Audiences may be a little fatigued by Disney’s commitment to adapting their entire animated catalogue as live action films, but Christopher Robin isn’t a remake. If anything it’s a sequel, and one of many in an oversaturated Winnie the Pooh market. But don’t confuse this with the direct-to-video films or Disney Toon Studios productions. Christopher Robin has more in common with Mary Poppins Returns than it does with Pooh’s Heffalump Movie.
Christopher Robin is a husband, a father, and a manager at a company that is facing massive layoffs if he can’t increase profits. The stress of it all gets to him and an old friend, his childhood stuffed bear named Winnie the Pooh, comes back to help him out. Christopher must reconnect with his inner child and feel real joy again if he is to save his relationship with his family and save his company.
It’s hard to imagine Christopher Robin as an unhappy adult, but Ewan McGregor makes this tough concept an easy sell with his incredible charm. Tying this production back to something familiar, Jim Cummings provides the voice for both Pooh and Tigger. And Richard Sherman, who co-wrote the songs for Walt Disney’s Pooh shorts, provides new songs for this film. It’s a high quality production that celebrates the past while embracing a different present.
Despite an incredible cast and lovable childhood characters, Christopher Robin suffers from very little plot and a snails pace. These characters have always worked best in short form and this film is yet another example of that. But it’s an overall charming film that has a very important message for adults and a moderate dose of whimsy for kids.
Christopher Robin arrives on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital HD combo pack on November 6th. For the first time with a major release since adopting the format, Disney has chose not to release the film in 4K. A standalone DVD-only release is available, however.
- A Movie is Made for Pooh (5:28) – Director Marc Forster, Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, and Jim Cummings discuss what the Pooh characters mean to them in this behind-the-scenes piece.
- Pooh Finds His Voice (2:43) – Jim Cummings has voiced Pooh and Tigger since 1987. Step behind the microphone to meet the voice behind the silly ol’ bear.
- Pooh and Walt Became Friends (2:43) – This short featurette explores how Walt Disney came to know the Pooh stories and why he adapted them as extended shorts.
- Pooh and Friends Come to Life (3:16) – Bronte Carmichael, who plays Christopher Robin’s daughter, reveals some of the digital tricks used to bring the characters to life.
Digital Exclusive (Movies Anywhere)
- In Which…We Were Very Young (3:51) – Learn about the real Christopher Robin in this look at how a real boy and a bear inspired generations of children.
LaughingPlace Exclusive – Mike Celestino recently sat down with Jim Cummings to discuss returning to voice Pooh and Tigger in this live action film.
The film is presented in 1080p in its original 2:39:1 aspect ratio. The overall cinematography is soft and muted, but that doesn’t mean that details aren’t clear. Indeed, every strand of fur on Pooh is vivid when he’s the center of the lens’ focus.
The main mix is a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix. The film has very little action and the rear speakers are mostly used for score and a few sound effects. Other audio options include a 2.0 Descriptive Audio mix, as well as 5.1 French and Spanish tracks.
Packaging & Design
Christopher Robin arrives in a standard Blu-Ray case with disc holders on both sides of the interior for the Blu-Ray and DVD. Inserts include a Movies Anywhere download code and a flier for Disney Movie Club.
The disc open with an ad for Mary Poppins Returns and Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 3. Selecting “Sneak Peeks” plays additional ads for Disney Movie Rewards and Disney Now. The main menu features an animated map of the Hundred Acre Woods set to score.
Christopher Robin is a charming family film with a slow pace. Despite its flaws, anyone who grew up with Pooh and his friends should see it at some point. The bonus features on this release are scarce, barely scratching the surface of the behind-the-scenes process.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.