At this point, Winnie The Pooh can safely be called a big screen legend. The character has been showing up as a Disney character going back to the theatrical shorts made in the mid-1960s, and he and his stuffed animal pals have been pop culture staples ever since. Now their latest cinematic adventure has arrived in the form of Disney's Christopher Robin, and while not all reactions are super glowing, the movie is being appreciated as a cute diversion and a nice bit of family friendly fun.
To start with CinemaBlend's own critic, Mike Reyes saw and reviewed the movie for us this week, and he expressed real appreciation for the work put in by director Marc Forster, stars Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell, and the artists bringing Winnie The Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and more back to life. Watching Christopher Robin felt like a nice homecoming for him, and an affecting return for some very important characters. Wrote Reyes in his four star write-up,
Christopher Robin is a warm blanket of a film that makes you feel like you're spending time with an old friend, putting a smile on your face that's hard to shake.
As of now, Mike Reyes' opinion falls in line with the majority of critics, who are giving the movie mostly positive marks, but right now Christopher Robin is balancing on a knife's edge with a 60 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Helping keep the thing currently rated fresh are people like Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of AV Club, who has given the new movie a "B-." Rather than being over the moon about it, he explains that it's a path we've seen taken before, but it's still a pleasant road the revist. Also referencing the Goodbye, Christopher Robin feature released last year, Vishnevetsky said,
Christopher Robin is a better film than that sugarcoated J.M. Barrie biopic; it's a cut above the recent crop of Disney live-action "reimaginings" (Cinderella, Beauty And The Beast), but nowhere as personal as David Lowery's Pete's Dragon remake or as lovable as Paul King's recent Paddington and Paddington 2, to which it owes a debt.
Not all critics have been willing to give Christopher Robin the pass, however. For example, Alonso Duralde of The Wrap has published his thoughts on the feature, and they aren't super glowing. Apparently not even the cutesy side of the movie really worked for him, nor the nostalgia of hearing classic voice artist Jim Cummings perform as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. He explains in his review that he's not really sure who the audience is supposed to be, and makes it clear that it definitely isn't him. Duralde says,
It's a slow, sluggish and whimsy-deficient movie that seems designed to entertain neither children nor adults, and the film's script opens a Pandora's Box of a plot twist (more on that in a moment) that that narrative then brushes off. And while many people admitted to weeping from the trailers, the final movie never packs the emotional punch that should be inherent to the material.
Most reviews for Christopher Robin aren't taking a firm stance either way - neither calling the movie exceptionally good, or really bad. Leah Greenblatt's piece for Entertainment Weekly is a nice example of that, having also given the film a passing "B-" grade. She clearly wasn't blown away by the whole exercise, but did find enough positives in it to call it charming and appreciated the cuteness very much on display. Greenblatt explains,
Forster never quite finds the alchemy in Milne's timeless tales, or the melancholy sweetness of his being-and-nothingness koans. Instead it's just an earnest tribute, tastefully faithful to the source --- and flatter, somehow, than the story ever was on the page.
Now that you've heard what the critics have to say, you can make your own opinions about Christopher Robin. The film, sporting a cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Peter Capaldi, Toby Jones, Mark Gattis and more, is in theaters now - and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our coverage.