Endearing and innocent: ‘Christopher Robin’ is a fresh spin on Disney classic

 By Elspeth Macnab-Stark
Times-News correspondent

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Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) with his longtime friend Winnie the Pooh in Disney's "Christopher Robin." [Laurie Sparham / Disney via The Associated Press

   If you’ve ever wondered what happened to A.A. Milne’s Christopher   Robin after leaving the Hundred Acre Wood and its furry inhabitants   behind, Marc Forster’s “Christopher Robin” will answer all your   questions and more.
Overworked and out of touch, a grown-up Christopher Robin (Ewan   McGregor) receives a well-timed surprise visit from his old friend,   Winnie the Pooh.
Struggling to keep both his home and work life intact, Robin stays in   London while his wife, Evelyn (Hayley Atwell), and daughter, Madeline   (Bronte Carmichael), spend the weekend at his childhood home. When   Pooh arrives unexpectedly in London with a problem of his own, the   two old friends set off together to find the rest of the gang, who are lost   in the Hundred Acre Wood. Fighting a mid-life crisis and Heffalumps   along the way, Pooh and Robin eventually reunite with their friends   Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl, Rabbit, Kanga and Roo. With a menagerie of talkative toys in tow, Robin must reconcile with his family and learn to reconnect with his inner child, all the while trying to save his co-workers’ jobs.
It’s starting to feel as if Disney has run out of new ideas and is instead resigned to remaking all the classics such as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book” and “Beauty and the Beast,” with even more in the works. While it seems like Disney is cashing in on our childhood nostalgia, if you only see one of its numerous remakes, make it “Christopher Robin.”
McGregor’s stellar performance puts a fresh spin on the Robin we know, despite the slightly disturbing image of him screaming at our favorite stuffed bear. With the voices of Jim Cummings (Pooh and Tigger) and Brad Garrett (Eeyore) providing witty dialogue, the movie deftly avoids getting stuck in overly sentimental moments. There’s enough light slapstick humor to keep kids giggling and while some plot devices were a little too convenient, there is enough adult psychodrama to keep grown-ups entertained.
If you’re looking for a way to reignite the magic of your childhood, this is it. Beautifully shot and interspersed with wonderfully illustrated chapter pages reminiscent of E.H. Shepard’s original pen and inks, “Christopher Robin” is a delightful film about the importance of imagination, family and play. As much a movie for kids as it is for adults, “Christopher Robin” is as endearing and innocent as a film can get.
Rated PG for mild action sequences.

Elspeth Macnab-Stark is a high-school graduate and a Teens & 20s writer.

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