Thursday, November 15, 2018

Christopher Robin: The Most Heartwarming Movie of 2018

REEL REVIEWS

In the 1920s, English author A.A. Milne released a series of short stories about the adventures of a teddy bear named Winnie the Pooh and his woodland friends, but most especially, his human companion Christopher Robin. In 1961, the rights to these characters were sold to Walt Disney Productions, and for better or worse, Disney turned the Winnie the Pooh name into one of their most successful and longest running franchises. Cut to 2018, Disney has adopted a new tradition of bringing their cartoon creations into Live Action, and Pooh and his friends are all brought to life in Disney’s newest film: “Christopher Robin.”

The story follows Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) who’s now an adult and a working-class family man trying to support his wife Evelyn Robin (Hayley Atwell), and his daughter Madeline Robin (Bronte Carmichael). Unfortunately, because of his job, Christopher barely has enough time to spend with his family. To confound matters, his boss leaves him with the arduous task of trying to cut costs for their company, or else they’ll be forced to cut employees. If that wasn’t bad enough, the workload also means Christopher won’t be able to spend the weekend with his family as they originally planned.

As Christopher tries to balance the stresses of trying to save his company and the jobs of numerous employees, his world is forever changed when he’s greeted by an old childhood friend, Winnie the Pooh (Jim Cummings). The small teddy bear tells Christopher he needs his help in order to find Pooh’s other friends who’ve gone missing. And the only way to do that is for Christopher to return to a place he hasn’t visited in years: the Hundred Acre Wood. The film also features Mark Gatiss, Brad Garrett, Toby Jones, and Peter Capaldi.

It’s been 52 years since Disney released their first cartoon short about the little teddy bear that loves honey, and since that day, the name “Winnie the Pooh” has become a cherished character among children and adults. We’ve seen him go from books, to cartoons, to video games, and now, he comes to the big screen in live action. The one question that I’m certain is on everyone’s mind is does Disney’s latest film hold true to the characters and their values?

I can answer that question with but a single sentence. “Christopher Robin” is without any doubt, one of the most heartwarming and touching Disney films I’ve seen since “Coco.” The film perfectly captures the innocence and humor of the books and cartoons that we’ve come to expect. While Disney may have their ups and downs, one thing audiences and critics can count on is their humor will always be wholesome and clean. And “Christopher Robin’s” humor is as good, sweet, and old-fashion as honey itself.

As readers can expect, the movie is about an adult Christopher Robin who’s become a working man with no time for fun and free time. However, through his old friend Pooh and the other characters in the Hundred Acre Wood, he’ll rediscover his childhood and learn how to have fun again. Now, there may be some viewers out there who think this movie may only cater to the nostalgic crowd—people who grew up with the books and/or cartoons. Well, “Christopher Robin” is a movie that’s not only for audiences of all ages, it’s recommended for all ages.

From a child’s viewpoint, “Christopher Robin” can be a movie that shows while growing up can be frightening, it doesn’t mean it has to be an end—just another chapter. It means you receive new responsibilities, but even with them, you can still enjoy the things you grew up with that once brought you joy. From an adult’s viewpoint, “Christopher Robin” can be a movie that shows it’s not only okay to take time from work to enjoy yourself and have fun, it’s as important as responsibility itself. Because if you don’t make time for something as small as reading a fun book, or playing a brief game, you could end up losing your inner child.

It should be noted that compared to other Disney films, this one is a bit slower paced. “Christopher Robin” doesn’t just throw its audience into it, it takes its time. Now, some kids might find that boring, but as the plot gets moving, they’ll soon be entertained by the colorful characters sure enough. Besides that, I feel like this is still a wonderful film to expose them to, not just because of its morals, but because sometimes children need a movie that has pacing, build up, and quiet moments.

“Christopher Robin” is rated PG for some action. This is a film I recommend not only for all ages, but I recommend everyone must see. Children will adore the wonderful cast of characters and the whimsical adventure Christopher and Pooh embark on, while adults with nostalgic ties to the original characters will adore the feeling of seeing their old childhood characters again. In an ironic and fascinating nutshell, this is the main focus of the movie. Which is why the final score for “Christopher Robin” is a 9 out of 10!

Marco Island resident and avid moviegoer, Matthew Mendisana is a Lynn University alumnus. While he possesses a bachelor’s degree in science, it’s the arts that attracted his attention. In his four years at Lynn, Matthew managed to achieve Magna Cum Laude status, earn three publications in the Lynn University magazine, make a short documentary featured in the university’s Film Festival, and created a radio PSA that was later broadcasted overseas.

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