Disney is taking you back to the the Hundred Acre Wood this summer in what appears to be a movie designed to make grown people weep into their popcorn buckets. The Ellen DeGeneres Show debuted the official trailer for Christopher Robin, and it’s chock full of sweet moments between the now adult Christopher and his old friends. Major props should go to the people behind the CGI, because Pooh, Piglet, and the rest of the gang all look like proper living stuffed animals (look at the details on the fur). While your mileage may vary on whether or not that’s endearing or slightly spooky, it definitely adds texture to a story that appears to be grounded in rediscovering your inner child.
Christopher Robin stars Ewan McGregor as the now adult Christopher who has forgotten how to play. He’s so devoted to his job that he’s forgetting to live his life with his wife, Evelyn (played by Hayley Atwell), and his daughter, Madeline (newcomer Bronte Carmichael). The trailer reveals that Pooh shows up with at just the right moment with a dilemma of his own — his friends have gone missing, and he needs Christopher’s help to find them. This quest won’t take up the entirety of the film though, as Pooh quickly decides to return the favor by taking Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore to London for a visit with Christopher and his family.
Generally, this all sounds happy, right? Well, that’s because it is, but the trailer leans heavily on the idea of recapturing the magic of childhood, and examining the melancholy truths about adulthood. In one particularly poignant moment, Pooh tells Christopher, "I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been." Stop it, movie. Stop it right now.
While the nostalgia might bring a tear to your eye, the trailer also emphasizes the joy Christopher feels at seeing Pooh and the rest of his childhood friends again. And that joy is contagious. Just try not to smile as Eeyore proclaims that he doesn’t remember ever being cheerful or when Tigger does… well, anything, really. Jim Cummings, Chris O’Dowd, Brad Garrett, and Nick Mohammed voice the four core characters, but all of your favorite Hundred Acre Woods residents will appear in the film, including Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, and little Roo.
For Winnie the Pooh fans, this film has the potential to be the perfect summer treat — especially if you’ve ever wanted to see Pooh travel beyond the Hundred Acre Wood. To be honest, the scenes of Pooh and his pals in London feel a bit similar to recent family favorites like Paddington, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Pooh is as sweetly silly as always, and that’s all that really matters.
The movie has a quality pedigree behind it, as well. Christopher Robin hails from director Marc Forster, who helmed another childhood literary-themed film, Finding Neverland.
A Winnie the Pooh movie about work-life balance may not be the one the world expected, but it might just be the one that people need. Adulthood is stressful, and everyone could use a reminder to incorporate a little bit of play into their lives. As Pooh says, "People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing everyday."
He really is a wise, old bear, and when Christopher Robin hits theaters on Aug. 3, you might find yourself swept away by his sage silliness. One thing is certain, it’s nice to know that after a busy blockbuster season full of big-budget franchise films, a little bit of Winnie the Pooh magic will be waiting at the end of the summer as a nostalgia-fueled palette cleanser.
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