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Our family are huge fans of the lovable bear Winnie the Pooh, and his band of merry (or not so merry in Eeeyore’s case) woodland friends, so we have been really looking forward to seeing the live action film, Disney’s Christopher Robin.
Now, we are much more used to seeing Pooh Bear and his pals in cartoon form as the 1 and 4 year old Ticket Rangers are obsessed with the characters, and just like Tigger, bouncing is what they seem to do best!
We have met our wonderful friends from the Hundred Acre Wood numerous times on our visits to Walt Disney World, and we have always loved their cuddly, colourful cheerfulness.
So we were unsure of how a live action movie, which appreared to be much more ‘calm’, for want of a better word, in the trailers would work with characters who we are so used to seeing full of vibrancy and colour.
We were soon to find out! No trip to the cinema is complete without a bag of popcorn as big as your head and enough sweets to make MNSSHP look like they are running short!
The story goes that Christopher Robin, the once imaginative and fun loving young boy we all know so well, has now grown up, and with it came the pressures of boarding school, fighting in a war and that major adult responsibility of work... The dreaded work, the work that we parents know all too well probably takes far too much of our precious family time up.
So, when Christopher misses a family weekend because he has to work, his wife and young daughter feel disappointed but ultimately not surprised. They seem to have gotten rather used to coming last to this older Christopher Robin.
That's when our lovable, hunny loving, hero arrives. And with him he brings a glimpse back to what life was before all of this 'being a grown up' business.
Ewan Mcgregor is perfectly cast in my opinion, I don't want to say too much but the Heffalump scene is just wonderful, and that is thanks to McGregor's believability. Hayley Atwell and Bronte Carmichael are fabulous too as Robin's wife and daughter, if not slightly underused, I would've liked to have seen more of them, although I can understand why we didn't.
The real icing on the cake though, was Jim Cummings. I could not imagine Pooh without Jim's warm and perfectly suited voice, and of course there is only one Tigger, as he tells us in song! (Which incidentally was another favourite scene!)
Daddy Ticket Ranger's absolute favourite character in the movie was Eeyore, doliing out perfect one liners ("Thank you for kidnapping me" being Phil's favourite.)
As adult Disney fans, we loved it, the story, the subtle humour, the simplicity - it was a joy to watch, and gave you that lovely warm fuzzy feeling as well as prickling your eyes with some tears (Twice if you are like me!)
However, we have to say that in our opinion the feature is better suited to a slightly ‘older’ audience than you think of when you think of the original Winnie the Pooh. The film needs to be enjoyed by a child who is comfortable with following the story, rather than waiting for the characters to appear for the fun scenes. Niall is a good age for this at nearly 5 years old, and has good concentration so can sit well and enjoy the film as a whole. Martha, who has sat well during screenings of animated movies such as Cars 3 and The Incredibles 2, is still too young in our opinion, as at nearly 2 years old she isn’t interested when the focus is on the human characters and their struggles, and not enough colourful Tiggerific bouncy fun to keep a fidgety infant still for the duration of the movie.
The cinema was filled with couples, adult friend groups and families with children ranging from around age 5 upwards. Everyone in there seemed to enjoy it, there were MANY occasions in which the whole audience burst into simultaneous laughter, and other scenes where a collective 'Awww' rang around the screen.
It is heart warming and sweet, funny and warm, and it really is nostalgic for Disney fans, young and old alike. It is strange to see the characters in CGI form, but you soon become accostomed to it as it is done so very well.
Ultimately, it is a tale in which the majority of parents can relate. We have walked away from the cinema proclaiming that we will always try to remember - what is important when you are a child should still fundamentally be important now, especially when you are a grown up with children yourself. To forget what childhood is like is to lose a very special gift. Thankfully Christopher Robin reminded us and we have came away looking forward to many family adventures, with a newfound look at seeing the world through our children’s eyes, eyes that we once viewed the world through ourselves.
I think Pooh and his gang may have not only saved their friend Christopher Robin and made him rediscover the joys of life - that working is obviously important to care for your family, and having a career that demands you work long hours a lot is all well and good to build a good life for your future, but actually your life is now. Right here and now, right in front of you, and it is to be lived. I think he actually saved quite a lot of us!
So thank you for that Pooh, you silly old bear <3
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