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Winnie the Pooh meets IRL in ‘Christopher Robin’

Silly old bear. As long as there are moments to remember childhood and have fun, I’ll never forget about you and what you embody; a tummy full of honey.

Christopher Robin
Rating: PG
Running time: 120 min.
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell

Directed by Marc Foster (World War Z, Finding Neverland), Christopher Robin stars Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Charmichael, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Nick Mohammed, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Sara Sheen and Toby Jones.

A grown-up and working father, Christopher Robin has a chance encounter with his childhood friend Winnie the Pooh, who helps him regain his touch with joy, bliss and just having fun.

We’re witnessing the dawn a new Disney trend: Recreating their animated classics to live-action films. So far, of the six in the past decade, the only critical flops were the Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass, which still packed theaters.

This means Disney has found another decade or so of more material. Honestly, I can’t wait.

With Christopher Robin as their newest live-action adaptation, the Walt Disney Company has an example of what they can do better in their next films. Christopher Robin is bubblegum pop music; fun and catchy, but artificially created to make people happy. It’s successful. I can’t hate on it for that.

In my mind, Christopher Robin is the equivalent to Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” That song is banging, I don’t care what anybody says. I haven’t felt a guilty pleasure quite like it.

Disney knows how to hit those emotional notes. With a lovable and carefree character like Winnie the Pooh, tears will be shed. I cried at a couple of moments.

I feel fortunate to have had a childhood that at times, I think fondly of. Though we all have hard times and feel like we’re missing out on something, sometimes it helps to just play and have fun. Don’t think about it too much. Just be you. Live for today, because it’s wonderful.

Christopher Robin lets this message shine through. It explicitly relies on telling a carpe diem story. However, by the end, it gets carried away and takes a left into cheesy territory.

The second and first halves of Christopher Robin flow on the same spectrum of childhood innocence, but the last part of the film feels more like a paint-by-numbers family adventure.

Coming off of his success of Spotlight in 2015, for which he won an Academy Award for best original screenplay, Tom McCarthy, along with Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder, make the best of an original story starring the iconic yellow bear and his human friend. But I feel like they almost gave up near the end of movie, surrendering to cliché dialogue and expected steps that our protagonists take.

Christopher Robin doesn’t really take any risks. It doesn’t even manage to differentiate itself from other films where an adult loses touch with his or her childhood. I’d say Hook is a better version of this film. More adventure, more fun, and more of an original take on this type of plot would have helped Mr. Robin’s story. But as is, there is little praise to be made.

Still, if a movie affects me in such a way that it makes me feel happier than I was heading into the theater, how is that a bad thing?

Even though Christopher Robin isn’t the best live-action Disney film to date, art doesn’t have to change the game. It can just make someone happy. It can be an entity to remind someone to screw the adult world of stress and responsibilities and in turn, just loosen up a bit and have fun.

Unfortunately, this world needs more happiness and fun.

Take 10 minutes right now and spend it doing something that makes you smile and laugh. Maybe that’s eating a jar full of honey or writing about movies? Whatever it is, you do you.

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