I need to talk about Christopher Robin, for an abundance of reasons. The first being that this is the first time a movie or TV show has ever made me cry, and I did it twice (though I promise you this is not an Always Sunny Dennis situation with my feelings).
Another being because this is one of the better movies I’ve ever seen, but not in the way you think. It’s very much like eating at a restaurant. No, it’s not an STK or some 5-star blue ribbon place where you expect the best meal of your life. It’s more like when you’re looking for a place to casually eat on a Friday night, and you pass a place that looks good enough. So you sit down and eat and it blows away your expectations. It’s delicious, not because it’s the best meal ever, but because it’s a tiny burger and wing joint that very much knows what it is and is excellent at what they do.
Now, before I get to into spoilers (and also too hungry), I want to say my criticisms about the movie, because I did have some. The acting by every person not named Ewan McGregor was a bit much and over the top, I had some trouble understanding some characters (read: Tigger), and they spent a bit too much time on Christopher’s work life and dilemma as opposed to making this more about him and his friends, though I get it. The biggest problem with this movie is the plot. Outside of the existing plot of “Pooh needs to find his friends”, “Christopher needs to get closer to his family and to rediscover his childhood”, the basics of it is that Christopher needs to cut 20% of his company’s budget or else everyone is going to get laid off. He spends all of his time working on it and his personal life and family go by the wayside. After his expeditions with his old friends, he solves it by suggesting that (SPOILER) the company should do nothing at all and offer vacation to it’s employees(?). I’m still not sure but this honestly barely detracts from the enjoyment I got from the film, because I’m never trying to figure out how Christopher is going to save all of these jobs. I just want to see the old Hundred Acre Woods gang together again.
I have to talk about the emotional aspect of the movie, because it hit me like a freight train. The intro of the movie is incredibly sad. It starts off with Christopher Robin as a boy, about to be sent off to boarding school, so he has to say goodbye to all of his friends for the last time. After everybody eats too much at the dinner, Pooh and Christopher go for a walk, and they embrace one last time. At this point my eyes were dripping tears, because a lot came to me in that moment. I realized how much I missed being a child. How, at one point, my father picked me up and put me back down for the last time. How I stopped finding the enjoyment in the little things in life, and how fast life has moved when at one point, every moment seemed to inch past. The movie follows that gut punch with a montage of Pooh waiting outside the door to the Hundred Acre Woods to keep the memory of his friend, which was like Muhammed Ali and Mike Tyson teaming up on you. Winnie at one point cannot find any of his furry friends, and the majority of the middle of the movie is Christopher and Pooh looking for them.
The middle of the movie is very enjoyable and is filled with plenty (if almost too many) classic Winnie The Pooh quotes and pieces of wisdom. There’s Heffalumps and Woozles (both of which I had totally forgotten about since my Pooh-watching days). There’s the beautiful moment where Christopher pretends to fight a Heffalump so his old friends will stop being afraid of him, cumulating with Eeyore (who’s dark sense of humor had me rolling in laughter the whole movie) recognizing him and saying, “It’s Christopher Robin…playing again!” And there’s the “Up Down Touch The Ground” song, which legitimately almost made me applaud. All of the friends eventually reunite and when Christopher Robin has to go home to get to his meeting, he forgets his very important papers (well, Tigger replaces them, but you get it). On his way home, a notably different Christopher starts playing Winnie’s game, Say What You See, on the train. On their way to return his papers, they all run into Christopher’s daughter and travel to London to bring him these papers, and when they eventually reunite, Christopher is a changed man who brings his family to the Hundred Acre Woods, has one last conversation with Pooh, and everyone lives happily ever after. A simple plot and yet it is it’s simplicity that makes it so perfectly Pooh.
One thing that crushed me emotionally is that it got me thinking about life and my friends. We have all lost a friend; maybe it was a disease or an accident, maybe it was simply to distance or time. But it has happened to everybody in one way or another. This movie made me miss people and times that I did not even realize or remember. It made me remember how much fun it was to be a kid, even for that hour and forty-five minutes. It reminded me that, before we filled our time with alcohol and responsibilities, there was once just our friends and our imaginations. I guess, what I’m saying, is that this movie just made me happy to see my old friends again. Score: 85/100