Genre: Drama/Family
Director: Marc Forster
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss, Jim Cummings, Chris O’Dowd, Brad Garrett, Toby Jones, Nick Mohammed , Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo
RunTime: 1 hr 44 mins
Rating: PG
Released By: Walt Disney Studios
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 2 August 2018

Synopsis: In the heartwarming live-action adventure "Disney's Christopher Robin," the young boy who loved embarking on adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with a band of spirited and lovable stuff animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

Movie Review:

When Disney released the first teaser trailer for the live action movie Christopher Robin, the Internet went wild. Seeing a CGI version of Winnie the Pooh caused enough excitement for fans to go all emotional, as they are pretty sure that the silly old bear’s live action debut will be a heart tugging affair. Will this trip into the Hundred Acre Wood well worth the wait?

Many of us would know how as a child, Christopher Robin spent the happiest time with his toy animals. Like everyone else, he grows up and must leave for boarding school. Adulthood eventually sets in as he goes to war, gets a job and sets up a family. Exasperation and frustration set in when there are assignments to complete, deadlines to catch and expectations to meet. What does it take to take a little time off to relive those times with your childhood friends Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo?

Disney has enjoyed success bringing their animated properties to the big screen with a live action twist. There are exceptional ones like Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (2015), Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book (2016) and Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast (2017). The studio’s latest project doesn’t disappoint either, but viewers may be left a little dejected by the harsh realities of life when the credits roll.

The movie spends a good half of its 104 minute runtime establishing the fact that life hasn’t been kind to Christopher Robin. You see the adorable kid grow up to a frizzled adult played by Ewan McGregor (the Internet’s Obi Wan references by Star Wars fans are hilarious) - a boy who is constantly teased by his schoolmates becomes a struggling salary man who gets by day after day, forgetting that he was someone who had all the imagination in the world. Is this what being a mature adult is all about?

Enter Pooh, who brings Christopher Robin back to the enchanted Hundred Acre Wood. He reunites with the gang and spend some carefree time. But reality sets in and Christopher Robin has to rush back to the real world to deliver his presentation. Will he make it in time and give his boss what he wants? Don’t worry, because you can trust Pooh and his friends step into the real world to save the day, not without going through a series of misadventures, of course.

Marc Forster, who directed Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland (2004), treads familiar ground. In that Oscar nominated film about playwright J. M. Barrie and his relationship with a family who inspired him to create Peter Pan, he tackled a tale about a adult getting in touch with his inner child. Here, things are weightier (has the world changed that much in the last 14 years?) and viewers get a dreading sense that once this fantasy ends, people have to go back to their routine lives.

While Simon Curtis’ Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017), a drama about the lives of Winnie the Pooh’s creator AA Milne and his family, was a melancholic outing, this Disney movie gives you the magic and has you knowing that it won’t last forever. Sigh.

We love the visuals of this live action movie though. As seen from the movie trailers, the furry toys are so lovingly created, it makes you want your own toys at home to start talking to you. The landscapes are breathtakingly beautiful, which makes you want to hunt down your own Hundred Acre Wood. There are also familiar lines from the animated series which will appeal to the nostalgic fans. One of our favourite bits is when Tigger sings his signature tune “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers”!

Voice actor Jim Cummings returns to bring life to Pooh and Tigger, which is a nice nod to the beloved series. Joining him are Brad Garrett as Eeyore, Nick Mohammed as Piglet, Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, Toby Jones as Owl, Sophie Okonedo as Kanga and Sara Sheen as Roo. Hayley Atwell and Bronte Carmichael play Christopher Robin’s wife and daughter respectively, and they provide the anchor to remind you why family is what you should be rooting for at the end of the day.   

Movie Rating:

(There comes a time when we need to return to the Hundred Acre Wood to relive the fond memories we shared with Winnie the Pooh and friends)

Review by John Li

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