Redbox Review: ‘Christopher Robin’ Shines a Nostalgic Light on Beloved Characters

Say what you will about the Disney strategy of remaking their animated films into live action, but some are actually worthy additions. While we did not necessarily need any of the stories they’ve told, the latest Christopher Robin offers a sweet and gorgeous look at the 100 Acre Wood as you’ve never seen it before. Anchored by a surprisingly strong voice cast and very strong direction from Marc Forster, the tale of the bear with very little brain will make your heart cheer.

The story begins with a young Christopher Robin (played as a boy by Orton O’Brien, and as an adult by Ewan McGregor) saying goodbye to his friends of the 100 Acre Wood. The group consists of Tigger (Jim Cummings), Piglet (Nick Mohammad), Rabbit (Peter Capaldi), Owl (Toby Jones), Kanga (Sophie Okonedo), Roo (Sara Sheen), Eeyore (Brad Garrett) and of course, Winnie the Pooh (also Cummings).

After the group feasts, Pooh and Christopher say an emotional goodbye, and Robin is off to the real world. After time in boarding school and then the war, he meets his future wife Evelyn (Hayley Atwell) and they have a child Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). After his devotion to work and his push to be the man of the house has left him frustrated with adult life, Pooh returns to Christopher on a mission to find their friends.

The anchor of the Christopher Robin is Cumming’s performance as Pooh. It is one of the best vocal performances since Scarlett Johansson in Her and actually deserves awards conversation. There is so much heart and passion in each moment he’s on screen, he will make even the meanest man’s heart melt. That’s not even counting his time as Tigger, where he engages a completely different type of energy. The combination of the two characters are brilliant and represent most the delightful moments of the story.

Garrett is also hysterical as Eeyore. He perfectly brings his melancholic vocals to the role. The way in which the sad-sack donkey is brought to life speaks to the excellence in how the animals are animated. Owl and Rabbit each get full CGI characters, inferring they are real animals versus the rest of the stuffed group. The other characters, especially Pooh and Tigger, are very emotive. The photorealism of the toys makes them feel tactile and real. Eeyore gets the best visual effects, staring down characters to comedic effect time and time again. Christopher Robin occasionally crosses over into the uncanny valley, but for the most part, they work to enhance many scenes across the film.

Forster brings the world to life with stunning visuals that will please both the casual fan and the cinephiles. Recalling some Terrance Malik visuals, Forster combines some great orange, reds, and yellows to bring the most out of the world. He’s helped by the screenplay, written by the combined forces of Alex Ross PerryTom McCarthy, and Allison Schroeder. The three seemed to know how to get the most out of the sweet and loveable bear at the heart of it all. With Pooh, they bring out moment after moment of genuine joy and they get to the core of what makes you fall in love with the stuffed toys that have become so iconic.

Christopher Robin leaves a little to be desired despite some very critical character insight. The actual story, about finding your inner child, is fairly basic and fits the Disney theme. Still, it helps set up individual moments that are both crowd-pleasing and emotion. McGregor and Atwell are underutilized, especially Atwell, but they do the best they can with their roles. Carmichael gets to be a very frustrated kid for the first half and does a good job at being an adventurous kid in the second half of the film. The villain of the film (Mark Gatiss) gets to be a pithy entitled British man and makes the most of it.

The humans step out of the spotlight for most of the film and make way for the stuffed animals. Ultimately this proves to be a mostly fan service driven film, but that is what the audience is there for anyway. When movies like Christopher Robin exists, sometimes you have to sit back and enjoy. If you like the stories about Winnie the Pooh and his gang this one will be a perfect film to throw on, becoming a go-to for the adventures of a little, stuffed bear.

GRADE: (★★)

What did you think of Christopher Robin? Did you enjoy the adventures of Winnie the Pooh? What was your favorite part of the movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Home-Video Tuesdays: ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ ‘The Incredibles 2,’ & Kurt Russell

We’re beginning another new series this week. Moving forward, watch for our picks for new Blu-Rays and DVDs every week. Our first week kicks off with some of the summer’s biggest hits, including BlacKkKlansman and The Incredibles 2. However, if you want collectors editions and some box sets, there are plenty of new features to check out!

Pick of the Week


RT Score: 95%

Metacritic Score: 83

AJ’s Review

One of the very best films of the year comes along at exactly the right moment. It is not an accident it will release on the day voting closes. Whether or not your party wins, the racial issues in America are a systemic problem that continues decades later. Bringing a film like BlacKkKlansman, the latest Spike Lee joint, into your home on this day carries significance. A fun and socially conscious film like this one is a must-see, and should also bring you to the church of John David Washington. He’s a star and delight.


The Incredibles 2

RT Score: 94%

Metacritic Score: 80

AJ’s Review

Whenever Pixar rolls out a new feature, it is always one to watch for. The latest work from the studio brings together everyone’s favorite superhero family for a series of adventures. Ms. Incredible (Holly Hunter) takes center stage this time around while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) takes care of the kids. With Brad Bird directing, we have some of the coolest action work of the year. A huge box office and some stellar animation make this one the frontrunner for Best Animated Feature.

Throwback Movie of the Week:

The Thing

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

Metacritic: 57

Not sure what is going on with that MetaScore, but The Thing is simply a transfixing, beautiful horror film. One of the hidden gems of the 1980s, the John Carpenter film has become known for its outlandishly good special effects. Some of the prosthetics used here are insane, especially when it comes to the creature creation. Yet The Thing is about much more, including a distrust of our neighbors and the fear of the unknown that lives inside of each of us. This is probably Kurt Russell‘s greatest performance, and this one simply sings. The Thing is one of the greatest horror films ever made, without question.

Big Box Sets: 

The Harry Potter Collector’s Edition Steelbook Box Set (4K)

In what might be the deepest week we ever reward this prize, Harry Potter clearly was going to take the top spot. The story of a young boy learning he is a wizard launched one of the great franchises in film history. There’s a lot to be said about the achievement alone, but looking over the cast reminds you that an all-star list of the greatest British, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish actors in the world were involved in this film franchise. Alan RickmanRalph FiennesHelena Bonham CarterMaggie SmithRichard HarrisGary OldmanDavid ThewlisBrendan Gleeson, Domhnall GleesonKenneth BranaughEmma ThompsonImelda Staunton, and Jim Broadbent are just some of the royalty involved. The breakout stars Daniel RadcliffeEmma WatsonRupert Grint, and Tom Felton would grace the screen. A simply astonishing achievement, the pop culture world would never be the same.

TV of the Week 

Stranger Things Season 2 

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

Metacritic: 78

AJ’s Review

A great blockbuster followup to the first season, Stranger Things cemented its legacy in Season 2. The show has become one of the great action and adventure shows ever to grace streaming platforms. That might make it an odd choice for TV show of the week, but this one is a gimme. A pop culture behemoth, both in its own right and how it calls back to the 1980s, the show deserves to be owned by the diehard fans.

Fun Finds

The Shape of Water (4K)

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Metacritic: 87

AJ’s Top Ten of 2017 Entry

Aaron’s Top Ten of 2017 Entry

Christopher Robin

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Metacritic: 60

Grindhouse (4K)

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

Metacritic: 77%

All three of these movies have some special place in my heart. Obviously, Aaron and I were rather high on The Shape of Water last year, which ended up winning Best Picture. Again, I reiterate there is far more to this movie than the fish/human relationship. Instead, talk about how it was the first film centered on a woman to win Best picture in over a decade. It showcases a killer cast and an amazing crew. Guillermo Del Toro is a master storyteller and this one helps to cement his legacy.

Christopher Robin is another fun Disney film to check out. The revival of the story of a bear and his owner. Winnie the Pooh is one of the great characters in the history of animation, and Jim Cummings is simply amazing. It’s a fun film, a morose film, and a bit predictable. Yet watching these characters come to life is worth it 100% of the time.

Finally, Grindhouse brings B-movies back to the zeitgeist. Both of the films, including Planet Terror and Death Proof, gorge on B-movie zaniness. Planet Terror is directed by Robert Rodriguez and features all the gore you would ever need. It’s a fun zombie action flick, and also the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever seen. Meanwhile, Death Proof delivers another career-defining role for Kurt Russell and might be the most underrated film of Quentin Tarantino’s career. However, despite some strong high points parts of the film really struggle. However, being able to watch both films back-to-back makes for a fun time.

Other Films to Check Out! 

The Planet of the Apes Trilogy (2011-2017)

The Rocky Heavyweight Collection

Superman: The Movie (4K)

Air Force One (4K)

Wreck-It Ralph (4K)

The Transformers Box Set (4K)

Train to Busan

What other new releases would you like to grab? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!