Monday, November 19, 2018

Christopher Robin Review

Our church "camp-out" was the weekend before last. I say "camp-out" because it was cold. Like, literally freezing most of the time—it was 20 degrees below the average for the time of year, and warm before and after that particular weekend, so go figure. We managed to get in a hike, but then spent most of the rest of the time hanging out in the cabin playing games, reading books, singing songs, (having an impromptu ballet lesson), and after dinner and s'mores we had hot chocolate and watched Christopher Robin.

Let me first say that I absolutely loved it!

It's a similar concept to Hook: a popular children's character leaves his childhood play, grows up, gets married, has a family, becomes a workaholic, needs his childhood fantasies to become more of a family man. But that's really where the similarities stop. Because Hook was a fun, funny movie ("Mommy could do it!") and Christopher Robin is just so sweet and nostalgic. Robin Williams was a funny guy, which was perfect for Peter Pan. But Ewan McGregor is...I don't know how to describe it exactly, but I thought he made a perfect Christopher Robin. Of course, I could be biased because he plays my favorite Star Wars character, young Obi-Wan, but anyway.

On a side note, this is the story of how Obi-Wan Kenobi married Peggy Carter and the "expotition" that ensued.

The beginning made me weepy, as Christopher Robin has to leave the Hundred Acre Wood to go to boarding school. It shows you his life as he grows up, meets his wife Evelyn, goes away to war while Evelyn is pregnant with their daughter Madeline, and then the war ends and he comes home.

After WWII, Christopher Robin works at a luggage company, but the problem is, they need to make significant cuts to their budget or they'll be laying off lots of employees. Christopher Robin can't let that happen, so he's constantly sacrificing family time for work. To the extent of never really spending time with Evelyn or Madeline, to the extent of Madeline herself working constantly and never playing because that's what she thinks will please her father, to the extent of Evelyn telling Christopher that she hasn't seen him smile in years. And that's why Christopher Robin needs Winnie the Pooh.

Honestly, I loved how easy it was for Christopher Robin to believe it really was Pooh. It wasn't really "Pooh isn't real." It was more "Pooh, what are you doing here?" He had to get Pooh back to the Hundred Acre Wood on a weekend where things were coming to a head and he had to get in a budget-cutting proposal or a bunch of people would lose their jobs. But it turned out that a visit to the Hundred Acre Wood, a reunion with all his old friends, a fight with a Heffalump, and actually putting his family first was exactly what he needed to defeat the Woozle that was going to eat him for breakfast if he didn't have his very important papers. ;) And he had to slow down and realize that "Nothing comes from nothing" isn't really true. "Sometimes nothing leads to the very best of somethings."

The movie is funny, but in a sweet, nostalgic sort of way. Like when Eeyore tells Christopher Robin, who he thinks is a Heffalump, "Thanks for kidnapping me." And when the others all go "Not the song!" when Tigger is about to tell Madeline what a Tigger is. And Evelyn's reaction when Christopher Robin is explaining to her who all the animals are. And it's just so sweet and wonderful seeing all the old characters, so much themselves, so perfect. I love Pooh and Piglet and Tigger and Eeyore and Rabbit and Owl and Kanga and Roo. It's so good to see them again.

I don't want to say too much more for the sake of spoilers, but just know that it was a wonderful movie. If you ever loved Winnie the Pooh, watch Christopher Robin.

P.S. So much of the beginning was taken directly from the end of The House at Pooh Corner. It's so sweet and sad.

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