I received an all expense paid trip from Disney to attend the #ChristopherRobinEvent. The opinions expressed here are my own and I received no monetary compensation.
“What day is it?”, asked Winnie the Pooh
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day,” said Pooh”
Christopher Robin hits theaters on August 3rd and I can’t wait to take my entire family! I had the privilege of screening the movie twice, once being at the Christopher Robin premiere WITH the talent from the film. When the movie started playing and the names of the cast appeared on the big screen, there was a thunderous applause in the theater for each of the names. Many of the actors hadn’t seen the full film yet and this was their big moment of celebration. And celebrate they should because this movie will forever hold a special place in my heart, I adored everything about it! Keep on reading for my non-spoiler review.
ABOUT CHRISTOPHER ROBIN
In the heartwarming live action adventure Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.
Now grown up, Christopher Robin is stuck in a job where he is overworked, underpaid and facing an uncertain future. He has a family of his own, but his work has become his life, leaving little time for his wife and daughter. Christopher has all but forgotten his idyllic childhood spent with a simple-minded, honey-loving stuffed bear and his friends. But when he is reunited with Winnie the Pooh, now tattered and soiled from years of hugs and play, their friendship is rekindled, reminding Christopher of the endless days of childlike wonder and make believe that defined his youth, when doing nothing was considered the very best something. Following an unfortunate mishap with Christopher Robin’s briefcase, Pooh and the rest of the gang including Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, step out of the forest and venture into London to return the crucial possessions…because best friends will always be there for you.
Disney’s “Christopher Robin” is directed by Golden Globe® nominee Marc Forster (“Finding Neverland”) from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry (“Golden Exits”) and Oscar® nominee Allison Schroeder (“Hidden Figures”) and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive 2 producers. The film stars Golden Globe winner Ewan McGregor (“Fargo”) as Christopher Robin; Golden Globe nominee Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter”) as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Emmy® winner Mark Gatiss (“Sherlock”) as Giles Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of: Jim Cummings (“Winnie the Pooh”) as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger; three-time Emmy winner Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) as Eeyore; Golden Globe nominee Toby Jones (“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”) as Owl; Nick Mohammed (“The Martian”) as Piglet; Oscar winner Peter Capaldi (“Dr. Who”) as Rabbit; and Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (“The Secret Life of Bees”) as Kanga.
Disney has a history with the A.A. Milne characters dating back to 1966 when the studio released the animated short “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree” featuring the character Christopher Robin, which was followed by the shorts “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day” and “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too,” as well as several full-length features and numerous direct-to-DVD titles. Disney’s “Christopher Robin” will be released nationwide August 3, 2018.
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN FUN FACTS
- The characters Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh first appeared in a collection of verses written by A.A. Milne entitled “When We Were Very Young” in 1924. Milne’s book of short stories, “Winnie-the-Pooh” published in 1926, is still considered one of the most popular children’s books of all time.
- E.H. Shepard’s original watercolor drawings from the A.A. Milne books are housed at the New York Public Library.
- Principal photography on “Christopher Robin” took place at Shepperton Studios outside London and on locations throughout the U.K. Seventeen main unit locations in the U.K. were used during filming, many of which were London streets and U.K. thoroughfares, including: the intersection of Great Smith Street and Great College Street; Inner and Middle Temple Lanes; Lambeth Bridge and County Durham’s Hownsgill Viaduct.
- The Hundred Acre Wood from Milne’s books, an enchanting place where Christopher Robin’s animal friends reside and where imaginations thrive, is based on Ashdown Forest and, more specifically, an area in the forest known as the Five Hundred Acre Wood. Located in the lush Sussex countryside about 30 miles south of London, the woods are still visited by thousands of tourists every year, all eager to walk the areas featured in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Several scenes in the film which take place in the Hundred Acre Wood were filmed in Ashdown Forest. Other scenes were shot in Windsor Great Park which is home to Windsor Castle, one of Queen Elizabeth’s official residences, and the one in which she spends the most time.
- The “Christopher Robin” production was particularly conscious of its ecological footprint at all the forest locations, using vehicles with very low tire pressure so as to not compact any root systems of the ancient trees or trample any of the protected ferns, and posting poles with hazard tape to direct the crew where to (and not to) walk.
- Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl make their first appearance in a live-action film as three-dimensional characters in “Christopher Robin.”
- Cinematographer Matthias Königswieser chose to shoot the film with traditional handheld cameras to help the stuffed animals’ motions look more believable. They were then brought to life via photo-realistic computer animation in post-production, immersed in mid-century London as well as in nature.
- Actual stuffed animals (or “stuffies,” as they were affectionately referred to on set), were physically created by the creature visual effects team at Animated Extras, the Oscar®-winning special effects shop at Shepperton Studios, for reference when blocking scenes and for interaction with the actors. A great deal of care went into their creation, with special attention being paid to Winnie the Pooh’s tummy (to make sure it had the proper cuddle factor), to Tigger’s expressions (so he could effectively register surprise, anger and bewilderment) and to Eeyore (to make sure he had the proper amount of sag).
- The Royal Hospital Chelsea and its magnificent front entrance doubled for the exterior of Christopher Robin’s boarding school. The Royal Hospital Chelsea is where the iconic Chelsea Pensioners, retired soldiers of the British Army, reside, so the production was especially considerate to ensure they could go about their daily routine unhindered. Filming took place over one day, but took 10 days to prep.
- Over 400 extras dressed in period attire, hair and make-up were used for the scenes in the film taking place at the London train station (where Winnie the Pooh gets his red balloon). The scenes were filmed at a cruise terminal in the Port of Dover, a former train station shut down in 1994, which is situated at the end of a pier that extends 1,000 feet into the harbor.
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN REVIEW
The message of this film hit home for me as a parent. In the busy hustle and bustle of life, it’s important to take time for what really matters. Work a little less, play a little more. The most important things in life aren’t things, they are relationships and people. Take those vacations and make those memories because the kids won’t be little forever. Be creative, imaginative and silly – no matter your age. If you are in need of that type of reminder, and aren’t we all, I think this film will have a great impact on you.
As for the cast, I got goosebumps as soon as I heard Pooh’s voice in the first trailer and I just knew that this movie would be special. The movie wouldn’t have been the same without Jim Cummings lending his voice to Tigger and Pooh. Cummings took over the voice of Pooh in 1988 and the voice of Tigger in 1989. I’m so happy that Disney brought him on board for this project! Ewan McGregor was also made to play a 40-something year old Christopher Robin, he was perfect in the role and it sounded like it was one he could relate to on a personal level. Hayley Atwell and Bronte Carmichael were also brilliant and I want to see them in more period pieces!
The number one question I always get asked if I think this movie is appropriate for children. My answer is always that it depends on the child and parents should pre-screen it first if there is concern. There is a short scene where Christopher Robin is running from a Heffalump that might be scary to some children, but it isn’t overly scary and the film shows that it’s all in his imagination. There is also a short war scene, but again nothing gruesome or overly scary. In my opinion, Christopher Robin is very family friendly and offers a great message.
Don’t forget to stay until the end credits, there is a special scene!
CHRISTOPHER ROBIN TRAILER
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