For many of us, mention of the Hundred Acre Wood evokes vivid memories of the silly, honey-loving bear in a too-short red sweater who charmed our childhood. Then we grew up, and Pooh became all but forgotten. But whatever happened to the boy who was the Winnie-the-Pooh’s dearest friend? The boy that author A.A. Milne based the stories on? Disney’s “Christopher Robin” follows the titular character into an adulthood that ages Christopher (Ewan McGregor) out of the innocence he knew while playing with the creatures who lived in the Hundred Acre Wood.
The film is quick to orient its viewers within the imagination of A. A. Milne with snapshots of his books’ pages and a look at the story setting. Christopher then grows up quickly: he marries Evelyn (Hayley Atwell), conceives a daughter, and goes off to World War I. He finally meets his daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael), upon his return, but finds it difficult to balance family life as a business manager. Enter Pooh—through the liminal door of Christopher’s youth—to London where he implores Christopher for his help locating their friends. While in the Hundred Acre Wood, adult Christopher once again saves the day and, in doing so, reorients his priorities toward family.
While the film entertains with physical comedy, it mostly depends upon the audience’s resonance to understand Tigger’s silliness and Eeyore’s forlorn retorts. If you can reminisce about Winnie-the-Pooh, you’ll find the movie humorous. Even still, the animated creatures are a bit bothersome due to their realistic fur. The plot is quickly and effectively revealed, with noticeable symbolism—Christopher and his briefcase, Pooh and his red balloon.
Winnie-the-Pooh admirers can enjoy this nostalgic journey back to a place we left behind, but even if Pooh wasn’t a part of your childhood, the Hundred Acre Wood is still a delightful retreat.