A wonderful family movie


YES, I will admit it.

I had a teddy bear.

His name was Boo-Boo Bear and when I was a toddler, Boo-Boo and I were inseparable. He was my best friend, constant companion, defender of truth and virtue and a silent guardian who watched over me as I slept.

But then, I grew into manhood and today my world is no longer filled with dreams of tea parties attended by talking frogs leaping from one brook to another along a slow moving pond.

Instead, I am constantly chasing after the “almighty” peso, paying credit cards or mortgage bills.

And Boo-Boo sits alone in some unadorned box in a storage unit far far away.

This film review is not just about Disney’s new “Christopher Robin” but a more than gentle shove back to our collective childhoods in which a “working class man, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor from the “Star Wars” prequels) returns to his boyhood home and embarks on a new adventure in the Hundred Acre Wood.”

Directed by Marc Forester (“World War Z”), not only must you suspend your belief in such “nonsense as speaking to a ‘silly old bear’” as Winnie-the-Pooh (or Pooh as he likes to be called) but pulls back the veil that has encircled the mind and soul of every adult and return us to childhood days when you had no care in the world.

In “Christopher Robin,” this stark world we live in is presented as either “you do or you don’t.”

Robin’s boss (Mark Gatiss from TV’s “Sherlock Holmes”) is requiring him to work over overtime and couldn’t care less that Robin has set aside this specific weekend to take his wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell from “Captain America: The First Avenger”) and young daughter into the countryside and is widely berated by his far better half for putting work in front of family time.

Beside himself with guilt and the seemingly overwhelming decisions every adult, unfortunately, has to make, sitting right behind him in a shady spot in downtown
London is … you guessed it .. Pooh himself.

And not just a stuffed animal every children plays with but a moving, talking, thinking stuffed animal who pulls Robin out of his “shell” of calculators and business forms and back to his childhood home and the Hundred Acre Wood where he is reunited with Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and all his childhood friends.

Yes, it is a bit silly, but this is a film about the childhood in each of us and nary a concern about attacking aliens or slouching zombies.

Of course the ultimate credit for Pooh and Christopher Robin must go out to the marvelous stories created by A.A. Milne in which these and other characters originated from the popular books of
poetry and stories.

“Christopher Robin” is a wonderful movie for the entire family in which—eventually—Robin rediscovers the joys of life … and of course all of the leading stuffed animals (Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet) return with him on his train ride back to London. Some chaos occurs when talking stuffed animals arrive in London but its all “kids stuff.”

The screenplay is credited to Alex Ross Perry and Tom McCarthy but give credit where credit is due to the director Forster who keep the attention of this fictionalize drama/adventure directly on Christopher Robin and his family. Kudos go out to the casting directors for selecting

pre-teen, British actress Bonte Carmichael as Madeline Robin who has no problem holding a deep and meaningful conversation with Tigger.

Come on, who wouldn’t want to have a conversation with Tigger?

The voice acting in “Christopher Robin” is superb with Jim Cummings (Pooh/Tigger); Brad Garrett (Eeyore); Nick Mohammed (Piglet); Peter Capaldi (Piglet); Sophie Okonedo (Kanga); Sara Sheen (Roo) and veteran actor Toby Jones as Owl. Windsor Great Park in Berkshire, England doubles for the Hundred Acre Wood as the rest of Christopher Robin is

filmed on location in Dover, Kent ore East Sussex in England.

I took our three children to an advance screening of “Christopher Robin” at SM Seaside City Cebu (many thanks!) and even though I would not tell them what movie they were about to see, each had to bring their own stuffed Pooh or Tigger along.

Everyone, including the stuffed critters, had a wonderful time.

Even Boo-Boo would approve.

Questions, comments or travel suggestions, write me at [email protected]

TAGS: family, movie, wonderful
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