The Oscar Project Reviews
For anyone who grew up reading the classic Winnie the Pooh books by A. A. Milne and enjoying the animated cartoons of the 1970s, this film is ripe with nostalgia and laughs for young and old alike.
It should come as no surprise that the title character is all grown up for most of this film. It is a treat to see McGregor take on yet another beloved classic character (see Obi-Wan Kenobi) and take him in a new direction with ease. McGregor's Christopher Robin is a grown man working for a luxury luggage company in London and his department has come on hard times. Faced with the prospect of losing his entire department, he plans to spend the weekend working on the figures (instead of vacationing with his wife and young daughter) in order to find a solution and save the jobs of those working for him.
When he runs into his old friend Winnie the Pooh, whom he last saw when he was a young boy in the Hundred Acre Wood, he scrambles to get the lovable bear back home and still have time to get his work done before Monday morning.
Things go sideways when Pooh begs him to help find the friends that he's lost. Robin and Pooh make a mad dash across London to find the old entrance to the Hundred Acre Wood at the Robin family cottage in the country, picking up balloons and avoiding odd stares when people hear the talking teddy bear.
Overall the film felt familiar to fans of the source material. The music we know and love from the original cartoon plays subtly under the action in many places, underlining the fact that like Robin, we may not think about those things from our childhood that often, but when we see or hear a reminder of them, the thoughts can come flooding back.
Ultimately the film feels a little heavy handed in terms of the primary message of finding the balance between work and family. As someone who watched the film with two of my kids on either side of me, I was personally forced to reevaluate my own balance in this area and found it a bit distracting from total enjoyment of the film. That said, the visual effects are tremendous and the animated characters blend seamlessly into the environments from woodlands to cities.
Take time out of your busy work schedule to check this film out with your kids and do a little nothing for a while. You never know what something might come out of nothing.
7 out of 10