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Christopher Robin is a 2018 American fantasy comedy-drama 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[6] and is a live-action/CGI adaptation of the Disney franchise of the same name. The film stars Ewan McGregor as the title character alongside Hayley Atwell, as well as the voices of Jim Cummings and Brad Garrett. The story follows an adult Christopher Robin as he has lost his sense of imagination, only to be reunited with his old stuffed bear friend, Winnie-the-Pooh.

Christopher Robin
Christopher Robin poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Marc Forster
Produced by
  • Brigham Taylor
  • Kristin Burr
Screenplay by
Story by
Based on
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Matthias Koenigswieser
Edited by Matt Chessé
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • July 30, 2018 (2018-07-30) (Burbank)
  • August 3, 2018 (2018-08-03) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70–75 million[3][4]
Box office $155.4 million[5]

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.[7] Released in the United States on August 3, 2018, by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film has grossed over $155 million worldwide and received mostly positive reviews from critics, with praise for McGregor and Cummings's performances, musical score, and visual effects.[8]

Contents

PlotEdit

Christopher Robin is leaving for boarding school, so his friends from the Hundred Acre WoodWinnie 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.

Christopher goes to boarding school (with the time his father passed away), after which he grows up, meets and marries architect Evelyn, with whom he has a daughter, Madeline. He serves in the British Army during 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, Christopher’s boss, 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, but takes him back to his London home. After a night and morning of chaos (including Pooh knocking down all of his kitchen shelves in search of honey), Christopher escorts Pooh back to Sussex on the next train.

After sneaking past Christopher's cottage, the two enter the Hundred Acre Wood. Christopher becomes exasperated by Pooh's absent-mindedness and fear of Heffalumps and Woozles, and angrily tells Pooh that he is not a child anymore, before the two get separated in the fog. After falling into a "Heffalump Trap", which is then flooded by rainfall, soaking him and his belongings, 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, realising how late he is, rushes from the Hundred Acre Wood to make his presentation. He encounters his family and, unable to tell them about his old friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, leaves.

Pooh realizes that Tigger removed Christopher's important paperwork when 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 after discovering a note Madeline left.

At the meeting, Christopher discovers that his papers are not in his briefcase, which contains items from the woods that Tigger left for him. (Including: Eeyore’s detachable tail). Evelyn arrives and Christopher joins her to search 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 Madeline accidentally trips on the stairs and loses all but one of the papers, 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 his father, Winslow Sr. warms to it and agrees to the plan. Winslow Jr. is humiliated as Christopher points out that he contributed nothing to the plan, having been golfing all weekend.

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".

CastEdit

VoicesEdit

  • Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh, a honey-loving plush toy bear who lives in the Hundred Acre Wood & Tigger, a toy tiger who lives in the Hundred Acre Wood who loves to bounce on his tail like a spring.[10][11][12]
  • Brad Garrett as Eeyore, a pessimistic 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 control 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.[13]
  • Toby Jones as Owl, the wise owl of the Hundred Acre Wood.

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

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.[14] 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."[15] On March 1, 2017, Tom McCarthy was hired to rewrite the existing screenplay.[16]

CastingEdit

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.[17][18] 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.[19] 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.[20][10][21][22] 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[23] and was replaced by Cummings.[23][24]

FilmingEdit

Principal photography on the film began in early August 2017, in the United Kingdom,[25][26][19] and concluded on November 4, 2017.[27] 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.[1]

MusicEdit

Jóhann Jóhannsson was hired to score the film, shortly before his death on February 9, 2018.[28] The film is dedicated to his memory.[1] Klaus Badelt was announced as taking over composing duties for Jóhannsson, but the score was ultimately written by Geoff Zanelli and Jon Brion.[29] At an Academy event, songwriter and Disney Legend Richard M. 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,[30] titled "Goodbye Farewell", "Busy Doing Nothing" and "Christopher Robin",[1] with the first one being performed by the voice cast,[1] and the last two by Sherman.[1] "Up, Down and Touch the Ground" and "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers" are also included in the film.[1] The film's soundtrack, featuring Zanelli and Brion's score, and Sherman's songs, was released on August 3, 2018[31]

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Geoff Zanelli and Jon Brion except where noted.

No.TitleWriter(s)ArtistLength
1."Storybook"  1:22
2."Goodbye Farewell"Richard M. ShermanJim Cummings, Brad Garrett, Toby Jones, Peter Capaldi, Sophie Okonedo, Nick Mohammed & Sara Sheen1:19
3."Not Doing Nothing Anymore"  2:49
4."I Would Have Liked It to Go on For a While Longer"  2:04
5."Chapters"  2:59
6."Evelyn Goes It Alone"  2:33
7."Easy to Lose Your Way on a Foggy Day"  2:04
8."Througth the Tree"  1:25
9."It's Not Stress, It's Pooh"  1:28
10."Train Station"  2:28
11."Sussex"  1:12
12."Returning to the Hundred Acre Wood"  4:26
13."Did You Let Me Go?"  3:37
14."Swimmer or Sinker"  2:11
15."Heffalump Battle"  1:30
16."Is It Christopher Robin?"  1:40
17."But I Found You, Didn't I?"  2:35
18."Madelyn's Red Balloon"  0:54
19."Expotition to London"  4:14
20."Nothing Ever Bad Came from Bouncing"  1:40
21."A Father of Very Little Brain"  3:34
22."My Favorite Day"  2:43
23."I Do Nothing Every Day"  2:57
24."Busy Doing Nothing"Richard M. ShermanRichard M. Sherman0:45
25."Christopher Robin"Richard M. ShermanRichard M. Sherman1:18

Visual effectsEdit

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.[32]

ReleaseEdit

Christopher Robin premiered in Burbank, California on July 30, 2018,[7] and was released on August 3, 2018 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.[33] The film was denied release in China, as some have speculated it was due to Chinese netizens have drawn comparisons between Winnie the Pooh and Chinese leader Xi Jinping since mid 2017. Other industry insider speculates it was likely due to other reasons such as the film's size and the presence of other Hollywood films in the market.[34][35]

MarketingEdit

The first teaser poster of the film was released on March 5, 2018,[36] and the first teaser trailer was unveiled the following day.[37]

On May 24, 2018, it was announced that the full trailer would premiere the following day during McGregor's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.[38]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

As of September 21, 2018, Christopher Robin has grossed $96.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $59.4 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $155.4 million.[5]

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?.[39] 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.[40][41] The film fell 47% to $13 million in its second weekend, finishing third behind The Meg and Mission: Impossible – Fallout.[42][43] The film finished sixth in its third through fifth weekends, grossing $8.9 million, $6.3 million, and $5.3 million, respectively.[44][45][46]

Critical responseEdit

On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 71% based on 204 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The website'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."[47] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[48] 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.[40]

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."[49] 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."[50] 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."[51] Richard Lawson of Vanity Fair gave the film a positive review and heavily praised the voice performance from Cummings, calling it "Oscar-worthy". Overall, he said, "As Winnie the Pooh (and Tigger too), the veteran voice actor gives such sweet, rumpled, affable life to the wistful bear of literary renown that it routinely breaks the heart. Cummings's performance understands something more keenly than the movie around it; he taps into a vein of humor and melancholy that is pitched at an exact frequency, one that will speak to child and adult alike. His Pooh is an agreeable nuisance and an accidental philosopher, delivering nonsensical (and yet entirely sensible) adages in a friendly, deliberate murmur ringed faintly with sadness. I wanted to (gently) yank him from the screen and take him home with me, his fuzzy little paw in mine as we ambled to the subway, the summer sun fading behind us. He's a good bear, this Pooh."[52]

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."[53] Sarah Melton from Exclaim! gave the film a rating of 5/10, calling it a "sickly sweet tale" with a predictable ending.[54] 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".[55]

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'." [56] 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." [57] Stephanie Zacharek of Time magazine 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." [58] 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." [59]

AccoladesEdit

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
People's Choice Awards November 11, 2018 The Family Movie of 2018 Christopher Robin Pending [60]
The Drama Movie Star of 2018 Ewan McGregor Pending

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit