager at a luggage company in London.
His boss, Giles Winslow (Mark Gatiss, TV’s “Sally4Ever”) has tasked him with finding ways to make the company more profitable even it means cutting staff.
Christopher Robin longs for the days when life was easier. Adulthood has robbed him of all that childhood wonderment and adventure he used to have. But that soon changes when he bumps into Winnie-the Pooh, the “bear of very little brain” and is soon transported back to that special place to help Pooh search for his lost friends.
In the process, Christopher Robin rekindles what had been missing from his life.
Full disclosure, I’m not a big Winnie the Pooh fan. As a kid, I knew about the beloved A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard characters and story, but never got wrapped up in the “Pooh” mystique.
That said, I enjoyed and was far more impressed with last year’s movie, “Goodbye Christopher Robin” from director Simon Curtis (“Woman in Gold” and “My Week with Marilyn”) than this “Christopher Robin.”
The first 45 minutes or so of “Christopher Robin” is slow. The CGI is good, but I was surprised by the unevenness of this film and its lack of vibrancy and colorfulness. For a Disney movie, it’s rather drab.
Perhaps more than anything, adults who love Winnie the Pooh will experience some heart-warming, nostalgic childhood moments from “Christopher Robin.”
Not sure, however, if kids will be nearly as riveted.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:40 p.m. on radio station KFBK 1530 AM and 93.1 FM.
Take A Peek At This Trailer For "CHRISTOPHER ROBIN"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.