I grew up watching Winnie the Pooh; specifically, The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Pooh Bear was as much a part of my childhood as my own teddy bear.
So when I saw the first trailer for Christopher Robin, I knew I had to see it, if nothing else than for the nostalgia of it; after all, Pooh had never been given the live action treatment like so many other cartoon characters (and frankly, Disney’s attempt looked way better than Garfield: The Movie).
I was expecting a good movie, aptly filled with nostalgia and childhood memories. I wasn’t expecting anything particularly mind-blowing, which is why, probably, I opted to skip it in theaters, and why I waited further for it to be available on Netflix, which it is as of yesterday.
What I wasn’t expecting was a thought-provoking look at our lives as adults, and a lesson to be learned. Silly old bear.
What if Christopher Robin Grew Up?
If you need a description of what the film is about, think of it as Hook in the Hundred Acre Woods. And had I known that, I probably would have run to theaters; Hook remains one of my all-time favorite movies. But the titular Christopher Robin shares many similarities with Hook’s Peter Pan: both are iconic childhood characters who dared to grow up and forget everything that made them important to us. Both have forgotten what it was like to have fun, and have become work-obsessed, family- shunning adults who stress about everything.
With Peter Banning (read: Pan), it takes a trip back to Neverland to remember how to fly; with Christopher Robin, it takes a very special teddy bear showing up in the park outside his house.
I always loved the oddball concept that brought Hook to life: What if Peter Pan grew up? As I’ve contemplated the sheer existence of the movie, I’d come to the conclusion that Hook is not the type of movie that would get made today, a “What if” movie that takes a resolute fact of a character (Peter Pan never grows up) and applies it to a Steven Spielberg…