Yesterday becomes nostalgic anthem for ‘Christopher Robin’

BURBANK, CA-Family. Friends. Happiness. Whenever I think of Winnie the Pooh, I think about my childhood. I think about all of the wonderful characters that Pooh Bear hung around and all of their miscellaneous adventures.

Their daily romps would bring a sense of calmness, bring about timeless enjoyable moments, and allow you to sink yourself into an imaginary world that the Hundred Acre Wood clan welcomed you into for a cup of tea or to take part in some sort of escapade. Not much has changed.

The Walt Disney Animation Studios movie Christopher Robin brings back all of those nostalgic feelings of yesteryear with the whole ensemble of friends going on a journey that is nothing short of fun and a bit adventurous. Who can’t have fun sitting and watching Winnie the Pooh, who doesn’t take himself seriously, but is the otherwise rock star leader of Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger, Owl, Roo, Kanga, Rabbit, and Christopher Robin.

This pathway the Hundred Acre Wood crew are on is a bit different than their other previous adventures. The first being that their pal-Christopher Robin-is no longer the ageless teenager who affectionately takes his animal friends under his wing to care for them. In “Christopher Robin,” we see the young adolescent leave the enchanted wonder of the Hundred Acre Wood to take part in life’s routine grind as an adult, get married, have a child and become a worrisome businessman.

Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) and Winnie the Pooh on the streets of London in “Christopher Robin.” Photo courtesy of Disney

Christopher Robin’s life is no longer having tea parties with his left-behind friends. It is a work, work, and no play and no fun Christopher Robin that we see here on the big screen. As adults tend to do, Christopher Robin becomes blinded by ambition and his work so much so that he has very little room in his life for enjoyment, that includes spending more time with his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmichael).

Even though he is now a grown man with a family, Christopher Robin forgets his own childhood. In the process, he dismisses Madeline’s quest for her dad to show his silly side from time to time. While Christopher Robin’s stress level grows, Winnie the Pooh wonders aloud what happened to his friend. He wonders what happened to all of his friends who seem to have disappeared from the Hundred Acre Wood.

A myriad of events eventually leads them all back together again. The magic in “Christopher Robin”  is not in the ceremonious background of the title character (Ewan McGregor), but it has more to do with the message that family and friends are always going to be that support system you need, even when you forget about them. After all, what is life without family and friends?

“Christopher Robin” is not just another movie made specifically for children to enjoy. It’s a family affair. It’s refreshing to see a film from time to time that does not require super-bang explosions and bloody gore all over the place.

For the first time in a long time, I actually found myself laughing out loud at the movie screen. That’s the Winnie the Pooh effect. You don’t laugh at the Hundred Acre Wood gang; you laugh along with them. It is the excellently written dialogue that makes “Christopher Robin” a winner and a film worth seeing.

Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger chilling. Photo courtesy of Disney

The best part of “Christopher Robin” is the perfect blending of the characters, their defining personalities, and how their interaction with one another shields the selfish banter from inserting itself into their inner circle. As Christopher Robin confronts the complexities of parenthood, spousal duties, and typical employment issues, his past (Winnie the Pooh) re-injects its way into his current situation.

When it does, the girded friendship between Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin becomes a trial by fire thing for a couple of tense moments. And along that pathway, Eeyore delivers the goods with his self-depreciating dark humor. Besides Eeyore dropping science with his doom and gloom, end-of-the-world edit, the balance of Tigger’s exuberance helps Winnie the Pooh to incorporate the Hundred Acre Wood castaways into his framework to rescue Christopher Robin from his travails.

What we really see in “Christopher Robin” is that “doing nothing can turn into the very best of something,” a line quoted throughout the film. It makes sense. With the hustle and bustle of today’s society as we live in this constant need to impress others and execute being a busy bee with work and all the things we have to do, “Christopher Robin” tells us to slow down a bit from our daily grind and have some fun.

It is good to be still sometimes. When we do, we often see the benefits of being surrounded by family and friends.

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