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Christopher Robin  : The Woods Are Lousy, Dark & Dreary
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Friday, August 10, 2018
Animation Film
Marc Forster
Evan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Brad Garett, Peter Capaldi, Toby Jones, Mark Gatiss

How could Disney which knows the pulse of the animation film audience get it so awfully wrong?

 

The first problem is the theme. It’s post-war blues and maybe large lay-offs at work that keep nice family guy Christopher Robin tied to his briefcase with little time for his wife and daughter. It takes his animal friends to make him loosen up and find joy with his family again. Even while I’m writing this, I need to be woken up. Please wake me up when director Marc Forster has something new to say, something I haven’t heard a dozen times before, please.

 

Even that overused theme could’ve passed if only the animals themselves were joyous, cuddly creatures. Disney misses the chance to make Winnie The Pooh and the rest of the animal family in the deep, dark woods mirthful creatures having the party of a lifetime with some Hakunamatata thrown in. Instead, Forster goes further down by having Poo voiced in a dull, weary sort of way by Jim Cummings. So there you have animals that’re sighing, self-pitying and soulful, not quite the lovely, happy creatures you’d want to take home.

 

In fact, when Poo lands up in Christopher Robin’s house when he’s really tense and anxious about his workplace, the bear seems more annoying than amusing, a nuisance that you’d want to wish away. Whatever happened to the cuteness quotient so essential in a film with animals for children?

The only time there’s some passing humour is when Christopher takes Poo down the streets of London and the effect of a talking stuffed bear on passers-by is a small giggle. It was there in the trailer and believe me, there’s no more where that came from.

 

Okay, so with the theme unappealing, the situations failing to entertain and the characters so far from cute, it would’ve been a relief to hear some good music. Or at least a few crisply refreshing dialogues. But the lines too are as laboured as the storyline. The self-pitying is endless with repeats of ‘I’m a bear of very little brain’. The philosophy has ‘gems’ like, ‘When you do nothing, it leads to the best of something’. Forster even has Poo explaining every feeling and thought like, ‘I’m sleepy’, ‘This looks like a bed’, as if we can’t see it for ourselves. Quite un’bear’able.

 

Verdict: For retreading a much-told plot and telling it in such a tiresome manner, Christopher Robin gets a 2* rating.

 

Direction: 2.5/5
Story: 2/5

Screenplay: 2/5
Dialogues: 2/5

Music: 2/5

 

Reviewed by

Bharathi S Pradhan
Senior Journalist & Author

 

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