Writer AA Milne, his son Christopher Robin and his creation Winnie the Pooh have all come to the fore recently in two distinctly different films.
Goodbye Christopher Robin was the tale of the illustrious AA Milne who created Winnie the Pooh, the famous honey-loving bear and his friends who lived in the One Hundred Acre Wood. The focus was on Milne’s troubled soul and how the war affected him. It also examined with how he came to write his celebrated stories and his relationship with his son, Christopher Robin, who featured in the stories and the effect they had on the boy.
Director Marc Forster’s tale is a bear of another colour, so to speak. Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is now an adult and works in the efficiency department for a company that manufactures luxury luggage.
The company is in financial trouble and Christopher has to find ways of reducing staff. It’s a task that troubles him greatly. He has a wife and a bright young daughter, Madeleine (Bronte Carmichael), who rely on him. The simple tale then veers off into fantasy land in which Christopher Robin reconnects with his childhood via the furry friends that inhabited his dad’s books.
They all come to life, those stuffed animals, passing on words of wisdom and helping Christopher overcome life’s many obstacles. A mix between live action and animated puppets, this production has its heart in the right place and closely follows the Disney Studio dictum of providing wholesome entertainment for all.
Younger viewers may well be enthralled, but I found much of the action and dialogue irritating and silly. The era, though, is nicely captured and so is the scenery which covers a lovely part of the English countryside.