Christopher Robin is a genuine and heartfelt delight from start to finish. It perfectly embodies what made all the tales that took place in the Hundred Acre Wood so iconic, and gives that world a fresh coat of live-action paint while spinning a classic yarn that can easily be enjoyed by the entire family.
Ewan McGregor does an outstanding job as an older, lost Christopher Robin who goes on an emotional journey to learn who and what is really important in life as he goes with Pooh on a physical one to help find his friends. The story is fairly cliche and predictable, but the cast is strong enough to keep audiences invested.
Hayley Atwell and Bronte Carmichael are great as Christopher’s wife and daughter too. They both play off of McGregor well, and have a few fun moments throughout the movie. I earnestly hope we get a sequel with the entire family having an adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood.
Speaking of the Hundred Acre Wood, all its mainstay inhabitants return, hitting every nostalgic nerve they possibly can. The new voice actors for Eeyore (Brad Garrett), Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), and Owl (Toby Jones) breathe new, real life into their CGI characters, and never allow a joke or sweet moment to fall flat. Unfortunately, Kanga (Sophie Okonedo), and Roo (Sara Sheen) only get a few, very short scenes, none of which give them nearly enough to do or say.
Best of all was veteran Pooh and Tigger voice actor, Jim Cummings. These were the Pooh and Tigger I saw/heard as a kid, so my sense of nostalgia went off the charts every time they spoke. Be it pearls of wisdom, misunderstandings of the world outside theirs, or a combination of both, Cummings was absolutely phenomenal every single second.
Amazingly, Christopher Robin never feels like it’s pandering to the nostalgia it exudes. Sure, there are a few renditions of musical numbers (one of which may or may not be about a certain “wonderful thing”), but none of them feel forced. They’re all effortlessly dropped into scenes and appear as truly genuine as possible.
I also need to mention that the special effects behind these iconic animals is breathtaking. I’m usually pretty picky with CGI characters and green screens, and am easily taken out of the film when a shot looks off, but that never happened with Christopher Robin. The only issue I had was the designs of Rabbit and Owl (who look more like anthropomorphic versions of their namesakes, unlike the others who could pass for plain old toys), but I’m nitpicking at this point because they still looked incredible and almost seamlessly fit into the film world with the rest.
Christopher Robin might not knock off everyone’s socks like it did mine, but I don’t see how anybody could possibly leave it feeling down or disappointed. This is the feel-good movie of the Summer, without a doubt. It’s endearing, sincere, and knows exactly what it wants to be. Kinda sounds like a certain yellow bear, huh?