Christopher Robin (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Marc Forster|
|Edited by||Matt Chessé|
Walt Disney Studios|
|Box office||$69 million|
Christopher Robin is a 2018 American fantasy comedy film directed by Marc Forster and written by Alex Ross Perry, Tom McCarthy and Allison Schroeder, from a story by Greg Brooker and Mark Steven Johnson. The film is inspired by A. A. Milne and E. H. Shepard's book Winnie-the-Pooh and is a live-action/CGI extension of the Disney franchise of the same name. The film stars Ewan McGregor as the titular character alongside Hayley Atwell, as well as the voices of Jim Cummings and Brad Garrett. The plot follows Christopher Robin as he has grown up and lost his sense of imagination, only to be reunited with his old stuffed bear friend, Winnie-the-Pooh.
Plans of a live-action Winnie the Pooh adaptation were announced in April 2015, and Forster was confirmed as director in November 2016. McGregor signed on as Christopher Robin in April 2017 and principal photography began in August of that year in the United Kingdom, lasting until November.
Christopher Robin had its premiere in Burbank, California on July 30, 2018. Released in the United States on August 3, 2018, by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film has grossed $69 million worldwide and received mostly positive reviews from critics.
Christopher Robin is leaving for boarding school, so his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood – Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl, and Rabbit – throw a goodbye party. Christopher comforts Pooh and tells him that he will never forget him.
Robin goes to boarding school, grows up, meets and marries architect Evelyn, with whom he has daughter Madeline, and serves in the British Army in World War II. After the war, he works as an efficiency expert at Winslow Luggages. He neglects his family due to his demanding job and plans on sending Madeline to boarding school. With the company hitting hard times, Giles Winslow Jr. tells Christopher to decrease expenditures by 20%, largely by choosing which employees to lay off, and to present his plan on Monday. This causes Christopher to reluctantly miss joining his family at their countryside cottage in Sussex for a summer-ending weekend.
When Pooh awakens and is unable to find his friends, he decides to travel through Christopher's door and finds himself in London. He reunites with Christopher, who is shocked to see Pooh and reluctantly agrees to bring him back to the Hundred Acre Wood through a door near his Sussex cottage.
After sneaking past Christopher's family, the two enter the Hundred Acre Wood. Christopher becomes exasperated by Pooh's absent-mindedness and fear of Heffalumps and Woozles. Christopher tells Pooh that he is not a kid anymore, before the two get separated in the fog. Christopher discovers Eeyore and Piglet, who lead him to the others hiding in a log out of fear of a Heffalump. Unable to persuade his friends that he is truly Christopher Robin, he pretends to defeat a Heffalump to convince them. Finally believing that it is Christopher Robin, they joyfully greet him. When they reunite with Pooh at their meeting spot, Christopher apologizes for getting upset earlier. Christopher tells Pooh how lost he feels, but Pooh reminds him that they have found each other and comforts him with a hug. The next morning, Christopher rushes from the Hundred Acre Wood to make his presentation. He encounters his family and, unable to tell them about the Hundred Acre Wood, leaves.
Pooh realizes that Tigger has removed Christopher's paperwork in drying his briefcase, so Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore decide to travel to London to give it back. They meet Madeline, who recognizes them from her father's drawings. She joins them, wanting to dissuade her father about boarding school; Evelyn follows later when she discovers a letter Madeline left her.
Christopher finds that his briefcase is filled with Tigger’s items. Evelyn arrives and Christopher joins her to search London for Madeline. Madeline's group stow away in Winslow company crates, but Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet are accidentally thrown out, and they encounter Christopher and Evelyn in the process. Madeline and Pooh arrive near the Winslow building and reunite with Christopher's group, but Christopher's papers are lost when Madeline accidentally trips on the stairs, upsetting her and Pooh. Christopher assures Madeline of her importance to him and that he will not send her to boarding school.
Christopher improvises a plan involving reducing the prices of luggage, giving employees paid leave, and selling their luggage to everyday people to increase demand. Winslow Jr. dismisses the idea, but Winslow Sr. warms to it. Christopher points out that Jr. contributed nothing to the plan, having been golfing all weekend, and Jr. is humiliated. Winslow Sr. agrees to the plan.
Christopher finally takes his family into the Hundred Acre Wood to meet the rest of his friends.
In a mid-credits scene, the employees of Winslow's are seen having fun at the beach while Richard M. Sherman performs "Busy Doing Nothing" on a piano. Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger are relaxing on beach chairs with Eeyore saying "Thank you for noticing me".
- Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin, a businessman at Winslow Luggages who was once an imaginative boy.
- Orton O'Brien as young Christopher Robin
- Hayley Atwell as Evelyn Robin, Christopher's wife.
- Bronte Carmichael as Madeline Robin, Christopher's daughter.
- Elsa Minell Solak portrays a 3-year old Madeline
- Mark Gatiss as Giles Winslow Jr., Christopher's boss at Winslow Luggages.
- Oliver Ford Davies as Old Man Winslow, the father of Giles Winslow Jr.
- Ronke Adekoluejo as Katherine Dane
- Adrian Scarborough as Hal Gallsworthy
- Roger Ashton-Griffiths as Ralph Butterworth
- Ken Nwosu as Paul Hastings
- John Dagleish as Matthew Leadbetter
- Amanda Lawrence as Joan MacMillan
- Katy Carmichael as Christopher Robin's Mother
- Tristan Sturrock as Christopher Robin's Father
- Paul Chahidi as Cecil Hungerford
- Matt Berry as Policeman Bobby
- Simon Farnaby as Taxi Driver
- Mackenzie Crook as Newspaper Seller
- Chris Pratt as Sussex Train Porter
- Jim Cummings as
- Brad Garrett as Eeyore, a toy donkey in the Hundred Acre Wood who always loses his tail and talks with a deep depressing voice and tone.
- Nick Mohammed as Piglet, a diminutive toy pig in the Hundred Acre Wood who is afraid of everything but has a big heart.
- Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, a rabbit who is a neat freak and a vegetable farmer in the Hundred Acre Wood.
- Sophie Okonedo as Kanga, a toy kangaroo in the Hundred Acre Wood who is the mother of Roo.
- Sara Sheen as Roo, a toy joey in the Hundred Acre Wood who is the child of Kanga.
- Toby Jones as Owl, the wise owl of the Hundred Acre Wood.
On April 2, 2015, Walt Disney Pictures announced that a live-action adaptation based on the characters from the Winnie the Pooh franchise was in development which would take a similar pattern to 2010's Alice in Wonderland, 2014's Maleficent, and 2015's Cinderella. Alex Ross Perry was hired to write the script and Brigham Taylor hired to produce the film, about an adult Christopher Robin returning to the Hundred Acre Wood to spend time with Pooh and the gang. On November 18, 2016, it was reported that the studio had hired Marc Forster to direct the film, titled Christopher Robin, and the project would have "strong elements of magical realism as it seeks to tell an emotional journey with heartwarming adventure." On March 1, 2017, Tom McCarthy was hired to rewrite the existing screenplay.
On April 26, 2017, Ewan McGregor was announced to play the title character while Allison Schroeder was recruited to do additional work on the script. On June 22, 2017, it was revealed that Gemma Arterton had been in negotiations to portray the wife of the title character but, ultimately, she passed on the role. In August and September 2017, Hayley Atwell and Mark Gatiss were cast as Evelyn, Christopher Robin's wife and Giles Winslow, Christopher Robin's boss, while Brad Garrett and Nick Mohammed were cast as Eeyore and Piglet with Jim Cummings reprising his roles as both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. In January 2018, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo and Toby Jones were cast as Rabbit, Kanga and Owl respectively. Chris O'Dowd was originally announced as the voice of Tigger, but later stepped down from the role after audiences in test screenings reacted negatively towards how he voiced the character and was replaced by Cummings.
Principal photography on the film began in early August 2017, in the United Kingdom, and concluded on November 4, 2017. Much of the filming of the Hundred Acre Wood scenes took place at Ashdown Forest, which was the original inspiration for the setting, as well as Windsor Great Park.
Jóhann Jóhannsson was hired to score the film, shortly before his death on February 9, 2018. The film is dedicated to his memory. Klaus Badelt was announced as taking over composing duties for Jóhannsson, but the score was ultimately written by Geoff Zanelli and Jon Brion. At an Academy event, songwriter and Disney Legend Richard Sherman revealed that the film would feature the iconic "Winnie the Pooh" theme, and that he was working on three new songs for the film, titled "Goodbye Farewell", "Busy Doing Nothing" and "Christopher Robin", with the first one being performed by the voice cast, and the last two by Sherman. "Up, Down and Touch the Ground" and "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" are also included in the film.
Visual effects studios Framestore and Method Studios, are leading the animation for the Hundred Acre Wood characters, with Overall Vfx Supervisor Chris Lawrence and Animation Supervisor Michael Eames leading the teams.
Christopher Robin premiered in Burbank, California on July 30, 2018, and was released on August 3, 2018 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film was denied release in China, as Chinese netizens have drawn comparisons between Winnie the Pooh and Chinese leader Xi Jinping since mid 2017. 
In the United States and Canada, Christopher Robin was released alongside The Spy Who Dumped Me, The Darkest Minds, and Death of a Nation: Can We Save America a Second Time?. The film made $9.5 million on its first day, including $1.5 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $24.6 million, finishing second at the box office behind holdover Mission: Impossible – Fallout. The film fell 47% to $13 million in its second weekend, finishing third behind The Meg and Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 71% based on 154 reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Christopher Robin may not equal A. A. Milne's stories – or their animated Disney adaptations – but it should prove sweet enough for audiences seeking a little childhood magic." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 60 out of 100, based on 40 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Ben Kenigsberg of the New York Times reviewed the film this way: "Once Christopher Robin softens its insufferable, needlessly cynical conception of the title character, it offers more or less what a Pooh reboot should: a lot of nostalgia, a bit of humor and tactile computer animation." And David Sims of The Atlantic wrote, "It's an odd, melancholic experience that at times recalls Terrence Malick as it does A. A. Milne, but there will certainly be some viewers in its exact wheelhouse." Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 3 out of 4 stars and said, "Pooh's wisdom and kindness cannot be denied. The same impulses worked for the two Paddington movies, God knows. Christopher Robin isn't quite in their league, but it's affecting nonetheless."
Conversely, Alonso Duralde of TheWrap called the film "slow and charmless" and wrote, "What we're left with is a Hook-style mid-life crisis movie aimed at kids, designed to shame parents who spend too much time at the office and not enough with their families." Sarah Melton from Exclaim! gave the film a rating of 5/10, calling it a "sickly sweet tale" with a predictable ending. Helen O'Hara of Empire magazine gave the film a 2 out of 5 stars and said "Everyone’s trying hard, but they can’t quite live up to the particularly gentle, warm tone of Pooh himself. Unlike the bear of very little brain, this is a film pulled in different directions with entirely too many thoughts in its head".
The performance of Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin was particularly well-received. David Fear of Rolling Stone said, "He's an actor who can roll with this movie’s punches, whether it requires him to be light on his feet or dragged down by existential despair, exhilarated by childlike play or exasperated by a house-wrecking creature who says things like,'People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day'." Adam Forsgren for East Idaho News wrote, "First and foremost is McGregor’s performance in the title role. The guy sells being the put-upon, overburdened office drone so well that it's a treat to see him begin to rediscover his younger self and let himself play...McGregor is the glue that holds this whole movie together." Stephanie Zacharek of Time stated, "But it's doubtful the movie would work at all if not for McGregor: He turns Christopher's anxiety into a haunting presence, the kind of storm cloud that we can all, now and then, feel hovering above us. Yet McGregor is also an actor capable of expressing unalloyed delight. And when, as Christopher Robin, he finally does, some of that delight rubs off on us too." Brian Lowry also noted in his review for CNN, "Give much of the credit to McGregor in the thankless task of playing opposite his adorably furry co-stars, ably handling the comedy derived from the fact that he doesn't dare let others see them."
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As for the residents of Hundred Acre Wood, there's Jim Cummings voicing Winnie the Pooh and Tigger
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- Sims, David. "Christopher Robin Is as Deeply Weird as It Is Charming: Disney’s new take on the Winnie the Pooh property is a gentle, melancholic reminder that we should all relax once in a while," The Atlantic (August 3, 2018).
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