Ever since Kindergarten, a guardian angel figure has been watching over me, and no, it was not the Winnie-the-Pooh VHS tapes I rented and replayed every day, like I thought at the time. Despite always yearning to play with toys on my own again, today, I must take on responsibility, as that’s what grownups do, naturally. What/who was that figure then? I will answer as I discuss Disney’s own modern live-action take on that bear of very little brain.
Just sitting through Christopher Robin proved to me that I need to grow past my old guardian angel assumptions, as it pains me to say this now joins A Wrinkle In Time as the most unbearable 2018 movie I’ve undergone thus far. After this torturous money-maker first glosses past Christopher’s childhood memories, Disney proceeds to tells kids whatever they enjoy hearing so that they beg for more toys from dad’s wallet. The low effort shows, mainly by how off Piglet’s voice sounds compared to his cartoon counterpart, and how Rabbit’s voice sounds way too Pooh-ish.
If the CGI plushies weren’t strange enough, fake news also disgraces the real Christopher Robin Milne, starting with the names of his wife and daughter. In real life, his wife’s name was Lesley de Selincourt, not Evelyn, whom he married in 1948, not 1944 like this movie states. During brief flashbacks of Christopher in class, he doodles Pooh and friends in his notebook, something the true Mr. Milne would never have done, since he in truth hated the books his father wrote about him. “Entering boarding school at age 9, Christopher Robin had a full-fledged ‘love-hate relationship with my fictional namesake’ that continued into adulthood, he wrote in his 1974 memoir The Enchanted Places.” (Country Living) Overall, Disney shows greater loyalty to A.A. Milne’s books that he wrote to take advantage of his son, turning him into a victim of fame at a disturbingly young age. Having learned more about the real Christopher Robin, I now feel ashamed for ever loving the Disneyfied Winnie-the-Pooh, as if I was a part of face-slapping Christopher Milne’s memory hard.
On top of this motion picture’s skewing of reality, Ewan McGregor plays his inconsistent role inconsistently off a nonsensible script that relies on coincidences. Sure, there might be great costumes with fun details, including Madeline’s classic Mary Janes that look like Christopher Robin’s, yet the film’s editor allows nary a good chance for you to spot them. Besides the countless unfinished staging of elements, several of them feel out of place, particularly an underwater dream sequence of a heffalump (which is really just a plain old regular elephant head).
Most of the blame goes to the messy directing; director Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, The Kite Runner) crops way too close to human faces with a handheld motion sickness camera. Even worse, the entire image always looks gloomy throughout cheery scenes with an odd magenta hue. Not even the directed humor works, for certain jokes, particularly one about lipreading from behind noise-proof glass, reaches no punchline. It’s just a setup, anticipation built up, then... nothing. The joke is forgotten. Forget anything unique about anything having to do with this film either, as it essentially steals Hook’s plot scenario, complete with the line from that movie, “I lost my marbles.”
If you crave a nice personal experience, run away, for the Robin family’s communication here feature absolutely cringeworthy dialogue. Essentially, the overworked man spends too little quality family time, although hardly any information comes across about details of his bond with his wife or daughter before he took his job. It basically makes the wife comes across too much as a servant to her husband, just to make more room for Pooh’s bothersome antics to command your focus. Consequently, it turns its World War II backdrop into a cheap plot device, because apparently those millions of lives lost are less important than a red balloon. I don’t think that’s what Disney intended to say, but their carelessness certainly made it come off that we must never anticipate tragedy, but instead a problem-free life.
Unlike this mindset, love blooms from small shared moments. As a child, it’s a red balloon. As an adult, it’s buying your friend’s lunch. Depend on whoever can bring out your best self, not the smooth-talking of the Mouse House that exploits the susceptible child inside each of us. I hence take these new lessons on old ideas to improve larger times; no guardian angel is stuff and fluff, but flesh and blood beings. I found it’s really what I desire out of a soul mate: someone whose sweet, kind presence gives a pure aura when she speaks, someone reminding me of my childhood plus my future self; she sees my potential despite my past flaws.
Therefore, my guardian angel comes from those loved ones who can nurture me using our mutual need: sweet shared memories. Christopher Robin does the complete opposite.
If there is a specific movie you’d like to see graded, or if you are interested in guest blogging for my site, please email me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com for your recommendations.
Have a great weekend, and happy watching!
Carter, Maria. “Why the Real Christopher Robin Hated 'Pooh'.” Country Living. Hearst Digital Media, 31 Jul 2018. Web. <https://www.countryliving.com/life/entertainment/a43801/real-christopher-robin-hated-winnie-the-pooh/>.
Christopher Robin. Disney. Web. <https://movies.disney.com/christopher-robin>.
Strazza, Pedro. “Live-action do Ursinho Pooh, “Christopher Robin – Um Reencontro Inesquecível” ganha novo trailer.” Digital image. B9. Termos, 25 May 2018. Web. <https://www.b9.com.br/91418/live-action-do-ursinho-pooh-christopher-robin-um-reencontro-inesquecivel-ganha-novo-trailer/ >.