This tale from the works of Winnie The Pooh definitely won’t set the world alight like some of Disney’s more recent live-action adventures – but it provides a light-hearted tale that does just about enough with the material.
This second Christopher Robin-based movie treatment in less than nine months sees Ewan McGregor headline as an adult version of the title character made famous in AA Milne’s famous children’s novels.
When a beleaguered Robin – now focused on his new life with his family and the work commitments that entails – has to let his wife Evelyn (Captain America: The First Avenger’s Hayley ‘Peggy Carter’ Atwell) and his disappointed daughter Madeline (Bronte Carmicheal) go alone to his parents’ old Sussex retreat due to his pending company-saving business issues, Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) appears in London to remind him of his childhood escapades.
The initially intense and stressed Robin then feels inclined to take his old friend back to the Hundred Acre Wood, where he soon forgets his troubles with the rest of the gang – Piglet (Nick Mohammed), Eeyore (Brad Garrett), Tigger (Jim Cummings), Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo), Roo (Sara Sheen) and Owl (Toby Jones) – and he regains perspective on his life.
Sadly the storyline of Robin trying to save his co-workers’ jobs by making cuts at his Winslow Luggages firm is as generic and by-the-numbers as they come – with probably too many lulls to keep some younger children wholeheartedly appeased – but there are enough nods to Pooh and co to pull it through.
And that’s mainly due to an infectiously lovable performance from Cummings’ Pooh, and a notable turn from Carmichael as Robin’s amiable daughter.
Its plotline is probably something that was done a lot better and less predictably in the nineties, but it’s still nice to see Pooh and friends – in an impressively laudable computer-generated fashion – interjected into a live-action film to give the lovable bear a well-earned movie appearance beyond his previous animated outings.
It definitely doesn’t have the brains that elude Pooh bear, but with a little heart and a touch of sickly sweet ‘hunny’ you’ll see the wood for the trees to find a serviceable Disney-inspired tale – just don’t expect too much more than that.
Cast: Ewan Mcgregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss, Oliver Ford Davis, Adrian Scarborough, Mackenzie Crook & The Voices Of Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Mohammed, Sara Sheen & Toby Jones
Running Time: 1 Hr 44 Mins
Director: Marc Forster
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