By Troy Ribeiro
Film: "Christopher Robin"; Director: Marc Forster; Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss; Voice Cast: Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Toby Jones, Nick Mohammed, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Sara Sheen; Rating: **1/2.
"Nothing comes from nothing."
"When you do nothing, it leads to the best of something."
"Dreams don't come for free, one has to work for dreams to come true."
These dialogues from Disney's live-action film Christopher Robin which is based on A.A. Milne's classic Winnie the Pooh book series, seem innocuous, but they are loaded. Packed with similar life's lessons, the film tells us that the most important things in life are family and being happy, not work and deadlines.
Designed like an illustrated story book, this fantasy drama opens at a young Christopher Robin's farewell party, deep in the Hundred Acre Woods, the magical land where Christopher's friends Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Leo, Owl, Eeyore, Rabbit and others live. The gang is celebrating their friendship with Christopher before his parents ship him off to a boarding school and away from the magical door that links Pooh's world to his.
What follows, through an illustrative montage, is Christopher's slow march to adulthood. Now, as a middle-aged man Christopher is a hardworking and stressed, corporate man who neglects his family as his boss at Winslow's Luggage forces him to work on weekends.
On the other hand, ever since Christopher left the woods, his friends have been living in fright and often recall how he used to save them from Heffalump, the elephant like character. So one day Pooh passes through the magical door and goes to London in search of him. And after finding him, how they all reconnect, forms the crux of the narrative.
Ewan McGregor as the adult Christopher, Hayley Atwell as his wife Evelyn, Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline, Mark Gatiss as Giles Winslow Jr. Christopher's boss at Winslow Luggage, are all ace performers who deliver near realistic performances.
The Stuffed animals are ably voiced by an ace-cast list that make the animals sound real. They are all pitch-perfect and they all do justice to their characters.
The animation too is near perfect and they mesh seamlessly with the live action shots. The visuals are adequately vibrant and colourful. The frames are aptly balanced with the right shades enough to make it seem like a period drama.
Overall, Christopher Robin is a cute film that will engage every member of the family.