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Justin Hall: 'Bother' seeing Christopher Robin

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the beloved characters from the Winnie the Pooh series, but now they’re once again on the big screen in Christopher Robin, a sweet-natured, pleasant version that doesn’t really do much else except provide an exceptional amount of nostalgia for its fans. And you know what? That’s enough for me.

Ewan McGregor stars as the title character now an adult living in London and working for a luggage company. He’s so wrapped up in his work that he neglects to spend time with his wife and daughter (Hayley Atwell and Bronte Carmichael). If the themes of Mary Poppins and Hook come to mind, you’re not that far off. 

Our beloved characters from the Hundred Acre Wood make their way into the real world when Winnie (voiced by Jim Cummings) stumbles upon Christopher and tries to convince him to return to the world he left behind. Christopher thinks it’s silly as he tries to reason with Pooh and explain that he has responsibilities. 

Eventually, Christopher relents and he’s once again reunited with his childhood pals: Tigger the bouncing tiger (also voiced by Jim Cummings), Eeyore the perpetually depressed donkey (Brad Garrett), and Piglet (Nick Mohammed). Together they try to help Christopher regain his sense of imagination. 

Christopher Robin manages to contain just enough charm and humor to sustain the attention of younger kids and hopefully provide something for adults as well. In an age where we get so many movies that are cynical and inconsequential and disposable, it’s nice to see a family film that reminds us about the positive aspects of life, such as family values and the relationships we treasure.

The performances are winning, especially McGregor and the voice work is delightfully charming and old-fashioned. The visuals offer something that doesn’t serve as eye candy overload, but rather something closer to the timelessness of the classic Pooh books and animation.

Christopher Robin is harmless and inoffensive, and while some parents may find it to be a moderately entertaining diversion, kids will be amazed enough to, in Pooh’s own words, bother seeing it. 

Grade: B

(Rated PG for some action.)

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